The Arizona Cardinals had a great first weekend on paper in the Monti Ossenfort draft era.
Now, we will review the picks, what the pros think and more.
First, we start with what Todd McShay called the Arizona Cardinals best value pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and yet it was somehow their first pick.
Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State (Round 1, No. 6)
Two trades preceded this pick, and we need to consider that context. First, Arizona moved from No. 3 to No. 12 and added three picks, all on Day 2 or better and including a 2024 first-rounder. Then it jumped back up to No. 6, swapping firsts, picking up a third and losing a second and fifth. I had heard the Cardinals liked Johnson, but taking him at No. 3 was too rich, especially given what they could get to trade out. So they took advantage and slid back, but then they were able to get back ahead of the offensive tackle run to still get their guy.
The offensive line needed some youth, with Kelvin Beachum turning 34 years old and D.J. Humphries playing only eight games last season. In Johnson, Arizona gets an easy-moving pass protector with really good striking power at the point of contact. And as a run-blocker, his quickness shows up in zone-blocking schemes. I really love his awareness and think he’s going to be a high-level starter for a long time. Toss in versatility — Johnson started 13 games at tackle and 13 games at guard — and you have a potential franchise cornerstone. With Kyler Murray coming off a torn ACL, that’s huge.
This will be a theme for many.
The Cardinals played the game almost better than anyone else and ended up with their top prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Not a bad way to get some value.