Now that we have completed the more depressing series of Arizona Cardinals draft busts since 1990, we now present you with the ten biggest draft successes in the same time frame. Believe it or not, the Cardinals have had their share of successes, despite years of ineptitude. This series is a little bit tougher because it includes lower round surprises and players that were drafted highly with expectations who have been every bit the player or even more than was hoped.
We begin with the 10th biggest success, taking us all the way back to 1990 to remember running back Johnny Johnson.
The Cardinals drafted Johnson in the seventh round of the 1990 NFL Draft. He was the 169th player selected.
The Cardinals' first draft choice that year was Anthony Thompson, who turned out to be one of the team'sbiggest draft busts. He was expected to be the featured running back that year. Instead, Johnson became the team's best offensive player. He rushed for 926 yards as a rookie and had it not for an eventual rookie running back picked in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys that year (Emmitt Smith), Johnson likely would have been the Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Despite not earning this recognition, he did make the Pro Bowl that season.
1991 was not as successful, as he gained 666 yards that year, he came back and played very well in 1992, albeit with injury, In only 12 games, he gained over 700 yards on the ground.
He was traded during the 1993 NFL Draft to the New York Jets so that the Cardinals could draft Garrison Hearst, who would not live up to be the back of the future but still had a 1000 yard season in Phoenix. Johnson, meanwhile, led the AFC in yards from scrimmage that year and led the Jets in both rushing and receiving yards.
His impact on the Cardinals was not for a long period of time, but combining his very low draft status and the success he had, including a Pro Bowl selection his rookie season, earns him the 10th biggest draft success for Arizona.
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