When Monti Ossenfort was named the Arizona Cardinals’ new GM, he said that he was going to change the team’s draft talent evaluation process and align it system wide with the personnel execs, team scouts and coaches.
To help bolster his vision and the new draft preparation alignment, Monti hired the Lions’ Director of College Scouting, Dave Sears, to be his assistant GM and chief overseer of the draft process.
Now that we have been able to take a closer look at the first class of players whom Ossenfort and Sears selected, here is what jumps out in terms of the process.
Grading Players Via a Touchdown of “P”s
- Positional Prototype
- Processing Alacrity
Round 1: Paris Johnson Jr., OL, Ohio St.
- Positional Prototype: Offensive Tackle, 6’6”, 313. Per PFF:
“Johnson entered Columbus as a top-10 overall recruit in the 2020 class, and after spending his freshman season as a reserve offensive lineman, he became Ohio State’s starting right guard as a sophomore and earned an impressive 83.5 run-blocking grade. Johnson kicked out to left tackle this past season and looked like a natural at the position, as his 83.1 grade ranked fourth among Power Five tackles this past season. He has all of the necessary tools to be a franchise left tackle in the NFL.
- Ticks every box physically you could want at the tackle position.
- An athlete. Could have played other sports. You see it when he has to recover a block.
- He has a strong frame that still has more room to grow.
- Feet too frenetic at times. Hard to keep a solid base with how much he’s moving them.
- Two-hand puncher in pass protection. Makes it difficult to reset when they don’t land.
- Only has one year of experience at tackle. Played right guard in 2021.
Ryan Ramczyk: 6’6”, 314, All-Pro RT for New Orleans Saints.”
- Processing Alacrity: Per Pro Football Network:
“Johnson’s high football IQ allows him to identify defensive tricks, routinely picking up stunts and twists and understanding when his help is required. That combination of athleticism, football IQ, competitive toughness, and multi-faceted technical ability will be hard to ignore in the 2023 NFL Draft.”
- Performance: 2022 Consensus All-American at Offensive Tackle
Look at the energy and bounce PJJ manifests at his size, plus the power in which he uses to finish off his blocks.
- Passion: (goes well beyond football and deeply into philanthropy)
- Presentation: (journalism major, writer)
- Personality/Character:(gregarious, articulate, enthusiastic, energetic, charismatic)
“He’s very detailed, wants to do things right, he’s very determined.” Ryan Day on whether Paris Johnson Jr. could start at Ohio St. as a true freshman:
Ohio St. Pro Day: (notice how PJJ was focused as much on his teammates’ performance as he was very intensely with his own):
Off the Charts Character Trait: For a 21 year old NFL prospect who graduated in three years from Ohio St., PJJ manifests a rare keenness of maturity in mastering his assignments, while understanding the big picture of what his team needs and what he can do to help the team achieve its goals.
Paris Johnson Jr.:
- Checks all of the boxes, with a flourish and in a resounding way.
- MOJO have been stressing how important it is for their players to be adaptable —- and that’s precisely what PJJ is —- he will play anywhere the coaches want him to play, for the betterment of the team.
- The aspects of his game that he needs to improve are technique related, which is understandable in that he played guard as a sophomore and left tackle as a junior —- yet performed at both positions at an extremely high level.
- Has fully embraced the Arizona Cardinals as the team he most wanted to play for —- to finish up what his father started —- and to carry forward Pat Tillman’s legacy, much the same as JJ Watt did when he signed with the Cardinals.
- Leads with charisma, passion and the poise for wanting to accomplish things the right way, and as such, PJJ is the catalytic kind of tone-setter the Cardinals’ franchise so fervently needs at this point in time.
Now that we know how what the picks were, are you happy that the Cardinals picked PJJ or would you have preferred one of the other top prospects?
Paris Johnson Jr. at #6
Stay at #3 to take Will Anderson Jr.(thus foregoing the 2024 1st and 3rd round picks from HOU)
Jalen Carter at #6
Christian Gonzalez at #6
Tyree Wilson at #6
Stay at #3 to take
Stay at #12 and take Christian Gonzalez, Lukas Van Ness or Broderick Jones, thus keeping the #34 pick
How did you vote and why?
What position do you want to see Paris Johnson play this season?
Which position did you vote for and why?