3 - Paris Johnson, T
Few rookies receive Pro Bowl berths, and even fewer receive what I call “organic Pro Bowl berths.” The latter is a term when a player earns a trip to the Pro Bowl WITHOUT doing so as an alternate.
While Johnson received a PFF Grade of just 59.8 over the preseason, he was a stud pass blocker, snagging a grade of 74.8 in the category. Johnson’s elite pass blocking will be on full display early this season, and you will see steady improvements in his run blocking as the year wears on.
No, you don’t see offensive linemen playing under the new Pro Bowl Games format, but it will nonetheless be reassuring that general manager Monti Ossenfort struck gold with his first ever draft pick. You can’t say the same about Steve Keim, whose inaugural pick, Jonathan Cooper, rarely made an impact in the desert.
Johnson is one of those players who could see his name pop up annually for the Pro Bowl Games. And he has the potential to become the Arizona Cardinals version of Joe Thomas - let’s just hope the Redbirds eventually put themselves in a spot to win far more games with Johnson than the Cleveland Browns ever did with Thomas.
(Statistics and grades provided by PFF)