After trading down to pick No. 12 from No. 3, the Cardinals jumped up in the draft to pick No. 6 to draft Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr..
Johnson has been a staple of the Buckeye offensive line, starting in 26 consecutive games.
He was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2022 and was a player Kyler Murray hoped for ahead of the draft.
A pick Kyler Murray will be thrilled with — Paris Johnson to the #AZCardinals. Murray sought out Johnson on his visit to Arizona and said he would pound the table for him. Johnson now a Cardinal.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 28, 2023
Pro Football Focus had this to say about Johnson:
Johnson showed out in his first season at left tackle — he yielded all of 14 pressures on 449 pass-blocking snaps. At 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, he ticks all the physical boxes you could want at the position.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Johnson would have been the pick at No. 3 if the Cardinals could not trade out of that spot. The team felt the offensive tackle would not be available at pick No. 7 or 8 so they needed to trade up to make the pick.
With the way the Cardinals have navigated this early draft, they may find themselves back in the first round before the night’s end.