The Arizona Cardinals took a risk in the fourth round, but it was the perfect illustration of how teams focus on talent and decide where that talent and the value of something out of their control, a potential health issue, intersect.
For the Arizona Cardinals and Dorian Johnson, that was the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Johnson was a nearly consensus top two round guard, but a liver ailment caused his draft day tumble, including a number of teams removing him from their board completely.
If he is able to control the liver condition, he should compete over the next couple of years to become a starter along the Arizona Cardinals offensive line.
Here is what the scouts had to say to Bob McGinn:
First All-American offensive lineman at Pitt since Ruben Brown in 1994. “Two years ago, they ran more power and Dorian had a really good year,” said one scout. “Last year they went to more motion spread with about 10 jet sweeps a game and it didn’t suit his game. He’s more of a power scheme guy.”
The Cardinals run a diverse scheme that relies on a lot of power, which obviously plays to Johnson’s strengths. If they see fit to use more power, he could be a steal.
Started 42 of 51 games, including 39 at LG. “He’s very smart (Wonderlic of 24),” said another scout. “He’s got really good length (35 ¼ arms). His lower body scares the crap out of me. Weak.”
Interesting, but makes sense why he may struggle to anchor in pass protection, as someone who can’t drop his backside. However, it doesn’t seem to be an issue in the run game, so who knows.
Topped guards in broad jump (9-6) and hand size (10 7/8). “He has a chance to start, sure,” a third scout said. “Pretty good athlete. He needs to get a little stronger but you like the way he plays. Tries to finish you. Little bit of a slow blinker.” From Belle Vernon, Pa.
“Slow blinker” is in direct opposition of the “very smart” from the other scout... But they both agree he could afford to get a little bit stronger.
What do you think of Johnson?