<
>

How the 2014 Arizona Cardinals were built

9/3/2014

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Of the Arizona Cardinals' 56 players on the roster, almost as many were signed as free agents as were drafted. This is a look at how the Cardinals' roster as of Tuesday was built, including draft picks, free agents, undrafted rookie free agents, waiver acquisitions and trades.

Ten expected starters for Week 1 were drafted and nine were signed as free agents. One -- quarterback Carson Palmer -- was acquired in a trade and two were undrafted free agents. When Cardinals coach Bruce Arians took over in 2013, he put the roster through an immediate overhaul with the help of free agency and those changes can still be seen today.

FIRST ROUND (6): WR Larry Fitzgerald (2004), NT Dan Williams (2010), CB Patrick Peterson (2011), WR Michael Floyd (2012), G Jonathan Cooper (2013), S Deone Bucannon (2014).

Recap: Four are starters, while Cooper hasn't lived up to the hype of being a seventh-overall pick and Bucannon is just waiting his turn to enter the starting lineup. Fitzgerald is a future Hall of Famer and Peterson is the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.

SECOND ROUND (4): DE Calais Campbell (2008), LB Daryl Washington* (2010), LB Kevin Minter (2013), TE Troy Niklas (2014).

Recap: Campbell and Minter will be starters this season and both are entering the year with high expectations. Washington was suspended for at least a season by the NFL and Niklas will have a heavy role in the offense.

THIRD ROUND (6): DT Darnell Dockett** (2004), S Rashad Johnson (2009), TE Rob Housler (2011), S Tyrann Mathieu (2013), DE Kareem Martin (2014), WR John Brown (2014).

Recap: Johnson and Housler are slated to start the season opener, but the Cardinals struck gold in the past two seasons drafting in the third round with Mathieu and Brown. Dockett is a veteran who's out for the season with a torn ACL and Martin will spend the year learning how to become the next Calais Campbell.

FOURTH ROUND (5): LB Sam Acho (2011), RT Bobby Massie (2012), LB Alex Okafor (2013), G Earl Watford (2013), QB Logan Thomas (2014).

Recap: Only Massie will start but Acho and Okafor will be part of the linebacker rotation. Watford will be a backup at guard and possibly tackle, while Thomas isn't likely to get a snap all season as the third-string quarterback.

FIFTH ROUND (2): RB Stepfan Taylor (2013), DT Ed Stinson (2014).

Recap: Both will see extensive time this season; Taylor as the third running back and Stinson as a backup on the defensive line who benefitted from Dockett's injury.

SIXTH ROUND (2): CB Justin Bethel (2012), RB Andre Ellington (2013).

Recap: Ellington is the starting tailback and Bethel is shooting for his second-straight Pro Bowl appearance at gunner.

FREE AGENTS (21): LS Mike Leach (2009), P Dave Zastudil (2011), LB John Abraham (2013), LB Lorenzo Alexander (2013), RG Paul Fanaika (2013), TE Darren Fells (2013), RB Robert Hughes (2013), CB Jerraud Powers (2013), DE Frostee Rucker (2013), DE Matt Shaughnessy (2013), QB Drew Stanton (2013), LB Desmond Bishop (2014), TE John Carlson (2014), CB Antonio Cromartie (2014), RB Jonathan Dwyer (2014), LB Larry Foote (2014), WR Ted Ginn (2014), DL Tommy Kelly (2014), LG Ted Larsen (2014), LT Jared Veldheer (2014), DB Eddie Whitley (2014)**.

Recap: If there's one thing head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim know how to do, it's stock and restock a roster with free agents. Arizona was competitive last season because of most of this group and with 10 additions this offseason, the Cardinals may have found the key to getting over the hump.

WAIVERS (3): T Bradley Sowell (2013), NT Alameda Ta'amu (2013), LB Thomas Keiser (2014).

Recap: All three will have extensive backup roles this season. Sowell was the starter at left guard for 12 of 16 games last season.

UNDRAFTED (6): C Lyle Sendlein (2007), WR Jaron Brown (2013), LB Kenny Demens (2013), S Tony Jefferson (2013), LB Glenn Carson (2014), K Chandler Catanzaro (2014).

Recap: Arizona has been picky with which undrafted free agents it keeps, but Sendlein has been a staple at center, Jefferson may start the season opener and Catanzaro won the starting kicking job.

TRADE: QB Carson Palmer (2013).

Recap: The Cardinals got the better end of this trade.

*Washington on suspended list.

**Dockett and Whitley are on injured reserve.