Cardinals sign Dorian Johnson The Arizona Cardinals are inching closer to having all seven of their draft picks under contract.
On Friday afternoon, the team announced it agreed to terms with fourth round choice Dorian Johnson, an offensive lineman out of Pittsburgh who is expected to add depth to the team’s offense and could challenge for a starting spot at right guard.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Johnson was tabbed with the 115th overall selection in this year’s draft, a pick the Cardinals acquired in a draft-day trade that allowed the team to move back in the third round and add a fourth round selection.
Johnson’s rookie contract will keep him with the Cardinals through the 2020 season, and makes him the fifth Arizona draft choice to agree to terms with the franchise. First round selection Haason Reddick and second round pick Budda Baker are the lone remaining Cardinals’ draftees who have yet to agree to their first professional contract.
The news of Johnson’s signing comes a day after Arizona inked third round pick, Grambling State product Chad Williams, to a four-year contract.
Johnson started 40 consecutive games during his collegiate career at Pittsburgh and was a First Team All-American selection as a senior, becoming the first Panthers’ lineman to earn that honor since Ruben Brown did so back in 1994. Johnson’s primary position with the Panthers was left guard, where he made 39 career starts, but he also made two career starts at left tackle and one start at right guard.
Johnson reportedly slipped all the way to the fourth round in this year’s NFL Draft due to medical concerns regarding a liver issue that kept Johnson off of many teams’ draft boards. However, after the Cardinals selected Johnson, general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians confirmed that they felt Johnson’s liver condition was manageable and that it wasn’t a significant concern for the Cardinals prior to their selection of Johnson.
Even though Arizona returns four starting linemen from its 2016 roster, Johnson could find himself in a battle with second-year lineman Evan Boehm for the starting right guard job should the Cardinals give him an opportunity to play on the right side in training camp. Right guard is the only vacancy on the team’s offensive line, as starter Evan Mathis announced his retirement earlier this offseason.
A day after signing third round draft choice Chad Williams, the Arizona Cardinals announced they’ve agreed to terms with fourth round pick Dorian Johnson.