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(I wrote this about a month ago for my other blog, but I will tweak and edit to put here, since there’s more feedback from WordPress.)
So with the season pretty much over (and beyond over for my team), I feel like ranking the last decade of first round picks (since 2002) the Cardinals have had and see what our stance is. Maybe I’ll throw some opinions I have in it as well. I’m not going to be including 2012 pick Michael Floyd. That would be unfair.
11. Wendell Bryant, DT, 2002 – got shafted for drugs 3 years in. He did not produce at all. In his short time, he has barely notched more than a sack (1.5) and less than 40 tackles. He has spent a few years in the UFL but he just can’t really stay. He sits in FA, hoping to get signed but seeing as how things are, he’s going to sit there forever.
10. Bryant Johnson, WR, 2003 – was with the Cards throughout his rookie contract but he didn’t really produce. After that played for several teams and most recently with Houston in 2011 and currently a FA.
09. Levi Brown, LT, 2007 – showed great promise but rated worse offensive lineman in all of NFL. Only kept on roster cause Cards thought he was best of the bad it seems. Has some sparks but seemingly an under achiever. His name was praised because Cards are thin at OL under him when he went down. Personally, he’s making too much and not producing enough. Cut him. The young guys got this.
08. Matt Leinart, 2006, QB – great projected QB, I thought. He was thrown into bad situations and was never really given a fair shot/enough time as a starting QB. I think his career was jeopardized because he showed a lot of promise, just bad timing. I mean, he was a Heisman winner. All American. Then he had to contend with Warner. Sigh. He was released from AZ in 2010 because Coach Whiz likes to play favorites.
07. Dan Williams, 2010, DT – continues to get better every year. Has had some early issues but I think he is over coming them quite well. Works great in a rotational role. Hope he only gets better and better.
06. Beanie Wells, 2009, RB – has lots of ups and downs, and injury prone. Has potential but isn’t quite living up to expectations at the moment. Had really good year in 2011 but couldn’t transfer over to 2012. At this point, status going into 2013 is uncertain with Cards and new coaching regime.
05. Calvin Pace, 2003, DE/LB – I thought he was really good from the get go. The fact that he only got better after he was converted to DB was something really special. He was with AZ till 2007 when he decided to sign with the Jets via FA. He is now their starting DB.
04. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 2008, CB – played pretty well making it to pro bowl in his second year. Very explosive and fast, pulling INT after INT. Sad to see him traded away in 2011 to the Eagles for a struggling QB in Kolb.
03. Antrel Rolle, 2005, S – all American, pro bowl, all pro, and did that within a few years in the franchise. Was truly a difference maker. Fast and efficient. Was let go in 2010 when AZ couldn’t afford to pay his salary. Was truly a great loss.
02. Patrick Peterson, 2011, CB – very solid and rewarding pick. Pro bowl and record setting rookie season for punt returns and pro bowl for CB (7 INT) play this year. That makes 2 straight pro bowls and I’m glad he has come through for us. He’s just going to get better and better as time goes on and with some luck, he stays in AZ his whole career.
01. Larry Fitzgerald, 2004, WR – come on, if you don’t know who this guy is, you have been sleeping. He needs no explanation. Arguably one of the best NFL WR in the league. Signed with team through 2018, he is a captain on and off the field involving himself in many events and services. Sucks that he didn’t win Man of the Year.