Every NFL draft can't be a winner. It's based on perception and potential, after all. For every can't-miss prospect the scouting department incorrectly identifies, a diamond in the rough shines through. And the Arizona Cardinals have made both mistakes and prudent choices since moving to the desert. Therefore, in a filler blog until the draft comes along, examples of both, David Letterman Top Ten (going to be seven with accordance to current number of rounds) style.
Best 7th Round Choice
Could go with LaRod Stephens-Howling (2009), Ernie "Indiana" Jones (1988), Johnny Johnson (1990) Reynaldo Hill (2001), but I'm going with Pat Tillman (1998) because of his implications off the field as well as on. True hero. (Pat's Run coming up in a few weeks.)
Worst 7th Round Choice
Tevita Ofahenque (2001), just because I had to s-l-o-w-l-y look at his name and hen-peck it.
Best 6th Round Choice
This is actually tough. Not many contestants here. Going to go with Reggie Wells (2003). Multi-positional player that served two terms with the Cards. Serviceable guy.
Worst 6th Round Choice
Will Davis (2009). He and fellow draftee Cody Brown - combined to form some of the worst Rod Graves/ Whisenhunt decisions.
Best 5th Round Choice
Steve Breaston (2007) and Tim Hightower are runner ups to the obvious choice - Larry Centers (1990). THE BEST receiver out the backfield in NFL history and a favorite of mine.
Worst 5th Round Choice
Richard Tardits (1989). Not going to go there, just too easy.
Best 4th Round Choice
Micheal Pittman (1998) or Ronald Moore (1993) ? Both good running backs with Pittman having the longer career but Moore going over 1,000 yards in rookie season. I'm calling a toss-up.
Worst 4th Round Choice
Bill Gramattica (2001). The whole-jumping-in-the-air-and- tearing-your-ACL act outshone any kicks he may have made.
Best 3rd Round Choice
This is where it starts to get hard, too many qualifiable (made up a word there) guys. You have Adrian Wilson (2001), Darnell Dockett (2004) and an underrated Ricky Proehl (1990). But you have to side with Aeneas Williams (1991). A pre-Darelle Revis lockdown corner before Revis, he's currently the best possible AZ HOF candidate until Kurt Warner.
Worst 3rd Round Choice
Ehh, the name says it all, BUSTer Davis (2007). I've seen worse, I mean the guy played spots in Indy and Houston after AZ, but to be drafted with the overall 69th pick and not make it out of the preseason has to be a bust(ER).
Best 2nd Round Choice
Shall we go Daryl Washington (2010), Karlos Dansby (2004), Jake Plummer (1997)? Nope. Selection here is Anquan Boldin (2003). "Q", IMO, is the best selection ever made by the Cardinals. He came from being a Florida State QB to the heart-and-soul of the team. Set rookie WR records for yards in a game and I believe changed the culture of the franchise from the sorry state they were. (Can you tell I REALLY like the guy?)
Worst 2nd Round Choice
Already mentioned Cody Brown (2009) and you can probably throw in Tony Sacca (1992) and Chuck Levy (1994) in there but the winner(loser?) has to be Tony Jeffery (1988). This was the season the Cards were moving to Arizona from St. Louis and getting the homestate pumped up with draft choices was critical. Team was looking for a replacement for the popular Stump Mitchell and drafted the Texas Christian U RB with the 38th pick. 3 games and 8 yards, not a typo... 8 yards in NFL career. Would make Ryan Leaf jealous.
Worst 1st Round Choice (have to say the best for last right?)
This would be a combination of bad choices and bad luck. In 2003 the Cards had the 6th pick and traded with the New Orleans Saints for their 17th,18th and 54th selections. The team did eventually get Boldin but draft picks Calvin Pace and Bryant Johnson never played to their evaluations. Worse off, by trading down the franchise bypassed hometown star and possible future HOF Terrell Suggs. This is going to go on par with the Levi Brown/ Adrian Peterson fiasco.
And...(drumroll, please) 1st Round Choice
Larry Fitzgerald with the third overall selection in the 2004 NFL draft (boy, 2004 must have been a good year).
Franchise player, franchise human being..what more do you need?
Other than every draft being a winner, I mean.