The 7th-best Arizona Cardinals draft pick ever: Roger Wehrli
This is a toss-up between Roger Wehrli and Wilson. The two played together for a good amount of time during their careers, and both sit inside the top three when it comes to the teams’ interception leaderboard.
One could argue that Wilson deserves to be higher because of his 52 interceptions, which is a valid argument. But enough of that for now.
Wehrli was a first-round draft pick out of Missouri, where a tremendous 40-yard dash time vaulted him from a third-round prospect into the first round. What was his time? 4.5 seconds.
Yes, a sign of the times. Back in 1969, 4.5 was considered to be today’s 4.3’s of the world. Wehrli went on to grab 40 interceptions during his career, and according to the article linked above, Werhli often dismisses the title of the “NFL’s first shutdown corner,” a title that was given to him by Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.
His best stretch came from 1974 to 1977, when he made four-straight Pro Bowls and earned three All-Pro selections. After that, his total Pro Bowls would total up to seven.
Wehrli arguably saved his best for his last game ever. Wehrli, the team’s holder on the field goal unit, called his own number on a fake field goal run against the Giants in the strike-shortened 1982 season.
This video here breaks it down even more, but Wehrli scored on the fake in a game that was ultimately decided by three points. That win clinched the playoffs for the Cardinals.
Wehrli would get injured in practice a few days after this, resulting in surgery and the Cardinals losing blowout games to Washington in the final week of the season and Green Bay in the “Super Bowl Tournament.”
Wehrli retired in 1982 after 13 years with the team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Larry Wilson presented him to the hall, which as teammates, is a great way to end a long journey together.
Wehrli is 74 and still lives in Missouri, where he grew up and went to college.