Cardinals questions post-NFL Draft: Who’s the frontrunner at left guard?

May 4, 2024, 7:07 AM

The Arizona Cardinals replenished their roster and upgraded multiple positions with an addition of 12 NFL Draft picks.

With arguably the biggest piece of Arizona’s offseason now behind it, the attention turns to the depth chart and how the Cardinals’ roster will shake out.

While there’s still plenty of time before the pads come on, there’s no shortage of question marks surrounding Arizona ahead of Year 2 under head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort.

After taking a look at Michael Wilson’s prospects as Arizona’s WR2, it’s onto the interior offensive line.

Who secures the starting left guard spot?

For the most part, the Cardinals offensive line looks set.

Regardless of where second-year pro Paris Johnson Jr. lines up — left tackle seems like the logical move — he and Jonah Williams appear to have the outside locked up.

Along the interior, Hjalte Froholdt and Will Hernandez should be back in their respective roles at center and right guard.

The same can’t be said at left guard. There wasn’t a spot along Arizona’s offensive line that varied more in 2023. Elijah Wilkinson, Dennis Daley, Trystan Colon and Carter O’Donnell all got cracks as a starter but never consistently hung onto the role due to injuries or inconsistent play.

Plenty of names to watch at LG

There is no shortage of candidates for left guard.

Wilkinson and Colon are two returning players to watch given their roles last season.

The same goes for second-year pro Jon Gaines II, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury. Before he was placed on injured reserve with the knee issue, Gaines had caught Arizona’s eye as a potential backup center who could also play either guard spots if need be.

But the most intriguing name to keep tabs on for more reasons than one is newcomer Evan Brown.

The former Seattle Seahawks interior lineman has spent most of his time operating the center spot but brings enough versatility to slide over to guard.

He only got one start at left guard last year, but Brown was above average behind a Pro Football Focus grade of 63.5. He was especially effective in passing situations with a 72.5 grade compared to 67.4 in the run game.

Brown also got a lot of run on the right side in his final season with the Detroit Lions where he posted an offensive PFF grade of 64.8.

There’s also the thought that Brown could compete for the starting center job with Froholdt, though Arizona may want to keep as much continuity as possible.

Rookie Isaiah Adams out of Illinois marks another option.

A prospect who loves moving people against their will, Adams played left guard for the Fighting Illini in 2022 before moving to right tackle this past season.

But regardless of the unknown at the position, the Cardinals at the very least have plenty of options to run through this offseason.

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