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Arizona Cardinals and their successes and failures in the NFL Draft

A look at the last 21 years worth of 1st round selections who either were huge successes or monumental failures.


1988- Ken Harvey:

Harvey was an OLB from the university of California. He was never a great player, but made his plays. He left Arizona in 1993 to join the Washington Redskins, where from 1994 to 1997 was elected to several Pro Bowls. He won't be remember for his time in Arizona. Played 11 seasons in the NFL. (Solid Player)

1989- Eric Hill/Jon Wolf:

The Cardinals had two guys in this draft, one was LB Eric Hill, and the other was OG Jon Wolf. Eric Hill played 12 seasons in the NFL, and stayed with the Cardinals until they changed their name from the Phoenix Cardinals, to the Arizona Cardinals.He was a tackling machine, while hardly making plays against the Quarterback. Once leaving Arizona he spent one season with the Rams, and two more with the San Diego Chargers.(Solid Player)

Wolf didn't get a start his first two seasons, despite being drafted in the first round. He didn't play a full season, nor start a full season until 1996, but would find himself out of the league following the 1997 season. (Bust)

1991- Eric Swann

The Cardinals would skip out on a first round pick in 1990 when they selected Timm Rosenach in the 1989 Supplemental Draft. Swann didn't live up to a first round pedigree. He was either injured missing part of the season, or he was lacking results and was forced to the bench. 46.5 sacks in his career, but did leave Arizona on a positive note, acquiring a 42 yard pick six in his last season. (Not a Bust, but not 1st round talent)

1993- Garrison Hearst/Earnest Dye

And we arrive at our first massive bust... We selected Hearst third overall and he only spent three three years in Arizona... Accumulating a whopping three touchdowns. However his third season he did run for 1070 yards.He'd make a stop in Cincinnati, be released and would go on to be a very good running-back for the 49er's.

Dye never really made much of an impact in the NFL. Played one season of 16 games, then the following year played in 6 games and never got a start after that. Ended his career in 1999.

1994- Jamir Miller

Will be known as a Brown, moreso than a Cardinal. Only racked up 18 sacks in 5 sacks, but doubled his stats in two seasons with the Browns. (BUST)

1996- Simeon Rice

His career in Arizona wasn't terrible. He had nice numbers, but he left a bad taste in Cardinal fans mouths when he claimed Arizona was the armpit of the NFL. Great career but won't make the HOF.

1997- Tom Knight

Recorded three INT's in his short eight year career.... Constantly injured, or under performing. (BUST)

1998- Andre Wadsworth

In 1998 he held out, wanting to be paid like Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning... Instantly a red flag player, in 1999 he was bothered by a knee injury, played 11 games. During that offseason he received knee surgery, then the following offseason went for another one. Cardinals would soon after release him. (BUST)

1999- David Boston/L.J. Shelton

Boston didn't make much of an impact in 1999. Only 483 yards and 2 TD's in 8 starts. However in 2000 and 2001, he went off for 1156 yards in 2000 and 1598 in 2001 with 7 and 8 touchdowns respectively. But in 2002 his season would end with 512 yards and 1 TD.

L.J. Shelton actually had a solid career. He missed the first two games of the 1999 season due to a contract dispute, left Arizona in 2004, and finished his career in San Diego with stops in Miami and Cincinnati before then.

2000- Thomas Jones

Has played well... Except for Arizona and Tampa Bay. As soon as he got to Chicago in 2004, he took off with his career and accumulated five straight 1000 yard seasons following the 2005 season.

2001- Leonard Davis

Started at guard for three years, then moved to LT for the duration of his stay in Arizona. However, as soon as he left Arizona for the Cowboys, he put up three straight Pro Bowl seasons, being named an All-Pro in 2007.

2002- Wendell Bryant

Bryant never found his footing, both professionally and personally. In three years in the NFL he got three strikes in the substance abuse column and would be out of the NFL by 2005.

2003- Calvin Pace/Bryant Johnson

Bryant Johnson never lived up to his 1st round potential. He's put up, 3rd to 4th round talent numbers in his career. However Pace has played up the expectations of a 2nd round guy. Play well, limit your mistakes, and do your job. He won't make the HOF, or even be remembered a few years after his retirement, but he's had a nice 11 eyars in the NFL.

2004- Larry Ftizgerald

The definition of a Draft bust. Sorry... Fitzgerald will go down as one of the NFL's greatest. Even with poor QB play much of his career he still has put up amazing numbers and made records.

2005- Antrel Rolle

I like the guy, yes he's cocky, arrogant, and gets burned sometimes, but he's the poorest mans version of Patrick Peterson in terms of making plays when the ball is in his hand.

2006- Matt Leinart

And... We get to one of our biggest draft busts. Drafted by Denny Green to be his savior, I mean the Cardinals savior, he showed hope... Until Ken Whisenhunt showed up...

2007- Levi Brown

The replacement to Leonard Davis, and I know he gets bashed for his play, but I honestly think he's turned the corner and will help solidify a solid O-Line for years.

2008- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Even if the NFL is your profession... Those cutesie little kid backpacks are not what you show up to your first day on the job with. He wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but he did make his plays. However his constant over attacking the ball to make the play was his downfall... That and he didn't fit the mold of what Ray Horton wanted.

2009- Beanie Wells

He's now out of a job, or at least for the time being. He's drawing interest from the Jaguars and Steelers. He's good... When he isn't bothered by knee or foot injuries, as we witnessed in 2011. I do hope he succeeds in the NFL however.

And I leave you here. 2009 is the earliest we can really grade anyone, since they've been in the league for four years... Who do you think is the biggest 1st round bust the Cardinals drafted? There's clearly quite a few to choose from.