Arizona Cardinals: Top Five Pass Rushers In History

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The Arizona Cardinals are in need of a consistent pass rusher once again

The Arizona Cardinals have had their share of decent pass rushers and they have a couple of players on the team now that can get to the quarterback.  However the biggest problem has been consistency.  Now as the 2015 NFL Draft approaches, I take a look at my top five pass rushers in Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals history.

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This list includes two defensive ends, two defensive tackles, and a linebacker.  There are a few honorable mentions I will be throwing in at the end as well.  After I reviewed the history the Cardinals have been blessed with individual talent at times in guys that can get to the quarterback.

1. Ken Harvey

To me he is number one because he did it from the linebacker position.  From 1988 until 1993, he gave it his all for the the Phoenix Cardinals.  He ended up with 47.5 sacks during his time in Arizona.  He also recovered five fumbles.

Harvey was the first draft pick of the Phoenix Cardinals after moving from St. Louis.  After spending the first part of his career with the Cardinals, he played for the Washington Redskins from 1994-1999.

Best season as a Cardinal: In 1990 he had 10 sacks and 99 tackles to go along with one fumble recovery

Best game as a Cardinal: On December 9, 1990 at the Atlanta Falcons he had three sacks in a 24-13 victory.  He tied that feat two other times, once in a loss.

2. Simeon Rice

The defensive end was drafted 3rd overall in the 1996 draft out of Illinois by the Cardinals.  He spent five seasons in the desert before six with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his final season split between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

Rice was a great player with a great distaste for playing in Arizona.  He once called Arizona the “armpit of the NFL”.  I know a number of fans and media that took exception to that.  He bolted in free agency to Tampa and never recanted his words.  It was such a shame that for a franchise that gave him his start was so disliked by him.

Aside from character, Rice is the best defensive end that has played in Arizona talent wise.  He had 51.5 sacks in his five seasons in Arizona.  He had nine forced fumbles and one interception in his five seasons here.  He was on only one winning team during his time here but that didn’t keep him from being one of the best ends in all of football at the time.

Best season as a Cardinal: In 1999 he had 16.5 sacks, 38 tackles, and five forced fumbles.

Best game as a Cardinal: On November 19, 2000 in a 34-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Rice had three sacks.  It was his only three-sack game as a Cardinal.

3. Darnell Dockett

Up until the end of the 2014 season, Dockett spent all of his career in Arizona since being drafted by the Cardinals in 2004.  Last month Dockett left Arizona in free agency and signed with the NFC West division foe San Francisco 49ers.

Dockett was a popular individual during his stay in Arizona.  He played huge on the field and was a big personality off of it was as well.  During his tenure in Arizona, Dockett had 40.5 sacks from his defensive tackle position.

Dockett spent all of 2014 on injured reserve but is expected to be healthy for the 2015 season.  He seemed to be on the decline after five sacks in 2010.  However in 2013 he seemed to be turning things around again.  He never had more than nine sacks in a season but could always be counted on.

Best season as a Cardinal: In 2007 Dockett had nine sacks, 37 tackles, and three fumble recoveries.

Best game as a Cardinal: On November 29, 2009 Dockett had three sacks and four tackles in a 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans.