3 NFL Draft first-round mistakes that continue to haunt the Arizona Cardinals

Looking back at recent memory, the Arizona Cardinals had the chance to draft some current stars in the NFL.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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1.) Trading down with the Houston Texans in 2023, losing out on Will Anderson Jr.

It was just last year when the Cardinals and Houston Texans made a big trade that would send the number three overall pick to Houston. With that pick, the Texans would pick the current Defensive Rookie of the Year, Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama. In return for the pick, Arizona received picks #12 (which they would trade up to #6), #33, and a first and third round pick in 2024. Even though the Cardinals do have another first round pick to work with, it is hard to imagine that the 27th pick in this year’s draft could provide the same impact that Anderson did for the Texans last season.

Anderson Jr. would eventually earn Pro Bowl honors with 7 sacks, 45 total tackles and a pass deflection from the line of scrimmage. Arizona had the chance to bring in a future star pass rusher but decided to build up for this draft. The Cardinals were near the bottom of the league in terms of getting pressure on quarterbacks last year.