Arizona Cardinals offensive line will be set for now and in the future
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals seemed to have nothing but trouble haunt their offensive line over the past few seasons, but that will change in 2023.
When the Arizona Cardinals selected Paris Johnson Jr., I knew they were onto something. With Johnson, the Cards would have their guard of the present, and left tackle of the future, along with current left tackle D.J. Humphries, center/guards Hjalte Froholdt and Jon Gaines II, guard Will Hernandez, and right tackle, Kelvin Beachum.
Not to mention the plethora of depth pieces general manager Monti Ossenfort signed. That said, you can forget about the immense drop-off in production we’ve seen across the offensive line over the past two seasons because of the inevitable injuries.
For the Cards up front, it’s ‘next man up’ if anyone goes down with an injury. Take Humphries, for example. If he had to miss time, the Cards have two viable options in Johnson and backup tackle, Josh Jones. If Froholdt went down, then Gaines could step in, and so on.
Arizona Cardinals are set at offensive line for 2023 and beyond
Okay, so what if we were to fast-forward three seasons? Then what? Honestly, no one can predict what will happen, but we can at least utilize some serious foresight.
If all goes to plan, then Johnson will move to tackle in time, while Humphries could stick around and either slide inside to guard, or move over to play right tackle. Gaines, despite the fact he predominantly played guard in college, looks like the center of the future, so let’s peg him in there.
Hernandez signed on for another pair of seasons. And if he performs well in 2023 and 2024, don’t be surprised if he signs on long-term in the desert.
So who plays right tackle, supposing Humphries slides in to guard? Josh Jones could be one option if he sticks around. Or, if Humphries stayed and jumped over to play right tackle, Jones could either man the guard position, or even someone like Lecitus Smith could slide in.
Overall, the sheer amount of depth on the Arizona Cardinals offensive line will, in the short term, keep them from experiencing a major drop off if the injury bug strikes again. Long term, the Cards could already have five guys who can slide in to form a formidable unit up front.
Source: Paris Johnson Jr. Makes Good First Impression With Cardinals by Darren Urban, AZCardinals.com