The Arizona Cardinals have gone through four rounds of drafting. Through three rounds, many analysts agreed that the Cardinals had drafted well. The third day of the NFL Draft rolls around, and the Arizona Cardinals have now made their fourth selection.
Dorian Johnson out of Pittsburgh became the newest face to the Arizona Cardinals. Johnson, a Guard, was labeled a second or third round talent, who fell because of a liver issue. The liver issue is new to fans and the media alike, but teams knew about it.
Johnson ranged from the fifth to seventh best Guard on draft experts boards. He measured in at 6’5, 300 pounds. He recorded a 5.27 40, 21 225 reps, posted a 114 inch broad jump and 30 inch vertical jump.
The guard played 1087 pass blocking snaps in his three year career. He was called for three penalties, allowed two sacks, and gave up 13 hurries.
Johnson is an incredibly strong blocker. He has fantastic lateral movement, and blocks with good square contact. Johnson takes good angles downfield, cutting off the defender before they’re able to meet the ball carrier. His hand placement remains inside at all times, which shows after being called for only three penalties in his career.
Johnson does have concerns. Notably is the liver issue that we found out about today. Johnson talked with local reporters on the phone following his selection, and he stated that he has played with it his whole life. Time will tell whether or not his liver will be an issue going forward.
Johnson did lack experience in any sort of diverse blocking schemes. In 2014 and 2015, Johnson played in a power gap scheme. In 2016, he was asked to block in an inside zone heavy scheme. The question surrounds whether on not Johnson can make the transition to a scheme that requires more mental work.
While he fares very well against bull rushes, Johnson does allow defenders to control his body, which will be a huge issue in the NFL.
Carson Palmer was hit 117 times in 2016, most in the league. The addition of Johnson is an attempt to rectify that. Johnson has incredible talent, and could be a day one starter. He has to beat out Evan Boehm for a role at RG however.
This pick screams 2018 however. Mike Iupati turns 31 before the start of 2018. He battled injuries in 2016. This could give the Cardinals an opportunity to part ways with the aging guard.
What’s your thought on this pick? I’m a huge fan of the selection, and absolutely excited to get this kind of talent in the late rounds.
*All Stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus
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