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2015 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals draft notes and facts

The team released some information. Here it is.

Al Bello/Getty Images

You want NFL facts, right? The Arizona Cardinals have a bunch. Here are some of those facts.

The Cardinals are scheduled to have eight overall picks with on in each of the first six rounds and two in the seventh. Arizona received the final selection of the 2015 NFL Draft (256th overall) as a compensatory pick.

Round

Round #

Overall #

1

24

24

2

23

55

3

22

86

4

24

123

5

23

159

6

22

198

7a

24

241

7b

39

256 (Compensatory)

This will be the third draft since Keim was named General Manager and Arians as head coach. In the last two drafts, the Cardinals selected several players who contributed to the team tying a franchise record with 21 wins in the past two seasons.

  • WR John Brown (2014, 3rd round, 91st overall) - had four game-winning TD receptions in 2014, the most by a rookie in NFL history, and finished second on the team with 48 receptions and five TD catches.
  • S Deone Bucannon (2014, 1st round, 27th overall) - earned PFWA All-Rookie honors after finishing third on the team with 75 tackles while playing a hybrid linebacker position in the team's nickel and dime defenses.
  • RB Andre Ellington (2013, 6th round, 187th overall) - became the second player in team history (Ottis Anderson, 1979-80) to top 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of their first two NFL seasons (1,023 in 2013; 1,055 in 2014).
  • S Tyrann Mathieu (2013, 3rd round, 69th overall) - named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in October of 2013 and returned from season-ending knee injury as a rookie to play in 13 games last season.
  • LB Alex Okafor (2013, 4th round, 103rd overall) - after playing just one game as a rookie due to a biceps injury, returned in 2014 and led the team with 8.0 sacks in 13 games (12 starts).

Keim, who was selected as the 2014 Sporting News Executive of the Year and has been Pro Football Talk's Executive of the Year each of the last two years, has been with the Cardinals since 1999 when he joined the organization as a regional scout. Dating back to the 2009 draft, the first  after his promotion to Director of Player Personnel, he has played a key role in selecting a number of players that will be key contributors in 2015. Last year, S Deone Bucannon and WR John Brown were among the Cardinals picks while G Jonathan Cooper, S Tyrann Mathieu, LB Alex Okafor and RB Andre Ellington were selected in 2013. Other recent Cardinals draft picks include: WR Michael Floyd, T Bobby Massie and CB Justin Bethel in 2012, CB Patrick Peterson in 2011 and S Rashad Johnson in 2009.

Cardinals pick 24th

After finishing 11-5 and earning a playoff berth in 2014, Arizona will select 24th in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Recent notable picks at the 24th spot include G David DeCastro (Pittsburgh, 2012), DE Cameron Jordan (New Orleans, 2011), WR Dez Bryant (Dallas, 2010), RB Chris Johnson (Tennessee, 2008) and QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay, 2005).

The Cardinals have had the 24th overall selection just once in team history; in 1964 they selected offensive lineman Herschel Turner out of Kentucky in the second round. This will mark the fourth time in the last seven years the Cardinals first-round pick is 20th  or later. The Cardinals chose 31st  in 2009 (RB Beanie Wells), 26th in 2010 (DT Dan Williams) and had the 20th overall selection in 2014 prior to trading down to 27th and selecting S Deone Bucannon.

  • Over the last 10 NFL Drafts, there have been four players on offense and six players on defense selected with the 24th pick. That group includes two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers, 2009 Offensive Player of the Year Chris Johnson and six Pro Bowlers (Rodgers, Johnson, Cameron Jordan, Dez Bryant, Brandon Meriweather and Johnathan Joseph).
  • Over the last 20 NFL Drafts, there have been eight players on offense and 12 players on defense selected with the 24th pick. Over the past 20 years, notable 24th overall picks include RB Steven Jackson (St. Louis, 2004), TE Dallas Clark (Indianapolis, 2003), S Ed Reed (Baltimore, 2002) and WR Eric Moulds (Buffalo, 1996). The last 20 players chosen with the 24th overall pick have combined for 31 Pro Bowl selections, led by S Ed Reed (9) and QB Aaron Rodgers (4), and 10 first-team All-Pro selections (Reed-5, Rodgers-2, Dez Bryant, Dallas Clark and Chris Johnson-1 each).

Mr. Irrelevant

The Cardinals final pick (256th overall) is also the last selection of the 2015 draft, meaning he will be this year's Mr. Irrelevant. The title bestowed each year on the last pick of the NFL Draft, this year will mark the 40th Mr. Irrelevant since the tradition began in 1976 with Dayton WR Kelvin Kirk, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 487th pick in 1976.

The Cardinals selection will be the guest of honor at Irrelevant Week in Newport Beach, CA this summer, where he will be feted with a weeklong series of events that includes a trip to Disneyland and recognition at either a Dodgers or Angels MLB game.

Arizona has had one previous Mr. Irrelevant, selecting BYU TE Tevita Ofahengaue with the final pick of the 2001 draft. The Cardinals also had the final pick of the draft in 1948, when they chose Notre Dame G Bill Fischer. Fischer returned to Notre Dame and won the 1948 Outland Trophy before being selected by

the Cardinals again in 1949, this time with the 10th overall pick in the first round. He went on to be a three- time Pro Bowler in a five-year career.

Wilson to announce 2nd round pick

Recently retired Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson will join 31 other legendary NFL alumni at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago on Friday, May 1 to announce second-round picks on the second day of the NFL Draft.

Wilson will announce the Cardinals second-round selection (55th overall). This marks the fifth year in which each selection in the second round is announced by a former player. Wilson was the Cardinals third-round choice in the 2001 NFL Draft out of N.C. State and retired on April 20. He spent 12 seasons (2001-12) with the Cardinals and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection (2006, 2008-11), finishing his NFL career with 987 tackles (716 solos), 25.5 sacks, 27 interceptions, 106 passes defensed, 13 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and four touchdowns in 181 regular season games (162 starts).

The last time with each of the picks

Below is a look at the last player taken by the Cardinals with each selection they currently hold in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Cardinals have not picked in any of their 2015 slots since 2001 when they selected DT Marcus Bell out of Memphis with the 123rd overall pick.

Pick

Player

Year Drafted

24

OL Herschel Turner

1964

55

DB Jim Cason

1948

86

DB Dexter Davis

1991

123

DT Marcus Bell

2001

159

B Bob O'Billovich

1962

198

RB Greg Amsler

1991

241

DT Chad Eaton

1995

256

B Glenn Lipman

1952

86th overall pick has Hall of Fame company

The Cardinals hold the 86th overall selection in the third round this year, a spot that has produced two Pro Football Hall of Fame selections - T Jackie Slater and WR Andre Reed.

Player Year Drafted     Year Inducted

T Jackie Slater              1976                  2001

WR Andre Reed            1986                  2014

Top-notch talent

The Cardinals currently have 24 players on their roster who were selected in the first three rounds of the draft. Of those, 12 were drafted by the Cardinals.

Round    Cardinal Draft Picks On Roster (Year Selected)

1st               S Deone Bucannon (2014), G Jonathan Cooper (2013), WR Michael Floyd (2012), CB Patrick Peterson (2011), WR Larry Fitzgerald (2004)

2nd              TE Troy Niklas (2014), LB Kevin Minter (2013), DE Calais Campbell (2008)

3rd               DE  Kareem  Martin  (2014),  WR  John  Brown  (2014),  S  Tyrann  Mathieu  (2013),  S Rashad Johnson (2009)

The Cardinals have eight total first-round picks on their roster with QB Carson Palmer (Cincinnati, 1st overall, 2003), G Mike Iupati (San Francisco, 17th overall, 2010) and LB Sean Weatherspoon (Atlanta, 19th overall, 2010) joining the five originally selected by Arizona.

Late-round value

Between 2012-14, the Cardinals selected 14 total players in rounds four through seven. Of those 14, eight remain with the Cardinals, including 2013 sixth-round RB Andre Ellington, who totaled over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two seasons, and 2012 sixth-round CB Justin Bethel, who has been selected to the Pro Bowl as a special teamer in each of the last two years.

First rounders

Dating back to 1960, the Cardinals have drafted 29 offensive players and 29 defensive players in the first round:

1st Round

2nd Round

Offense

Defense Special Teams

Offense

Defense

Special Teams

29 players

29 players      1 player

33 players

24 players

1 player

  • Arizona has selected two players on offense (G Jonathan Cooper-2013, WR Michael Floyd-2012) and two players on defense (S Deone Bucannon-2014, CB Patrick Peterson-2011) in the first round of the last four drafts.
  • In the last 10 years, the Cardinals have had 72 total draft picks (39 on offense and 33 on defense):

Offense Defense

Offensive Line - 11              Linebacker - 13
Wide Receiver - 10                                     Defensive Line - 9
Running Back - 8                                        Cornerback - 7
Tight End - 6                      Safety - 4
Quarterback - 4

Cardinals First-Round Draft Picks By Position (1970-Present)

Position

Most Recent Player

Total Number

Offensive Line

Jonathan Cooper, 2013

7

Cornerback

Patrick Peterson, 2011

7

Wide Receiver

Michael Floyd, 2012

6

Linebacker

Jamir Miller, 1994

6

Defensive Tackle

Dan Williams, 2010

5

Running Back

Beanie Wells, 2009

5

Defensive End

Calvin Pace, 2003

4

Quarterback

Matt Leinart, 2006

3

Safety

Deone Bucannon, 2014

2

Punter/Kicker

Steve Little, 1978

1

Tight End

J.V. Cain, 1974

1

  • Of the 47 players selected by the Cardinals in the first round since 1970, the most have come from the Big Ten and the Pac-12 (10 each).

Cardinals First-Round Picks By Conference (Top 5 - 1970-Present)

Conference

No.

Big Ten

10

Pac-12

10

SEC

9

ACC

7

Big 12

4

  • Dating back to the 1970 merger, the Cardinals have had 10 transactions involving their first round draft selections.

First-Round Transactions (1970-2014)

Transaction No.   Years

Traded Down 4    2014, 2003, 1998, 1982

Traded Up 2 Both in 1993 - Up from 4th pick and up from 20th pick (compensatory)

Traded for Player(s) 3       1995, 1992, 1977

Supplemental Draft 1      Used 1990 first-round pick in 1989 Supplemental Draft (Timm Rosenbach)

  • The Cardinals made 13 trades involving draft picks over the last five years, including six during the draft. Players chosen with picks acquired in trades include CB Justin Bethel (2012), RB Andre Ellington (2013), S Deone Bucannon (2014) and WR John Brown (2014).
  • Since 2001, 17 different Cardinals have been selected to the Pro Bowl and 11 of those players were acquired via the draft, including the following four who are still with the team:

Player

Pos

Draft Year

Pro Bowl Year(s)

Larry Fitzgerald

WR

2004

2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Calais Campbell

DE

2008

2014

Patrick Peterson

CB

2011

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Justin Bethel

ST

2012

2013, 2014

  • Of the 22 regular starters for the Cardinals in 2014, 13 were either drafted by Arizona (offense-6, defense-7) or signed with the team as a rookie free agent.
  • Of the 41 different players who started a game for Arizona in 2014, 24 were either drafted or signed as a rookie free agent by the team.
  • 12 of the 20 players with starts on offense were Cardinals draftees or signed as rookie free agents
  • 12 of the 21 players with starts on defense were Cardinals draftees or signed as rookie free agents
  • The Cardinals currently have 44 players on the roster who were selected in the NFL Draft (21 were originally chosen by the Cardinals and 23 were chosen by other teams).
  • Since 2002, the Cardinals have selected 14 players from schools outside of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, including 11 in the last eight drafts (2007-14).

Player

Pos

Yr Drafted

Round (Pick)

College

John Brown

WR

2014

3rd (91st)

Pittsburg State

Walt Powell

WR

2014

6th (196th)

Murray State

Earl Watford

G

2013

4th (116th)

James Madison

Justin Bethel

S

2012

6th (177th)

Presbyterian

Andre Roberts

WR

2010

3rd (88th)

The Citadel

John Skelton

QB

2010

5th (155th)

Fordham

Greg Toler

CB

2009

4th (131st)

Saint Paul's (VA) College

D. Rodgers-Cromartie

CB

2008

1st (16th)

Tennessee State

Tim Hightower

RB

2008

5th (149th)

Richmond

Brandon Keith

T

2008

7th (225th)

Northern Iowa

Ben Patrick

TE

2007

7th (215th)

Delaware

LeRon McCoy

WR

2005

7th (226th)

Indiana (PA)

Reggie Wells

G

2003

6th (177th)

Clarion (PA)

Josh McCown

QB

2002

3rd (81st)

Sam Houston State

  • The Cardinals currently have 12 players on the roster from schools outside of the NCAA FBS.
  • In 2014, the Cardinals had 16 players appear in a game that originally entered the league as undrafted free agents, including five who made the team out of training camp as rookie free agents in the last two years (WR Jaron Brown, LB Kenny Demens and S Tony Jefferson in 2013; LB Glenn Carson and K Chandler Catanzaro in 2014). The Cardinals have had at least one undrafted free agent make the Week 1 roster in five of the last six years.
  • Five Cardinals assistant coaches were selected in the NFL Draft:

Defensive Line coach Brentson Buckner (Steelers, 2nd Round, 1994) Inside Linebackers coach Larry Foote (Steelers, 4th Round, 2002)

Asst. Special Teams/Asst Tight Ends coach Steve Heiden (Chargers, 3rd Round, 1999) Running Backs coach Stump Mitchell (Cardinals, 9th Round, 1981)

Cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross (Chiefs, 7th Round, 1984)

  • The Cardinals have drafted a total of 14 players from Arizona colleges since the draft began:

    Arizona State University—9 (last player was S Pat Tillman in 1998)
    University of Arizona—5 (last player was G Yusuf Scott in 1999)
    Northern Arizona-None