Versatile OL Kenyon Green an intriguing option for Cardinals at No. 23

Mar 4, 2022, 11:13 AM

Kenyon Green #OL18 of the Texas A&M Aggies speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the ...

Kenyon Green #OL18 of the Texas A&M Aggies speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 3, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals offensive line has shown noticeable improvement since head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray came to town in 2019.

Murray’s sack numbers haven’t gone for more than 31 since getting taken down 48 times his rookie season and the team’s running game has proven to be a crucial part in the team’s success.

But despite seeing that upward trend and adding the likes of starting center Rodney Hudson to the fold, question marks remain along the trenches for the Cardinals as they dive into the offseason, notably at both guard spots.

While Josh Jones won the starting right guard spot ahead of the regular season, the second-year pro regressed as the season went on, eventually making way for Max Garcia, who received mainly backup center reps throughout training camp.

Justin Murray, another name that was vying for right guard, is coming off a season-ending back injury that required surgery.

And with starting left guard Justin Pugh turning 32 in August and playing in the final year of his contract, Arizona would be smart on adding a versatile lineman who can be plugged and played in Kingsbury’s offense at a moment’s notice.

Enter Texas A&M OL and prospective first-round pick in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft Kenyon Green.

Green, who turns 21 on March 15, started all 12 games for the Aggies last season at four different positions along the offensive line.

“(NFL teams) say (versatility) is very important and very rare,” Green told reporters Thursday. “I’m blessed and able to play different positions, show my talent at different positions. I’m grateful for it.”

His freshman year, Green started 13 games as the team’s right guard. The following season, he moved to left guard and started nine games. This past year, he added both tackle spots to his resume.

It’s clear Green is viewed as an intriguing first-round option in the draft, with as many as 15 teams meeting with the lineman at the NFL Combine, he said. Green added that NFL teams see him more as a guard but have had conversations with some about being a swing tackle.

Green’s combine numbers have only helped his draft stock. Getting the brunt of the combine experience Friday with the rest of the invited lineman, the 6-foot-3 Green weighed in at 323 pounds and posted hand measurements of 34 1/8 inches. His wingspan sits at an impressive 83 3/8 inches. He put up 20 bench press reps.

If Murray is the Cardinals’ long-term option at quarterback, adding a versatile lineman like Green should be one of Arizona’s top priorities this offseason, especially if an extension of any kind gets done sooner rather than later with the signal caller.

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