10 Worst First-Round Draft Picks by the Arizona Cardinals

Categories: Cardinals
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Ken Lund


The NFL draft is tonight, and the Arizona Cardinals have the 20th overall pick.

The Cardinals have been big winners and big losers with some past first round picks: There's Larry Fitzgerald, but there's Matt Leinart. There's Patrick Peterson, but there's Andre Wadsworth.

We took a look at all of the first-round picks the Cardinals have made since coming to Arizona in 1998, and let's hope tonight's pick isn't any worse than these -- the 10 worst first-round picks by the Arizona Cardinals:

10.) 1999: David Boston

Don't get us wrong: David Boston was a very good football player, and probably the most exciting thing about the Cardinals in the early 2000s (including 98 catches in 2001). He just turned into such a complete ass that you can't help but regret this pick, with the positive tests for cocaine and steroids, as well as the woman-punching and DUIs -- all of which miraculously happened after he left Arizona.

9.) 2003: Bryant Johnson

Johnson went on to a decent, 10-year career, which is longer than most guys get in the league. He was just never that good. Consider that the Cards used their second-round pick that year on Anquan Boldin.

8.) 1995: Pick Traded

The first in a three-part lesson on why you never trade your first-round draft pick. The Cardinals traded the '95 pick (16th overall) to the Jets for wide receiver Rob Moore. The Jets ended up picking Hugh Douglas, the defensive rookie of the year best known for his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, where the defensive end wound up at three Pro Bowls. Moore spent the next five years with the Cardinals, where he averaged about 64 catches a year.

7.) 2009: Beanie Wells

Well, he was a thousand-yard rusher once, but was often injured before being cut after the 2012 season. Hindsight is 20/20, but LeSean McCoy was the next running back selected in that year's draft.

6.) 1990: Pick Forfeited

Instead of having the second overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft, the Cardinals decided to give up that pick the previous year, by selecting quarterback Timm Rosenbach in the supplemental draft. Rosenbach started one year with the Cardinals, tossing 16 TD passes and 17 interceptions. Among the players chosen in the first round were future Hall-of-Famers Cortez Kennedy and Emmitt Smith, as well as eight other players who made at least one Pro Bowl appearance.

5.) 1998: Andre Wadsworth

Wadsworth was an oft-injured defensive end picked third overall in '98, and lasted three seasons in the NFL. There is one reason this pick wasn't that bad: It could have been worse. The Cardinals actually had the second overall pick, but San Diego traded its pick, third overall, to Arizona, plus wide receiver Eric Metcalf and linebacker Patrick Sapp, plus its second-round pick, plus the next year's first-round pick (which ended up being David Boston, dammit!). Of course, the Chargers used that pick on quarterback Ryan Leaf -- one of the biggest busts in NFL history.

4.) 1992: Pick traded

And here's lesson number three on why you don't trade your first-round draft pick.The Cardinals traded the seventh overall pick in '92 for Dolphins wide receiver Randal Hill, a former University of Miami star who was never great in the NFL. The Dolphins used that pick on Troy Vincent, a five-time Pro Bowler.

3.) 2002: Wendell Bryant

Bryant, a defensive tackle, lasted two whole seasons in the NFL, largely due to repeated violations of the league's substance-abuse policy.

2.) 2007: Levi Brown

Brown lasted as a starter on the Cardinals' offensive line for five years, was a starter on the team that went to the Super Bowl, and he's still near the top of this list. That's because any time a Cardinals quarterback did get hit, it seemed to be Brown's fault. Consider that after Brown was moved to left tackle in 2010, the Cardinals hopped on the suck train again.

Brown's also one of the biggest cases of buyer's remorse for the Cardinals, as Adrian Peterson was the fellow selected two picks after Brown was picked back in '07.

1.) 2006: Matt Leinart

It seemed like such a good idea at the time . . .

The only other quarterback from that draft who's a starter in the NFL is Jay Cutler, who was picked directly after Leinart.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.

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5 comments
ccosta
ccosta

St Louisan here:  You stole the Cardinals in 1988 not 1998. And while we're on years that end in 8(2008 to be specific), GO STEELERS! (Had to select a different team since there wasn't one in St Louis at the time...)

marcy
marcy

You can always count on the Cardinals to:


1) Make money for the Bidwells

2) Put up the minimum team needed to avoid being run out of town on a rail

3) Lose

Albert Silva
Albert Silva

Only 10 oh this is the 10 worst sorry. Matt Lienart #1

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