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Arizona DT P.J. Johnson selected by the Detroit Lions in the 7th round

Arizona defensive tackle PJ Johnson (52) reacts after making a tackle for a loss against Oregon in the first half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX — P.J. Johnson became the first player to be drafted by Arizona out of the Kevin Sumlin era.

The Detroit Lions selected the defensive tackle in the seventh round with the No. 229 overall selection.

Johnson played just one season with the Wildcats earning Pac-12 honorable mention. He played in 10 games with nine starts racking up 31 total tackles and three sacks.

His path to the NFL was not always smooth sailing. 

The 335-pound lineman lost sixty pounds in 2015 after suffering from a burst appendix. Then in 2016, a tumor was found in Johnson’s leg.

Health issues contributed to Johnson transferring from Sacramento State to the City College of San Francisco before eventually landing at Arizona for his final season of college football.

Johnson projects to be a nose guard in the Lions 3-4 defense. He joins a draft class in Detroit that includes first round pick T.J. Hockenson, a tight end out of Iowa and Austin Bryant, a fourth round pick out of Clemson.


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