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 9th-best Arizona Cardinals draft pick ever: Jackie Smith

Tight End. JackieSmith. 9. player. 32. Career Stats. Pick Analysis. Northwestern State (LA)

The third and final player to wear the 81 for the Cardinals on this list is Jackie Smith. Smith is the all-time leader in receiving yards by a tight end in team history by a galaxy. His 7,918 yards tower entirely over the next person on the list (Doug Marsh, ~2K yards receiving).

A 10th-round pick in the 1963 draft, Smith played 13 seasons with the Cardinals and was pretty consistent for the most part. His best season came in 1967 when he broke the 1,000-yard mark for the only time in his career (1,205 yards that year).

What’s even more incredible is that the NFL only played 14 games in the regular season, and it was done in an era where running the ball was still the primary way most of the NFL operated. Smith retired after the 1977 season, but Dallas Cowboys and NFL Legend Tom Landry convinced him to come out of retirement.

Smith and the Cowboys went all the way to the Super Bowl that season- something Smith never achieved as the two previous times Smith was in the playoffs, the Cardinals were one-and-done.

Sadly, Smith is more known for his drop in the endzone when he was wide-open in Super Bowl XIII.

If Smith had caught the pass, the Cowboys would have been tied with the Steelers at the end of the third quarter. Instead, Dallas went on to lose after settling for a field goal instead.

Smith is a five-time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Smith is 82 years old.