Paris Johnson is going to the Arizona Cardinals.
Football has an old saying: “Pay for the mortgage, and then you pay the insurance.” Quarterback Kyler Murray is the mortgage; they needed insurance. That responsibility falls on Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson. The Arizona Cardinals had one of the worst rosters in the NFL, so the draft board was open to them. Murray’s injury made selecting a tackle a no-brainer. Did the Cardinals reach for Johnson?
One of the positives about Parson Johnson’s game is he was cross-trained. He played guard before getting kicked out to tackle. He was second-team All-Big Ten as a guard and first-team All-Big Ten as a tackle. However, with Peter Skoronski, Broderick Jones, and Darnell Wright still on the board, Johnson might have been a reach.
Paris Johnson is not a lock as a plug-and-play starter on day one. He could play guard early until he’s ready to play tackle. That said, there is tremendous value at tackle, where the Cardinals did not have to reach for one. Arizona could have addressed a more pressing need with the sixth pick. The Cardinals must have loved him enough to trade up to get him.
Johnson is a pass-blocking specialist coming from Ohio State. He has nimble feet and understands how to use his length. Johnson does have the highest ceiling of any tackle in this draft, as he is still getting strong and filling into his body. Paris Johnson is an elite athlete with length but was never dominant while at Ohio State. The potential is there if he develops.