Early on Friday evening, the Arizona Cardinals surrendered their fourth round selection in a trade with the Chicago Bears, but by the end of the night, Arizona had recouped a fourth round pick following a subsequent trade with the Carolina Panthers.
The additional selection Arizona picked up via the trade with Carolina allowed the Cardinals to add help on the team’s offensive line, as Arizona drafted Pittsburgh guard Dorian Johnson with the 115th overall selection.
At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, Johnson started 39 games for the Pittsburgh Panthers at the college level and has experience playing both guard positions and at right tackle. Johnson was considered one of the top available guard prospects in this year’s draft, but according to multiple reports, he slid all the way to the fourth round due to medical concerns about his liver.
Without a returning starter at right guard, Arizona may allow Johnson to compete with second-year Missouri product Evan Boehm for the starting job, but at the very least, Johnson should fill the void left by offensive lineman Earl Watford who left the team in free agency this offseason.
Johnson was a five-star offensive line prospect at the high school level and is considered a fairly athletic offensive line prospect who showed well at the NFL Combine in both the broad jump (114.0 inches) and the vertical jump (30.0 inches).
The Cardinals were forced to place four different offensive linemen on injured reserve last season, so finding versatile plug and play options who can handle multiple positions is critical for Arizona this offseason.
Johnson is the fourth player the Cardinals selected in this year’s NFL Draft, joining first round selection Haason Reddick, second round pick Budda Baker and third round choice Chad Williams.
Arizona is expected to be on the clock four more times on Saturday, as the team holds two more fifth round selections and two seventh round picks.