ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals take 3rd WR of draft, Fresno State’s KeeSean Johnson in 6th

Apr 27, 2019, 12:53 PM | Updated: 5:30 pm
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Even before the sixth round of the NFL Draft, it became evident the emphasis for the Arizona Cardinals is in the air.

No surprises there with first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury bringing his version of the Air Raid offense to Arizona.

The Cardinals raided a third wide receiver from the 2019 class on Saturday with the 174th pick, selecting Fresno State’s KeeSean Johnson to begin the sixth round.

“The one thing that jumped out at me about this young man as I watched the tape, he’s one of the better natural route-runners I saw in this draft process,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said. “I’m talking about a guy who can drop his weight, who’s really good getting in and out of routes, is extremely smooth. His positional versatility and his playmaking ability jumped off the tape for us.”

Johnson joins second-round pick Andy Isabella and fourth-round selection Hakeem Butler as rookie receivers taken by the Cardinals this year.

“I bring anything they need to the offense, anything,” Johnson said. “They want me to play inside, outside, I’ll learn the offense in and out.”

A 1,000-yard producer in each of his junior and senior seasons, Johnson finished 2018 with 1,340 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

At 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds, he joins a receiver room where competition will rule this upcoming training camp.

Christian Kirk returns for his second NFL season, as does Larry Fitzgerald for his 16th. The rookies will presumably compete with receivers Chad Williams, Trent Sherfield, Kevin White, Pharoh Cooper, Damiere Byrd, Malachi Dupre, Jalen Tolliver and Bryant Mitchell.

“We got a lot of great weapons,” Johnson said. “We’re going to come in and compete every day and compete as a team.”

About that name

Johnson has met former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson, but his first name isn’t meant as an exact iteration.

KeeSean’s father is named Sean, and he wanted his son’s name to include his own.

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