ARIZONA CARDINALS

LSU DL Rashard Lawrence selected by Cardinals in 4th round of NFL Draft

Apr 25, 2020, 10:41 AM | Updated: 2:36 pm
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)...
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Seventeen picks after taking Utah defensive tackle Leki Fotu in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals doubled down along the defensive line by selecting LSU Tigers product Rashard Lawrence with the 131st overall selection.

“We’re building the trenches up in Arizona,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence recorded 28 tackles, six for loss, and 2.5 sacks for the national champion Tigers as a senior in 2019.

His most productive season came in 2018, when he posted 54 tackles, 10 for loss, with 4.0 sacks.

Lawrence is familiar with Arizona, having earned the defensive MVP of the Fiesta Bowl in LSU’s 2019 win over UCF at State Farm Stadium.

“Arizona was special to me and it’s kind of crazy how I had my best game in there, enjoyed it so much and now I get to play 10-12 times a year in there,” he said. “It’s pretty special to go back to Phoenix and be a part of the Cardinals.”

He said that LSU receivers coach Mickey Joseph, the brother of Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, helped promote him to Arizona’s staff in the draft process. Lawrence knew the Cardinals graded him strongly and that he could be an option with one of their fourth-round picks.

The 6-foot-2 and 308-pound lineman joins a young defensive line for Arizona that includes Fotu, 2019 picks Zach Allen and Michael Dogbe, as well as last year’s undrafted free agent tackle Miles Brown.

Midway through the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was probably feeling good about his defensive line depth.

Arizona signed defensive end Jordan Phillips to join veteran Corey Peters this offseason and also brought back veteran Jonathan Bullard.

The Cardinals have two more picks left in the 2020 draft, if they do not make any trades.

They select again in the sixth round at 202nd overall and in the seventh round at 222nd.

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