With July here and training camp beginning in just a few weeks, azcardinals.com will take a look at the Cardinals’ individual position groups during this very quiet time in the NFL, and give our opinions about the groups stand prior to camp. Here are the linebackers.
LOCKS: Chandler Jones, Terrell Suggs, Jordan Hicks, Haason Reddick, Dennis Gardeck, Zeke Turner
Pairing Suggs with Jones works both on the field and in the locker room, adding a wise veteran to a defense that can use the swag after last season. Hicks, as long as he’s healthy, is the kind of inside linebacker the Cards needed, and coaches believe Reddick is ready for the next step after a steep learning curve. Gardeck and Turner are going to be on this team because of special teams, but the hope is they can make inroads on defense too.
WORK TO DO: Brooks Reed, Pete Robertson, Tanner Vallejo, Joe Walker, Cameron Malveaux, Dante Booker, Pita Taumoepenu
The Cardinals are still sorting through the depth they have. Vallejo has shined on special teams in the past. Reed has experience, but will the Cards prefer some youth on the outside? The roster at inside linebacker was one of the big questions of the offseason. Can a veteran like Walker or an undrafted rookie like Booker make headway with defensive coordinator Vance Joseph?
UPGRADE ODDS: Medium
The starters are set, but it wouldn’t be a shock if a young player hit waivers – either on the outside or inside – that the Cardinals would grab, given their top spot in the waiver wire line.
Images of the linebackers on the Cardinals' team as training camp approaches