15 all-time greatest draft picks in Arizona Cardinals history

Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw /Allsport /
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The 5th-best Arizona Cardinals draft pick ever: Adrian Wilson

North Carolina State. AdrianWilson. 5. player. 32. Safety. Career Stats. Pick Analysis

Adrian Wilson delivered more than his draft status could have ever asked for. A third-round pick by the Cardinals in 2001, Wilson took some time to get going. That was understandable, as the Cardinals were not a good team at all until roughly 2007, when they finished 8-8.

His breakout season came in 2006 when he made his first Pro Bowl and returned a fumble of 99 yards for a touchdown against the Falcons. From that point on, Wilson was the quiet and hard-hitting leader of the Cardinals.

Even with all of that work and time in Arizona (he had been one of the very few people to play with Pat Tillman), he was ignored when he spoke his mind in Super Bowl XLIII.

Despite Wilson’s pleas not to do so, defensive Coordinator Clancy Pendergast kept the defense in the dime. His teammates also sided with Pendergast, and thus Aaron Francisco was guarding Santonio Holmes. Pain.

Wilson would go on to play in Arizona through 2012 when he was released. Wilson originally signed with the Chicago Bears but was cut and then picked up by the New England Patriots, where he would play in a few preseason games but not make the final roster.

Wilson has been working as a scout for the Cardinals since that time and is still with the organization as of this writing. Wilson made five Pro Bowls and earned one All-Pro nod.