NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals select Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. with sixth overall pick

Paris Johnson Jr. is headed west to begin his NFL career.

The Arizona Cardinals used the No. 6 pick in the draft to pick the Ohio State left tackle.

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He became the first offensive lineman drafted and the second Buckeye after quarterback C.J. Stroud was taken second by the Houston Texans.

The Cincinnati native was an All-American last season and seemed to move up draft boards as the event drew closer.

He is the first Ohio State offensive tackle taken in the first round since Butler High School grad Taylor Decker was chosen by the Lions with the No. 16 pick in 2016.

That ended a drought that went back to Orlando Pace being the No. 1 overall pick of the Rams in 1997.

Since 1967 when the AFL and NFL merged drafts (starting the “common era”), Ohio State has had 13 offensive linemen drafted in the first round. That trails only USC (24) for the most.

Those Buckeyes are Dave Foley (Jets, 1969), Rufus Mayes (Bears, ‘69), John Hicks (Giants, ‘74), Chris Ward (Jets, ‘78), Kurt Schumacher (Saints, ‘79), William Roberts (Giants, ‘84), Jim Lachey (Chargers, ‘85), Korey Stringer (Vikings, ‘95), Nick Mangold (2006) and Billy Price (Bengals, ‘18).

Although the Cardinals are one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, they have chosen relatively few Ohio State players. Johnson is the 19th overall and first since Beanie Wells in 2009. That ties them with Washington for 11th most OSU draftees.

The only other pick this century was center Alex Stepanovich in 2004.

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