ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals select C Lamont Gaillard in 6th round of 2019 NFL Draft

Apr 27, 2019, 1:24 PM | Updated: 5:33 pm
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals added to their offensive line on Saturday, nabbing Georgia center Lamont Gaillard with the No. 179 pick in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

It was the second pick in the round for the Cardinals, who selected Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson.

“The matchup [with the Cardinals] is amazing,” Gaillard told reporters after being selected. “We just got a great quarterback and I feel like I’m going to fit right in once I get into the offensive line schemes and everything they do there.

“I’m just going to come in and ball and show my versatility around the board and just do what I can to provide for the team.”

Gaillard comes to the Cardinals after being a three-year starter with the Bulldogs.

Initially projecting out of high school as a defensive lineman, Gaillard made the switch after arriving at Georgia in 2015. The center redshirted one year before being named a starter.

“That’s one of the things that we liked so much about him. He brings that intensity to the offensive line,” general manager Steve Keim said about the lineman’s defensive background. “The key for him and for us is he’s not a center only. We were excited to watch him at those spots.”

Gaillard started 13 games at right guard in the 2016-17 season before moving to center his junior year. He went on to start all 15 games the next year as Georgia went on to the National Championship game.

His senior year, Gaillard was one of the catalysts of an offensive line that garnered national recognition for its play all season, being named as a Joe Moore Award finalist. The award is given to the nation’s top offensive line.

With Gaillard under center, the Bulldogs bolstered four different 1,000-yard runners in Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield.

For his efforts, he was named First Team All-SEC by coaches and Second Team All-SEC by the media.

Gaillard joins an Arizona offensive line in desperate need of improvement.

Seven offensive linemen saw themselves on the IR at one point or another, while rookie center Mason Cole was the lone constant in the trenches, starting all 16 games.

The offense suffered greatly as the team ranked dead last in rushing yards per attempt (3.8) and rushing yards per game (83.9). The line also allowed 52 sacks last season, tied with Oakland and Miami as the fifth most in the NFL.

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