It’s time to stop worrying about the pick the Arizona Cardinals acquired from Houston

The Arizona Cardinals would love to see the Houston Texans lose this Sunday so their extra first-round pick stops falling, but it shouldn’t matter either way.
Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) stiff arms
Nov 19, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) stiff arms / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans have been around for 22 seasons, and they are still the only team in the NFL to never play in their respective conference’s title game. Sure, they’re the youngest organization in the league, but you would think after 21 previous seasons, they would have made at least one AFC title game. That alone could motivate Houston to continue their unprecedented climb, leaving the Arizona Cardinals with an even lower pick. 

Honestly, it shouldn’t matter if the Texans win the Super Bowl, as if it happens, then possessing the 32nd-overall pick is the situation the Cards find themselves in. Regardless, history is on Arizona’s side when it comes to picking late in and beyond the first round anyway, so let’s check out a few examples from the past during the Steve Keim era.

Let’s start with 2022, when top pick Trey McBride was drafted 55th overall. I think we can agree that McBride was one of Keim’s best picks over his decade leading the front office. If the Cards rolled with a player at any position who could have a second season (2025) similar to McBride’s, I’m sure very few fans would be complaining about that second first-rounder dropping the way it has in hindsight. 

Arizona Cardinals will unearth talent regardless of how far the pick falls

Sure, the Cardinals missed on Robert Nkemdiche way back in 2016 when they took him 29th overall, but fast-forward one season when they landed Budda Baker with the 36th overall pick. It’s safe to say Budda worked out rather well, even if he probably shouldn’t be in the Pro Bowl this season. 

What about Tyrann Mathieu (69th overall, 2013) or Markus Golden (58th overall, 2015), or even D.J. Humphries, as he was even a late-first-round pick? The Cardinals have drafted plenty of talent beyond the first half of, and even beyond the first round. So yeah, it would have been nice to have a higher pick, but it doesn’t mean general manager Monti Ossenfort won’t unearth a potential superstar

Just because the Arizona Cardinals second pick in the first round could fall even further, it doesn’t mean the team won’t snag a likely starter or even a future star, even if Houston shocks the NFL and wins the city’s and the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy. While the Texans face a tough task this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, don’t make the mistake in thinking their second pick in the first is devaluing. 

The Cardinals landed potential starters in the first, second, third, and even the sixth round last year alone, so if the pick freefalls, then so be it. 


(Historical data provided by Pro-Football-Reference)