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 12th-best Arizona Cardinals draft pick ever: Roy Green

32. Career Stats. Pick Analysis. WR. RoyGreen. 12. Henderson State. player

The number 81 stands out for the Cardinals. Multiple greats have worn it, such as Jackie Smith in the 60s and early 70s. Roy Green took over that number in 1982 and sure did it justice.

Green was initially drafted to play cornerback and safety when he was selected in the fourth round of the 1979 draft out of NAIA Henderson State. Pro Football reference doesn’t have much on his stats, but he did nab a few interceptions.

Green also starred on special teams, where he took a 106-yard kickoff back for a score his rookie season and almost had 2,000 kickoff return yards in his first two years.

The switch from defense to offense occurred when the legendary and late Jim Hanifan saw him catching passes one day after practice. The first game he saw action in was the then-division rival Cowboys.

In that game, Green’s first reception was a 60-yard bomb. That was a foreshadowing of what was to come.

After those first two years, he was mainly used on offense, where he racked 8,496 yards and 66 touchdowns in his time with the Cardinals. Green’s 66 career touchdowns were the most by a player in team history from his departure from the Cardinals in 1990 to 2011, when Larry Fitzgerald passed Green on that list.

Not only that, but he had the nickname Roy “Jet Stream” Green. It doesn’t get better than that. Green is 64 years old.