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Cardinals draft OT Paris Johnson Jr. with No. 6 pick

Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. goes to the Cardinals with the No. 6 pick in the 2023 draft.

Ohio State v Northwestern Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals have drafted Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. with the No. 6 overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Scouting Report

Johnson has all the makings of a legitimate NFL lineman. He checks the boxes in terms of size, strength, and awareness. Johnson played both guard and tackle at Ohio State, with one full year (2022) at left tackle. That implies versatility, but some could view that as a risk, especially for a team that would rely on him to be a tackle for years to come.

Johnson was excellent in run blocking situations in college, but he’ll need to develop further as a pass protector at the NFL level. Still, the upside is incredible.

Career statistics

Paris Johnson Jr. joined the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2020 as a 5-star recruit out of high school. He saw limited action as a freshman, then started as a sophomore and junior the next two seasons. Over those two years, Johnson only allowed one QB hit and two total sacks across 25 games.

As a result, Johnson was named as a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which goes to college football’s most outstanding lineman. He was also voted to the All-Big 10 first team by the coaches and media in 2022.

How can Paris Johnson Jr. impact the Cardinals in 2023?

Arizona has to prioritize protecting Kyler Murray whenever he gets back from his injury. They have the veterans Kelvin Beachum and DJ Humphries set to be their starting tackles. Between these three players, someone is likely getting bumped inside so that Jonhson can be part of the lineup. If they are committing to a multi-year rebuild, they could have Johnson sit for a season to learn from the veterans, but his best experience is going to be getting game experience from the jump.