Arizona Cardinals First Round Draft History


The Arizona Cardinals have had their share of gems and busts in the first round since moving to Arizona in 1988. This year, 2010, the Cardinals have the number 26 pick in the first round and all indications are no matter who they get at the position, it will be someone who can make an impact immediately.

Let’s take a look at some of the players the Cardinals have taken in the first round since 1988.

Ken Harvey, their first pick after moving to Arizona, as we all know, paid great dividends for the team.  he always played hard, tough, and smart, even for a team that never sniffed the playoffs during his time here.

Eric Swann, a 1991 first round pick,  ended up with 46.5 sacks in his career and was a two-time pro bowler.  So, you can consider him a good pick most definitely.  You can make the same case for Simeon Rice, a 1996 first round pick.  Even though he left town with a parting shot, calling Arizona the “armpit of the NFL“, I still respect him for his play on the field.

Eric Hill, Leonard Davis, Calvin Pace, all names that can be considered great contributors to the Cards history.

Of course then there is Larry Fitzgerald, who, in my opinion and I’m sure others, is the best first round pick the Cards have made in Arizona.  Fitzgerald is arguably the best receiver in today’s NFL and the Cards wouldn’t have finally made themselves relevant in the NFL without his performance.

Then there are the busts.

Wendall Bryant comes to mind.  So does Garrison Hearst, although to be fair, he did produce for the San Francisco 49ers after leaving Arizona.  Injuries took their toll on him. Andre Wadsworth is another name that comes to me like claws on a chalkboard.

Another name that comes to mind on the offensive side of the ball is Bryant Johnson.  A surprise pick out of Penn State, he was slated to be the Cards third receiver, behind Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.  He never materialized as a go to guy like Steve Breaston did as the third receiver, who now moves up to number two behind Fitz.

Bottom line, you never know what you are going to get until you get him out on the field.  You’ll notice I never brought up Matt Leinart until now.  I think the jury is still out on him and this season will say a lot which way the jury swings on him.

Scott Allen