A Look Back at the Arizona Cardinals 2002 Draft

The 2002 draft for the Arizona Cardinals seemed promising at the time. The team was coming off an encouraging 7-9 season in the first full season under Dave McGinnis. They had the 12th overall pick and would have an additional third round pick, thanks to a compensatory selection. Oh but it didn't turn out quite so rosy.

First Round Pick: Wendell Bryant DT - Wisconsin 

Bryant was supposed to be a devestating defensive tackle who could not only stuff the run. He ran an impressive 4.77 forty heading into the draft after a senior season that saw him rack up 16.5 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Bryant's game didn't translate to the NFL though considering that he only lasted three seasons in the league. He would play in a total of 29 games, starting nine of them. Bryant ended his career with just 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Bryant never caught on with another team after being cut before the 2005 season.

Other possible selections: Jeremy Shockey, Albert Haynesworth, Lito Sheppard

Levar_fisher_medium Second Round Pick: Levar Fisher LB - North Carolina State

Fisher was an undersized line backer who made a ton of plays at North Carolina State with dedication and heart. Unfortunately though, he proved an even bigger bust than the Cardinals first round pick. Fisher would also only play three seasons, but his line is even worse because his third season was wiped out by injuries. his time in amounted to 23 games, 15 of which he started, and 80 tackles. Fisher would sign with the Saints after the 2004 season but he would get cut during the following training camp.

Other possible selections: Clinton Portis, Michael Lewis, Antwan Randle El

Third Round Pick: Josh McCown QB - Sam Houston State 

McCown had an amazing combine after a breakout senior season at D-II Sam Houston State (after transferring from SMU) that saw him pass for nearly 3,500 yards and 32 touchdowns. Scouts questioned his decisionMccown_medium making ability and consistency but others wrote that off to him having three offensive coordinators in four seasons of college ball. McCown went on to play four seasons in Arizona and would start over 20 games. He wouldn't become a starter until late in his second season but his play towards the end of 2003 would offer some hope (790 yards, 5 TDs and 2 INTs in final four games). He would start every game that he was healthy in 2004 but inconsistency was still the name of his game. He'd finish with 11 TD and 10 INTs in 14 games. The 2005 season, his final in Arizona,  would bring more inconsistency (9 TDs & 11 INTs) and more injuries (played in just 9 games). He has since bounced around from Detroit to Oakland and most recently in Miami.

Other possible picks: Chris Baker, Brian Westbrook, Chris Hope

Third Round Pick: Dennis Johnson DE - Kentucky

Johnson was an undersized (6'4 258), junior defensive end who had a breakout season with 12 sacks. He was labeled a 'game wrecker' by some even though most considered him an underachiever until his breakout season. He was just another in the line of underwhelming picks in this draft though considering that by 2004, he'd be playing in San Fransisco and by the 2005, he'd be out of the league. He'played in less than 30 games (10 starts) and finish his career with just 57 tackles and 3 sacks.

Other possible selections: Alex Brown, David Thorton, David Garrard

Fourth Round Pick: Nate Dwyer DT - Kansas

Dwyer carried the label of a "workout warrior" with a bench press over 500 pounds and a squat over 700 pounds. On the field at Kansas, he backed it up his senior season with 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and a first team All-Conference selection. Dwyer never got close to transitioning to the NFL game though. He'd spend most of the 2002 season on the practice squad and would be cut during camp prior to the 2003 season. He never appeared in an NFL game.

Other possible selections: Randy McMichael, Larry Foote, Najeh Davenport

Fifth Round Pick: Jason McAddley WR - Alabama

McAddley jumped up draft boards from a late round prospect (if drafted at all) to an middle round pick after after an impressive Senior Bowl and combine workout. Scouts wondered at the time how a guy who looked so good in practice yet end a four year college career with 71 receptions for 1,020 yards and 8 touchdowns. The Cardinals decided he was worth the gamble though and he actually ended up starting 8 games his rookie season thanks to an injury to David Boston (more to come on his new career in the upcoming week). McAddley ended his rookie season with 25 receptions for 362 yards and a touchdown but that would prove to be the high point of his career. He played the next three seasons for Arizona (2003), Tennessee (2004), and San Francisco (2005) and those three seasons amounted to a combined 13 receptions and his ticket out of the NFL.

Other possible selections: Aaron Kampman, Robert Royal

Josh_scobey_medium Sixth Round Pick: Josh Scobey RB/KR - Kansas State

Scobey came out after two very productive years at Kansas State, but there were questions about his running style (too upright) and his ability to be a complete running back. Many considered him nothing more than a special team return guy and to their credit, they were exactly right. Scobey has 27 career carries on his resume but his career has been marked by excelling on kickoff returns. He'd spend his first three seasons in Arizona and return over 100 kickoffs for 2,407 yards and a touchdown. He even led the league in kickoff return yardage his second season. After his third season, he'd move on to Seattle and spent just over two seasons there before moving onto Buffalo during the 2007 season.

Other possible selections: Justin Hartwig, Adrian Peterson (the other one), Chester Taylor

Seventh Round Pick: Mike Banks TE - Iowa State

Banks was considered one of the better blocking tight ends of the 2002 draft but he only lasted two seasons in the NFL, both with the Cardinals. He never caught a pass and fell out of favor with Dennis Green when he took over and he was cut prior to the 2004 season.

Other possible selections: Ronald Curry, Raheem Brock, Brett Keisel

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Wow. Eight picks and only two of them are still in the league. The Cardinals didn't keep a single pick past his rookie contract and they couldn't find a single decent starter out of the entire draft. If they'd have forfeited each pick at least I could have given them a F, but wasted money and at least 4 busts have to lower this to a F minus.

Just a point of reference, drafts like this are what cause a team to have 5 consecutive double digit loss seasons. Worst draft ever?

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