Practice Squad Predictions: Offense

While practice squad players are generally underappreciated, GM Rod Graves will attempt to assemble a solid group of young prospects. Whether it's helping the team during practice or filling in due to injury, these players are vital to the organization. Brad Wilbricht projects the Cardinals key practice squad contributors in this AZRedReport.com exclusive.

At quarterback, undrafted rookie Anthony Morelli will likely land a spot on the team's practice squad. Morelli possesses the necessary physical tools but displayed questionable decision making skills during his college career. Morelli's arm strength will allow the Cardinals defense to easily adjust to hard throwing quarterbacks throughout the season. Morelli is currently battling journeyman QB Brian St. Pierre for the third spot on the depth chart. However, he's a long-shot due to St. Pierre's knowledge of head coach Ken Whisenhunt's offensive philosophy.

Like last year, second-year RB Steve Baylark will be a mainstay in the backfield of the Cardinals practice squad. Baylark boasts promising potential but is currently buried on the depth chart. However, he could move one spot closer to the active roster if RB J.J. Arrington is released. Baylark features similar characteristics as veteran RB Edgerrin James and rookie RB Tim Hightower. His power and versatility will help the Arizona defense prepare for opposing running backs they'll face in 2008. Furthermore, Baylark could prove to be a solid backup if given the opportunity.

With the Cardinals loaded at wide receiver, multiple players will be forced to prove themselves exclusively on the practice squad. WR Jemalle Cornelius and WR Ahmad Merritt are capable players, but will likely need an injury above them to crack the active roster. Although current backup receivers Sean Morey and Jerheme Urban are reliable reserves, the Cardinals may look for enhanced playmaking ability. Cornelius and Merritt exhibit superior athleticism and speed. In addition to their receiving skills, both could also develop into dependable special teams players.

Many newcomers on the offensive line will start out on the practice squad. Thaddeus Coleman, Carlton Medder, Hercules Satele and Peter Clifford all boast tremendous potential but lack experience. All four players will benefit from working with offensive line coach Russ Grimm and will be expected to perform if there are injuries along the offensive line. Due to his ability to play both guard and tackle, Clifford holds the most value on the practice squad. Additionally, his versatility gives him the best opportunity to contribute as a rookie.


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