5 Cardinals first-round picks who did not live to expectations

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Leinart
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Matt Leinart /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) Garrison Hearst /

Garrison Hearst

Garrison Hearst was a Second-Team All-Pro in 1998 and a two-time Pro Bowler. You may also remember Hearst for returning to the league after a two-season absence following a gruesome ankle injury at the Georgia Dome during the 1998 NFL Playoffs. He would win the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2001 and the George S. Halas Courage Award in 2002.

But his time as a Phoenix/Arizona Cardinal was forgettable. With the Cardinals, Hearst scored four total touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving). One of the reasons for his low numbers stemmed from appearing in just 14 games between 1993 and 1994.

Hearst had a decent season in 1995 when he rushed for 1,070 yards. But his lack of scoring production sealed his fate, and come 1996, he struggled with an already-struggling Cincinnati Bengals team. He finally broke out in 1997 as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and enjoyed some of his best seasons for the Cardinals’ current division rival.

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He would end his career in 2004 as a member of the Denver Broncos. Hearst is one of those players Cardinal fans can consider a draft bust. However, he resurrected his career twice, once following his first four forgettable seasons, and again after rehabbing an ankle injury that could have claimed his career.