We are now just one week away from the 2011 NFL Draft. Cardinals fans everywhere are hoping for the next star in the draft -- someone who makes a huge impact on the team's fortune. Since 1990, Arizona has had their share of successes and sadly their share of busts.We continue the success stories, now at number seven.
Who is number seven? It is Eric Swann.
Eric Swann was the sixth pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, taken by the Arizona Cardinals. He was widely known as a high-risk, high-reward player at the time. He did not disappoint, although he did have to deal with knee injuries that eventually ended his career.
He did not play college football. He was drafted from the Bay State Titans, a semi-pro team in Massachusetts.
As a member of the Cardinals, he became perhaps the most dominant defensive tackle of the mid-90s when he was healthy. He played in two Pro Bowls (1995, 1996) and three time logged at least seven sacks from the interior line. When he was healthy (and while he played a lot of games, he played with hurt knees) he was one of the most disruptive players I ever saw play.
Sadly, he spent his career on terrible teams. The one year the Cardinals made the playoffs, after the 1998 season, Swann was hurt and could not play.
In 1999, he had to have microfracture surgery, effectively ending his career. He attempted a comeback with the Carolina Panthers in 2000, but played little and then retired.
Even with the knee problems, he was a dominant force on defense. We can only imagine how much better he could have been had he not had to deal with being injured. In any case, he certainly warrants a spot in our Top 10 list.
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