After using the organization’s fourth round pick and first fifth round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft to address the franchise’s offensive line depth, the Arizona Cardinals attempted to solidify their backfield by adding North Carolina running back T.J. Logan with their second selection of the fifth round on Saturday.
The selection of Logan marks the third different player the Cardinals added on day three of the 2017 NFL Draft, following the fourth round choice of Pittsburgh offensive guard Dorian Johnson and the fifth round selection of Vanderbilt offensive tackle Will Holden.
After pursuing defensive players with their first two selections of the draft, the Cardinals have now chosen four straight offensive players, although Logan projects to help Arizona immediately as a special teams asset.
During his career with the Tar Heels, Logan amassed 2,165 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns and added 663 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Logan did some of his best work as a kick return specialist at North Carolina, as he averaged over 32 yards per return during his senior season and had five career kick returns for touchdowns.
Like many of the Cardinals’ skill position draftees in recent years, Logan showcased blazing speed at the NFL Combine where he ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash. Logan also tested in the bench press, broad jump and vertical jump, but opted to skip the 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle at the Combine.
The last time the Cardinals selected a running back in the fifth round of the draft, general manager Steve Keim chose Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor.
Logan joins a Cardinals’ backfield that is still looking for depth behind starter David Johnson, but early in his career, Logan will likely be asked to focus on helping Arizona’s special teams units which were dismal during the 2016 season.
Logan is the sixth player the Cardinals have selected in this year’s draft, joining Johnson, Holden, first round selection Haason Reddick, second round pick Budda Baker and third round choice Chad Williams.
The 2017 draft marks the second consecutive year the Cardinals have held two fifth round picks, as the team added safety Marqui Christian and offensive lineman Cole Toner in the fifth round of last year’s draft. Arizona waived Christian early in the season, but Toner is still on the roster and will likely have to compete with Johnson, Holden and a slew of other potential reserves to keep his spot with the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have two more selections during Saturday’s draft, but will have to wait until the seventh round to make those picks.