Arizona Cardinals 1940 first-round draft pick:
What would you say if the Cardinals nowadays cut the first overall draft pick without any warning? That’s what the Cards did for Cafego after the 1940 draft. That’s right, they cut the first overall pick in the draft that year.
Cafego would go on to serve in World War II. No stats for the Cardinals, but he did spend over 30 years coaching college football.
Arizona Cardinals 1941 first-round draft pick:
Make that two consecutive first-round picks cut by the Cardinals, this time it was John Kimbrough who went second overall to the Cards.
He would end up playing three years for the Los Angeles Dons as a dual threat player, accumulating over 1200 rushing yards and 574 receiving yards.
Arizona Cardinals 1942 first-round draft pick:
Steven Lach bucked the trend of first-round selections being cut by the Cardinals before seeing the field. Lach had 30 rushing attempts for 97 yards rushing, but 18 catches for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
Lach was sworn into the Navy that same year (1942) and would spend a few years playing football for the Great Lakes Blue Jackets (a football team inside the Navy).
Lach would be key to upsetting Ohio State and an undefeated Notre Dame in 1943. Notre Dame was 9-0 and lost 19-14.
Arizona Cardinals 1943 first-round draft pick:
Glenn Dobbs was another first-round pick that never played for the Cardinals and couldn’t come to terms on a contract. Dobbs went into the Air Force instead and would play a few years in the NFL and CFL.
Arizona Cardinals 1944 first-round draft pick:
During the lone year the Cardinals were known as the “Card-Pitt Carpets”, Pat Harder was one of 30, yes, 30 draft picks the Cardinals had in 1944. That was the height of World War II, and Harder didn’t play until 1946 as a result.
Harder would be a part of the 1947 NFL Championship team and rushed for over 2300 yards and 25 touchdowns before leaving after the 1950 season to sign with the Detroit Lions.
Arizona Cardinals 1945 first-round draft pick:
Finally, the Cardinals struck gold with Charley Trippi in the 1945 NFL Draft. He became part of the “Million Dollar Backfield” which helped the Cardinals win the 1947 title and make an appearance in the 1948 NFL Championship game.
Trippi had over 3,500 yards rushing with 23 rushing touchdowns to go alongside 1,321 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns.
On top of that, Trippi had over 2500 yards passing with 16 touchdowns.
Trippi could do it all and it showed. It’s one of the many reasons he is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Trippi at the time of this writing is the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame.
Arizona Cardinals 1946 first-round draft pick:
Another Cardinals draft pick that didn’t play for the team, as he reportedly was deciding between the NFL and finishing his degree.
Instead, Jones went on to play for the brand spankin’-new All-America Football Conference, signing with the (get ready for this) Miami Seahawks.
Look it up. It’s real.
Arizona Cardinals 1947 first-round draft pick:
Tex Coulter would never play for the Cardinals, and no reason could be found why. Next!
Arizona Cardinals 1948 first-round draft pick:
*Sigh*. Another player who never played for the Cardinals. But he did go on to have a career in six different football leagues (NFL, CFL, World Football League, NCAA, the original USFL, and the little-known Professional Spring Football League, PSFL).
Arizona Cardinals 1949 first-round draft pick:
Bill Fischer played his entire career with the Cardinals. The Chicago Native played his high school ball at nearby Lane Tech, and was selected to three Pro Bowls before retiring in 1953.