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Cardinals Position Overview 2023: Inside Linebacker

Team will look much different in this spot with new coaching staff


With minicamp in the rearview mirror and training camp scheduled to start soon, 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, inside linebacker.

LOCKS: Kyzir White, Josh Woods, Owen Pappoe

Let's get this out of the way first. Yes, Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons are listed as linebackers on the roster. And, Collins is still a linebacker, but for this exercise, he has been shifted to outside linebacker while Simmons has been moved to the safety conversation because that is the position group he has been working with since last offseason. That leaves White, Woods and Pappoe. White knows the defense having spent last season with head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis in Philadelphia. Woods didn't play much on defense last year, but he gets the nod here based on his special teams prowess. Pappoe is an intriguing prospect who showed great sideline-to-sideline ability at Auburn.

WORK TO DO: Ezekiel Turner, Krys Barnes, Kyle Soelle

Special teams is how Turner made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2018, and it's how he's remained with the Cardinals every year since. A favorite of assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, Turner is likely in a better position than any of the others to make the roster yet again. Injuries limited Barnes to just six games last season. He, though, did post back-to-back seasons of 80+ tackles in 2020-21. Soelle may be perfect candidates for the practice squad. Given his ties locally, Soelle will certainly attract a lot of fan interest in training camp and preseason games.


The Cardinals made inside linebacker a priority in the offseason. Six new faces were added, including three free agents. In other words, no more work needs to be done here, barring any unforeseen issues, i.e., injuries.

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