Cards select OT Paris Johnson at No. 6 after multiple trades


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals selected Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson with the No. 6 overall selection on Thursday night, capping a whirlwind start to the NFL draft for new general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Johnson’s arrival gives the Cardinals a potential franchise cornerstone who can protect quarterback Kyler Murray for years to come.

The move continued an active evening for the Cardinals, who started the night with the No. 3 overall selection but traded it to the Houston Texans for the No. 12 and No. 33 selections in this year’s draft and a first- and third-round pick in next year’s draft.

Ossenfort almost immediately flipped the No. 12 and also sent the No. 34 pick to the Detroit Lions so they could select Johnson, who should immediately bolster the offensive line.

It wasn’t a surprise the Cardinals moved down from No. 3, especially once the Texans’ sizable offer became public. But the Cardinals’ move back up in the draft less than an hour later caught many be surprise.

The Texans used the No. 3 overall selection to nab Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.

The Cardinals started the evening picking in the top 5 after a 2022 season that went about as poorly as possible. Arizona began the season with high hopes, but finished with a 4-13 record, which resulted in the team firing fourth-year coach Kliff Kingsbury and parting ways with GM Steve Keim.

Murray tore the ACL in his right knee late in the season and he’s expected to miss at least a few games next fall.

The Cardinals selected Johnson 24 years after they picked his dad in the fifth round of the 1999 draft. Paris Johnson Sr. — a safety — never played in an NFL game.

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