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.

Clemson's Isaiah Simmons reacts after stopping Alabama's Najee Harris during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2020, file photo, North offensive tackle Josh Jones of Houston (70) plays during the second half of the Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala. Jones was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the NFL football draft Friday, April 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Fourth round (114th overall)

Utah DT Leki Fotu
(Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Fourth round (131st overall)

LSU DL Rashard Lawrence
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Sixth round (202nd overall)
California ILB Evan Weaver
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin, left, avoids a tackle by Oregon State defensive back Jaydon Grant during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

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