ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ Paris Johnson, Ojulari crack NFL.com’s All-Rookie Team projection

Jul 2, 2023, 8:15 AM

Cardinals Paris Johnson at rookie minicamp...

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Two Arizona Cardinals rookies are already garnering outside attention early on in their NFL development.

Both offensive lineman Paris Johnson and linebacker BJ Ojulari were included in NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter’s 2023 NFL All-Rookie Team projections released Monday.

Johnson, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, joins the Cardinals after playing both guard and tackle during his time at Ohio State.

He worked primarily at right tackle during minicamp, although head coach Jonathan Gannon likes his versatility to play multiple spots on the line.

It’s unclear where Johnson will line up as a rookie after playing both guard and tackle during his college career. Veteran Kelvin Beachum could get the nod at right tackle, bumping Johnson to left guard, where he would move defenders on run plays and protect Colt McCoy until Kyler Murray returns from injury.

Josh Jones and Elijah Wilkinson are two more names to watch for added competition at tackle. And if Johnson were to move inside, his competition would likely be Dennis Daley, Lecitus Smith and fellow rookie Jon Gaines II. 

Johnson worked primarily at right tackle during minicamp, although head coach Jonathan Gannon likes his versatility to play multiple spots on the line.

Ojulari was the No. 41 overall pick in 2023 by first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort.

The Cardinals selected two pass rushers in the third round in 2022 (Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders), but new head coach Jonathan Gannon still invested a second in Ojulari to form a strong rotation — just like he had in Philadelphia. BJ has the length and hustle to emulate his brother, Azeez Ojulari, who had eight sacks as a rookie for the Giants in 2021.

The 6-foot-2, 248-pounder has a chance to start right away given Arizona’s current pass-rushing makeup that includes Thomas, Sanders, Dennis Gardeck and Zaven Collins.

That’s not to say he won’t have his work cut out for him, especially after missing mandatory minicamp due to injury.

Ojulari also represents the only member of the Cardinals’ 2023 draft class yet to sign his rookie contract.

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