3 burning questions for the Arizona Cardinals offensive line in 2023

The Arizona Cardinals offensive line is one of the deepest in the NFL, and it could be one major reason why the entire offense plays better-than-advertised.
Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

Most experts and analysts claim the 2023 Arizona Cardinals have no hope. But when you have a deep offensive line, there is always hope. And fortunately, the Cardinals have a line full of capable starters and high-quality backups in the event an injury occurs. 

This offensive line should perform well in run blocking, and the run-first system will help the Cards move the ball on the ground. But that doesn’t mean the Redbirds unit doesn’t come without its fair share of question marks. 

Burning questions for the Arizona Cardinals offensive line

1 - Where will Paris Johnson play?

Paris Johnson will wind up as the Cardinals franchise left tackle, but he will likely start his career at guard. This is a repeat of Johnson’s journey when he was playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes, so he is more than familiar with playing the position. 

But, Arizona drafted Johnson to be a tackle, so don’t be surprised if you see him getting some preseason reps there. Once he proves he can outplay the incumbent D.J. Humphries, you will see him move to left tackle. There is also a chance he plays right tackle this season, but he will also have to wrestle the job from Kelvin Beachum. 

2 - Just how good is this projected starting five?

The Arizona Cardinals already had a deep line in place, even if they lacked a true center until they finally signed one in Pat Elflein. Eflein’s presence will give the Cards a center with plenty of starting experience while Johnson and Will Hernandez will likely flank him. 

Humphries and Beachum, a pair of experienced starters with the former being just two seasons removed from a Pro Bowl campaign, round out the starting five. If the group stays healthy, expect a solid floor from the 2023 NFL Draft’s best offensive lineman and his four experienced linemates and an elite ceiling. Best yet, they will open a lot of lanes for the running backs. 

3 - Will the offensive line cut down on the penalties in 2023?

Not only was former head coach Kliff Kingsbury adept at mismanaging games, he also never figured out how to discipline his offensive line. While there was undeniable talent and experience in the group, the Cardinals line seemed to be setting the offense back on virtually every drive. 

Under head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, the revamped line has a chance to exorcise old demons. And if they can keep the penalties to a minimum this season, then even a team slated to be terrible in 2023 will generate much better returns offensively since they won’t be constantly setting themselves back thanks to endless holding calls and false starts.