3 Cardinals Players in Danger of Losing Their Starting Jobs in the 2020 NFL Season
By Zach Brunner
The Arizona Cardinals have had an eventful offseason, highlighted by trading for DeAndre Hopkins, to pair him with second-year quarterback Kyler Murray for the long term. While the team has made steps to improve, it will be tough to contend in a stacked NFC West, which features the NFC Super Bowl representatives from the past two seasons as well as the ever-consistent Seattle Seahawks.
This means there is very little room for error if the Cardinals wish to make a lot of noise this season. Players will be on a short leash and they will need to be on the same page right away in Week 1. With these things in mind, these are the three Cardinals players that are most in danger of losing their starting jobs this season.
1. Marcus Gilbert, RT
The Cardinals' offense line is an issue. Per Football Outsiders, Arizona had the 26th-ranked pass blocking unit and the 22nd-ranked run blocking line. This led to the Murray being sacked a league-high 48 times as a rookie. In the third round, the Cardinals drafted Josh Jones out of Houston. Jones is an athletic tackle that can immediately compete for the starting right tackle job.
2. Corey Peters, DT
Corey Peters is sort of the starter by default for the Cardinals. Peters turns 32 before the season begins, and youth may prevail on the defensive line in Arizona this season. This is especially true since they play in the NFC West, which features talented running games. The Cardinals drafted Leki Fotu in the fourth round, and he will serve a big role right away. While he's raw, the former rugby player is also extremely athletic and plays the run well, which should earn him a starting job at some point this season.
3. Kenyan Drake, RB
After trading away David Johnson for Hopkins, the Cardinals look fully committed to Kenyan Drake, who they traded for at midseason. Drake has not been a workhorse in the NFL, so there are plenty of questions of if he can hold up. Drake also over-performed in Arizona last season, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, which is more than his 4.8-yard average for his career. Drake also isn't the best in pass protection, which could be an issue, as discussed with their offensive line play before. The Cardinals also aren't committed to Drake long-term, as he'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and he'll have third-year back Chase Edmonds breathing down his neck after Edmonds showed some real flashes of greatness in 2019.
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