With the Cardinals narrowly missing the playoffs in 2020, general manager Steve Keim believed only a few tweaks and nudges were needed for the roster to make the jump into the postseason this year.
Key veterans such as A.J. Green, J.J. Watt and Rodney Hudson were brought in to help the Cardinals in the locker room and on the field. With a roster that didn't see a drastic amount of turnover from the previous year, a majority of the team's positions weren't in question.
However, a handful of story lines dominated Cardinals training camp, with spots such as right guard, general cornerback depth and kick-return duties all in question. Only two preseason games for Arizona were played, giving both the coaching staff and media less to work with when putting those final pieces to the puzzle together.
On Tuesday, the team released their first depth chart of the season in advance of their Week-1 road trip to Tennessee. The depth chart revealed who would be starting at right guard, who could possibly field kicks and how the cornerback room shaped up. That, of course, is assuming the depth chart is entirely accurate.
QB: Kyler Murray, Colt McCoy, Chris Streveler
RB: Chase Edmonds, James Conner, Jonathan Ward, Eno Benjamin
WR: A.J. Green, Andy Isabella
WR: Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Antoine Wesley
TE: Maxx Williams, Demetrius Harris, Darrell Daniels
LT: D.J. Humphries, Josh Miles
LG: Justin Pugh, Brian Winters
C: Rodney Hudson, Max Garcia
RG: Josh Jones, Brian Winters
RT: Kelvin Beachum, Justin Murray
DE: J.J. Watt, Michael Dogbe
NT: Rashard Lawrence, Corey Peters
DT: Zach Allen, Leki Fotu
OLB: Chandler Jones, Dennis Gardeck, Victor Dimukeje
OLB- Markus Golden, Devon Kennard
ILB- Isaiah Simmons, Tanner Vallejo, Ezekiel Turner
ILB- Zaven Collins, Jordan Hicks
CB- Byron Murphy Jr., Luq Barcoo
CB: Robert Alford, Marco Wilson, Tay Gowan
S: Jalen Thompson, Deionte Thompson
S: Budda Baker, Charles Washington
K- Matt Prater
P- Andy Lee
LS- Aaron Brewer
H- Andy Lee
KR- Eno Benjamin/Rondale Moore
PR- Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore
Kingsbury Speaks About Right Guard Battle
Earlier Tuesday, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and appeared to confirm that Jones would be the team's starting right guard for Week 1.
"Yeah, it looks that way," said Kingsbury about Jones starting.
"Josh has come a long way in a short time. (He) didn’t get a lot of action last year. Had him more as a tackle, but this year (we) have him transitioning to the guard position and has really handled himself well. He’ll continue to have his ups and downs as young players do, but we like what we’ve seen so far.
"He continues to get better. (Offensive line) Coach (Sean) Kugler has done a tremendous job of building a great culture in that room. (General manager) Steve (Keim) has brought in some real solid pieces to build around a young quarterback that we believe has some special abilities."
Many thought the experience and physicality of Winters would ultimately prove to be too good for the Cardinals to pass up in the trenches, while others believe Murray's talent and time starting last season would have propelled him to the top of the depth chart.
However, it's Jones who emerges as the starter as the team prepares for the Titans. While Murray and Winters missed a large portion of training camp, it's obvious Kingsbury and the rest of the coaching staff liked what they saw out of Jones, who saw a tremendous amount of reps at the position.