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For What It's Worth In June, Defensive Edition

Predicting the starters against the Commanders in September

As I previously mentioned, this year's attempt to predict a defensive lineup is about as difficult as it has ever been. On this side of the ball, it's hard to know exactly what scheme Nick Rallis will use, much less the players manning the spots. There are rookies that could eventually find their way to significant playing time. In the meantime, let's give this a shot, shall we? For purposes of this exercise, I'm going to go with two down linemen-ish (Cam Thomas can do a little of both) and three safeties.

Thursday, I posted the offensive guesses. But here is the defense.

Defensive end – L.J. Collier. The defensive line is a mystery right now. Choosing Collier, a one-time first-round pick, is as good of a guess as any. Could this be, instead, Leki Fotu? Or Jonathan Ledbetter? Could be. But we'll go with Collier, and then await Seahawks fans jumping in the comments to tell me how wrong I am.

Nose tackle – Rashard Lawrence. He's got to be healthy. Carlos Watkins could be a candidate here. But I'm going to stick with the veteran who still seems like he just got here.

Outside linebacker – Cameron Thomas. My thinking is this: Thomas makes sense both as a run defender and as a third body who could hold up with his hand in the dirt. It's possible he could eventually be a version of what Zach Allen was. But with outside linebacker, like defensive line and like cornerback, there are a lot of potential combinations.

Inside linebacker – Kyzir White. He signed from the Eagles, Rallis and Jonathan Gannon like and trust him, and he's a lock.

Inside linebacker – Josh Woods. It doesn't seem like the Cardinals will have Collins or Simmons inside anymore. White will be there. Woods was mostly a special teamer in Detroit, but he's got some of the skills the Cards want. Krys Barnes could be the guy too.

Outside linebacker – Zaven Collins. Gannon, and Collins, aren't committing to Collins staying outside, but it sure seems like he's going to, and it sure seems like he's tracking to start too.

Cornerback – Marco Wilson. This is the former fourth-round pick's chance to be a No. 1 cornerback. Barring a late veteran signing, the opportunity will be there.

Cornerback – Antonio Hamilton. If rookie Garrett Williams wasn't coming off an ACL injury, I'd be tempted to put him in here. But he is and I'm not. There are other choices besides Hamilton -- did I mention camp battles will be a very real thing this year? -- but Hamilton keeps finding a way to climb the depth chart while in Arizona.

Safety – Isaiah Simmons. New coaching staff, a new prism through which to view the one-time first-round pick, and in the background, Simmons is in a contract year. He's got a lot on the line.

Safety – Jalen Thompson. A good player, and a veteran who can help in this season of transition.

Safety – Budda Baker. Sure, there has been a little drama with Baker this offseason. I believe he'll be right where he should be when it counts.

CB Marco Wilson
CB Marco Wilson