5 Arizona Cardinals who exceeded their draft expectations

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) Tyrann Mathieu
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) Tyrann Mathieu /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Tyrann Mathieu /

Tyrann Mathieu – S (2013)

While many will remember Tyrann Mathieu for his days with the Kansas City Chiefs, he still made significant contributions to the Cardinals. A third-round pick out of LSU, Mathieu earned a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2013. Two seasons later, he followed up his stellar play with a trip to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro Honors.

Mathieu may have seen more honors come during his still-ongoing run with Kansas City, but one can argue his best season as a pro came with the Cardinals in 2015. That season, he logged 89 combined tackles, deflected 17 passes, and recorded five interceptions. He also logged a career-high 92-yard pick-six.

While it always stings to see a former player continue to exceed expectations elsewhere, the Cardinals have since remedied Mathieu’s absence with Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson, the latter of whom received an honorable mention for this list.