With July here and training camp scheduled to start soon, azcardinals.com will take a look at the Cardinals' individual position groups during this quiet time in the NFL and give our opinions about where the groups stand prior to camp. Today, cornerbacks.
LOCKS: Byron Murphy Jr., Malcolm Butler, Marco Wilson
The Cardinals, whether it has been Vance Joseph or Steve Keim, have gone out of their way to note that Murphy is the team's top cover man and can play both inside and outside – a role good to have settled after the departure of Patrick Peterson. Butler is the veteran stepping into Peterson's shoes (or at least, his No. 21 jersey). While vet Robert Alford could very well start, it seems prudent that the Cards see him get through training camp before counting on him for the roster. Wilson, meanwhile, figures to be around even if he proves a little raw at first.
WORK TO DO: Robert Alford, Darqueze Dennard, Tay Gowan, Lorenzo Burns, Tae Hayes, Picasso Nelson, Jace Whittaker
If Alford can stay healthy, he will be around, but after the last two years, it's difficult to give him "lock" status. Dennard too figures to be a veteran that is worth having on the roster, and he has a relationship with Joseph. The interesting story is Gowan. He's a sixth-round pick, and far from a lock. But he says the right things and he has nice size, and on a team that can use good, young cornerbacks, he has an opportunity here.
UPGRADE ODDS: Medium
Never close the door on cornerback help. But at the same time, if this group can show things in camp expected of them, the position finally doesn't figure to be at the top of Keim's "maybe I need to check available guys" list.
Images of the Cardinals' cornerbacks heading into training camp.