Background: Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals sixth overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee
I don’t know about you.
I can only speak for myself.
But, as a loyal Cardinals fan, night one of the 2023 NFL Draft sent me through a gamut of emotions.
Emotion 1: Frustration
To see the actually draft start after 20 minutes of hype-filled pageantry and then sit there for the near duration of the clock amidst shots of the Carolina brass sitting around doing nothing, to then finally hear what everybody knew all along — the Panthers were selecting Alabama QB Bryce Young.
Emotion 2: Sheer Disgust and Continued Embarrassment
Eagles and Cardinals settled a tampering investigation today involving the hiring of former Philadelphia DC Jonathan Gannon as Arizona’s HC, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 27, 2023
Terms: Eagles traded pick No. 94 in this draft and a 2024 5th-round pick to the Cardinals for pick No. 66 in this draft. pic.twitter.com/NTl49BleJE
Terry McDonough accused Michael Bidwill of cheating back in 2018 by having him and Steve Wilks use burner phones to call suspended GM. It's 2023 and Bidwill just got nabbed for cheating because of a tampering phone call to JG from new GM. Bidwill #1 problem in AZ. Has to go.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) April 28, 2023
When the team owner/president is a cheater, is it any surprise that the best defensive player on team in 2019 and the best offensive player on the team in 2022 got popped for 6 week PED violations? And the rampant alcoholism in the front office and former coaches.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) April 28, 2023
I will save more of my rant about this new episode of organizational dysfunction for the next Red Rain Podcast, but my one greatest hope this off-season has been that with Monti Ossenfort we could finally have an actual adult and a man of integrity in the room —- and now that hope feels like a silly pipe dream.
My biggest fear this off-season is that Jonathan Gannon is just like Bidwill, the ultimate con man. For a guy who preaches accountability, he doesn’t seem to hold himself to that standard. He is coming across as highly immature and naive. I hope to see a drastic change in him. But, like Bidwill, JG might be throughly incorrigible.
Emotion 3: Crest-fallen
Incredibly at #2, the Texans passed on my #1 hope in the draft, Will Anderson Jr., having me jumping for joy — only to watch MOJO trade away the pick to the Texans who pounced on Anderson like he pounces on QBs.
Emotion 4: Pure Amazement
After a lengthy mad scramble to find out the details of the trade, I found myself in a state of pure amazement. This was the kind of haul a team typically gets for a QB — I mean, are you serious? Cardinals get #12, #33, the Texans’ own 2024 1st round pick and their 2024 third round pick?
I never thought, after all of the hype about the Cardinals getting a haul for the #3 pick that they would get any deal as impressive as this.
Emotion 5: Shock and Awe
With the No. 6 overall pick in the 2023 #NFLDraft, the @AZCardinals select Paris Johnson Jr.!@NewEraCap | #BirdGang— NFL (@NFL) April 28, 2023
: 2023 #NFLDraft on NFLN/ESPN/ABC
: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/D3EqkrKdIw pic.twitter.com/2swNmvwGl7
When have we ever seen a Cardinals’ GM trade down and then back up to the perfect spot to take their #1 player, Paris Johnson Jr., who by the way, is the most gifted offensive lineman the Cardinals have taken throughout their years in Arizona.
Emotion 6: Enlightenment
Amazing MO as 1st year GM working this draft thru close connections w HOU GM Nick Caserio (Patriots) and DET (asst. GM Dave Sears). The haul from HOU is tremendous. It's a QB haul. Then to take best OL in draft in Paris Johnson Jr. who then tells us his dad was a is awesome!— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) April 28, 2023
Talk about an NFL GM using resources and connections to the team’s advantage.
Emotion 7: Happiness
Paris Johnson Jr. On meeting Kyler⬇️ pic.twitter.com/UXnxjC1PCB— K1SinceDay1 (@KSzn2021) April 28, 2023
Emotion 8: Pure Elation
“This is what I wanted. i wanted to be a Cardinal.”
"I didn't want to say it during the process, but this is what I wanted ... I want to finish what [my father] started."— Caleb Noe (@CalebNoeTV) April 28, 2023
Paris Johnson, Jr. was just drafted by the same team (@AZCardinals) that drafted Paris Johnson, Sr. in 1999.@WCPO @VikeNationFB @VikeNationAD @ParisJohnsonJr… pic.twitter.com/FDKgbiFmW6
This is exactly the kind of positive “I want to be a Cardinal” buzz this organization needs.
Emotion 9: Shared Sense of Joy
To see Bick and Gambo’s excitement and sharing the joy.
Emotion 10: Disbelief
Monti Ossenfort admits to tampering mistake in Jonathan Gannon hire. Monti had a phone conversation with JG days following the NFC Championship Game during a non-contact period. #AZCardinals swap 3rd round picks with #Eagles, receive their 5th round pick next year. @12SportsAZ pic.twitter.com/jjY63pBSOT— Cameron Cox (@CamCox12) April 28, 2023
I thoroughly believe that just as Michael Bidwill prompted the use of burner phones with the training camp cheating that he commandeered in 2018, Michael Bidwill was at the center of this tampering debacle. I believe that Bidwill wanted as early a confirmation as possible as to whether JG would be interested in the job, so that, if not, they could make a decision on Lou Anarumo or Mike Kafka.
I do not believe for one second that Monti called JG surreptitiously all on his own, without telling his new boss. Thus, Monti is falling on the sword here for Bidwill. That, however, still doesn’t, in my way of thinking, exonerate Monti from cheating. But, the thought has occurred that Monti, like Terry McDonough and Steve Wilks, was given the order.
Emotion 11: Soothing Relief
As you all know, I was very worried the Cardinals would take a flier on a one year wonder or even worse, on another Erik Burkhardt client. Thus, what a sense of relief it was to see the Cardinals select, Paris Johnson Jr., whom I believe is the most gifted offensive linemen, one of the elite, charter members of the 80s Club!
Emotion 12: Hope
Amazingly a pair of cardinals showed up on my lawn this week. A brilliant red papa cardinal side by side with the sharp gray mama cardinal.
Here are the remaining available members of the 80s Club:
Note: Players from Power 5 conferences (including Notre Dame) are in BOLD.
- Clayton Tune, Houston: 91.4
- Darren Hall, BYU, 87.8
- Hendon Hooker, Tennessee: 87.6
- Stetson Bennett, Georgia: 87.1
- Jake Haener, Fresno St.: 83.4
- Malik Cunningham, Louisville: 81.5
- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA: 80.0
RB: (90s Club):
- DeWayne McBride, UAB: 92.1
- Zach Charbonnet, UCLA: 90.5
Note: all of the other top rated RBs averaged in the 80s
- Michael Mayer, Notre Dame: 86.7
- Tucker Kraft, South Dakota St.: 82.0
- Kyle Patterson, Air Force: 80.6
- Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa St.: 86.8
- Demario Douglas, Liberty, 86.7
- Puka Nacua, BYU: 86.4
- Nathaniel Dell, Houston: 85.1
- A.T. Perry, Wake Forest: 83.0
- Rashee Rice, SMU: 82.9
- Josh Downs, North Carolina: 82.2
- Jake Bobo, UCLA: 80.4
- Cody Mauch, North Dakota St.: 90.1
- Blake Freeland, BYU: 86.3
- Dawand Jones, Ohio St.: 84.3
- McClendon Curtis, Chattanooga: 83.8
- Alex Palczewski, Illinois: 80.4
- Jordan McFadden, Clemson: 80.2
- O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida: 88.1
- Andrew Vorhees, USC: 86.5
- John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota: 90.4
- Brett Neilon, USC: 88.2
- Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin: 82.5
- Jacob Gall, Baylor: 81.5
- Luke Wypler, Ohio St.: 81.2
- Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan: 80.2
- Devonnsha Maxwell, Chattanooga: 90.4
- Kobie Turner, Wake Forest: 90.2
- Jonah Tavai, San Diego St. : 87.2
- Moro Ojomo, Texas: 82.7
- Jacob Slade, Michigan St.: 82.5
- Desjuan Johnson, Toledo: 81.8
- Byron Young, Alabama: 80.8
- Karl Brooks, Bowling Green: 87.1
- Derek Parish, Houston: 87.1
- Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan: 86.5
- Nick Herbig, Wisconsin: 85.5
- Viliami Fehoko, San Jose St.: 85.5
- Nick Hampton, Appalachian St.: 84.2
- Zach Harrison, Ohio St.: 83.9
- Tui Tuipulotu, USC: 82.4
- Andre Carter, Army, 80.3
- Ivan Pace Jr., Cincinnati: 88.1
- Aubrey Miller Jr., Jackson St.: 83.3
- Drake Thomas, North Carolina St.: 80.3
- Mekhi Blackman, USC: 81.4
- Riley Moss, Iowa: 80.8
- Clark Phillips III, Utah: 80.0
- Jordan Battle, Alabama: 84.8
- Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M: 84.5
Brian Branch, Alabama: 83.1
- Marte Mapu, Sacramento St.: 80.8
Gee, did you happen which player I am hoping the most for in Round 2?
Actually, if not Brian Branch, how about we let Dave Sears complete the “Lion’s share” of the rebuild of the OL with RT Dawand Jones and then with C Luke Wypler in Round 3?
The thought occurred to me that with the Eagles now having Bulldogs Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith —- how about the Cardinals keep countering with Buckeyes’ offensive linemen?
Now we know why added some Ohio St. silver to the new red and white uniforms that Paris Johnson Jr. thinks are fresh. Keep these Buckeyes coming! Anyone like RT Dawand Jones? C Luke Wypler? DE Zach Harrison? FS Ronnie Hickman? CB Cameron Brown? https://t.co/hdtDFP8fUh— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) April 28, 2023
While the Buckeyes got edged out on a nail-biting 42-41 loss to the Bulldogs on December 31, 2022, they dropped 467 yards of total offense and 4 TDs on that vaunted defense, eating up 32:26 of the clock.
Those were the gamut of my emotions.
What were yours?
What are your hopes for what the Cardinals will do tonight?