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Cardinals trade up with Lions to select Ohio State OT Paris Johnson at No. 6 overall

A premier prospect at tackle is headed to Arizona to protect Kyler Murray.

The Cardinals selected Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson with the No. 6 overall pick off the 2023 NFL Draft after completing a trade with the Lions on Thursday night. Detroit traded down from the sixth spot to No. 12 (used to select Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs), also acquiring the Cardinals' 34th overall pick and pick No. 168. Arizona also received pick No. 81 as part of the deal.

Incredibly, it was the Cardinals' third trade of the day -- all within the first six picks of the draft. They made a trade with the Eagles to settle a tampering dispute over contact with head coach Jonathan Gannon, got a haul from the Texans to move from No. 3 to No. 12 and then swung back up for Johnson.

Johnson heads to the NFL with plenty of accolades -- second-team All American and first-team All-Big Ten in 2022 -- and experience at tackle and guard. He'll rightfully play tackle at the next level, and his history proves he's athletic and versatile enough to handle most anything presented to him by an opposing rusher.

Johnson's pre-draft process exhibited his athleticism, a coveted trait at tackle in today's NFL. Although he's not a finished product as a blocker, Johnson owns a foundation fit for further development at the next level. He moves with ease and should be able to handle a number of approaches from opposing edge rushers while he polishes his technique and continues to fill out his 6-foot-6 frame.

Johnson's pre-draft process backed up what everyone saw on tape, but what was most notable was the intensity with which he completed his drills at his pro day in Columbus. Only Johnson and teammate Luke Wypler participated in the session (while fellow tackle Dawand Jones sat out), and despite a difference in size, the two battled throughout their drills session. Work ethic will not be a concern for Johnson, a known fact proven by his willingness to play wherever he was asked during his time with the Buckeyes.

He'll get to work soon enough on continuing to develop into a reliable tackle in his new home of Arizona.

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