Ranking Cardinals’s 4 biggest NFL draft gems of the last decade

Even through a tough 10 years in Arizona, there have been some impressive draft hits.

Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles
Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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3. DE Markus Golden

Year, Round: 2015, 2nd (58th overall)

It didn't take long for Golden, who played his college ball at Missouri, to make an impact with the Cardinals.

After a rookie season where he started only six of the 15 games he appeared in, Golden had the breakout sophomore season of Cardinals fans' dreams: in 16 games (only three starts!) he had 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and 51 total tackles.

The only season he's ever been graded higher (by Pro Football Focus, of course) was this past season, when he was basically a situational pass-rusher for the Steelers and only played 230 total snaps. But over seven years with the Cardinals, Golden stacked up 35.5 sacks, 218 total tackles, and was responsible for 12 turnovers (one interception, 11 forced fumbles). After leaving for the New York Giants in 2020, he came back to Arizona for 2.5 more seasons, which isn't really as statistically important to this argument as it is just fun to reminisce about.

He's never been named to a Pro Bowl, which is a shame, but just about any team will take seven years of that type of production from a 2nd-round linebacker.