Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
"Oh no. Don't do that. You'll just make him mad."
When it comes to talking about why the Arizona Cardinals had such a poor season in 2012 there are a couple of theories that are most commonly pointed to as explanations for their lack of success:
Theory 1: The Cardinals were so bad last year because of their bad quarterback play. The lack of a reliable signal caller lead to defenses stacking the box against the run, and this was impossible for a mediocre offensive line to deal with.
Theory 2: The Cardinals were so bad last year because of their bad offensive line play. The lack of reliable pass protection lead to defenses being able to pressure the quarterback, creating an impossible situation for a mediocre quarterback to deal with.
Interesting how these two theories are really two sides of the same coin. Are the Cardinals a team with bad QBs, or a bad offensive line? Is it both? Are Zebras black with white stripes? Or white with black stripes? You could easily make an argument either way, and no one would fault you for it. One thing however is clear. The Cards are a team with holes on the offensive side of the ball, and they plan to use the draft to fill at least one of them.
Putting the fact that Geno Smith, the only clear first round QB, is already off the board; Bruce Arians, the incoming Cards Head Coach, has previously stated that he isn't looking for a quarterback in the first round of this year's draft. This tells me that the Cardinals are looking at shoring up their offensive line at the NFL's selection meeting in April, and at the 7th pick, the logical choice is really more of a What than a Who.
Standing a towering 6'6", and riding into the draft on an ox from Oklahoma University, Lane Johnson has the size and athleticism to make up for the Cardinals dearth of depth on the left side of the O-Line. Johnson is a monster, as much as the cliché is well... clichéd, the guy is the real deal, honest to Bob, bring-me-my-brown-pants monster. At the NFL's recent scouting combine, Johnson had the best results in five out of the six big measurable categories for offensive linemen. He bosses defenders with his combination of quick feet, and powerful handwork on the body of a defender. He will maul you to death and he plays with an attitude. He's not afraid to get to the second level of the defense, and he plays with great pad-height for a guy his size. All of these things are why he makes the best choice for the Cards at number seven on the big board.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE: If the whole offensive line thing doesn't work out, Johnson was actually an All-State QB in Texas as a senior in high school, so maybe if needed, he can play a few snaps for the Cards. Can you imagine seeing that guy under center? All kidding aside, his experience at QB is added value to Johnson's draft stock because it means he will have the ability to read defenses and can understand the intricacies of an NFL blocking scheme. The Cards need help on their O-Line and Lane Johnson is ready to give it to them.
AS IF THAT WEREN'T ENOUGH: Here is a video of some of Johnson's best work at Oklahoma, enjoy!
Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.
Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.
Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2013 CSC Community Draft Section.
|Pick||Team||Selection||Team Representative||Approval Rating|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||
OT Luke Joeckel - Texas A&M
QB Geno Smith - West Virginia
||Dragon Ninja Warrior||48%|
CB Dee Milliner - Alabama
OT Eric Fisher - Central Mich.
DE Dion Jordan - Oregon
DE/OLB Ezekiel Ansah - BYU
||Fan since the Aints|
|7||Arizona Cardinals||OT Lane Johnson - Oklahoma
||Joseph Williams Stern|