The NFL draft is slowly creeping upon us. Thus will end the speculation of whom each team selects with their draft pick, and these analysts will quickly turn towards grading the draft selections.
This year the Cardinals will be selecting 24th overall, a pick the team has only held once before. According to Mike Jurecki, that selection was made in 1946, the same year the team drafted Ken Kortas, who eventually went on to become one of 11 members of that class inducted in the Hall of Fame.
In recent memory however, it's mainly been a lot of solid selections, and possible NFL greats.
Cardinals Selection: 27th
24th Selections: Darqueze Dennard (Bengals)
Dennard only played 77 snaps his rookie season. According to Bengals DC Paul Guenther, that had to do with the fact that the team had Leon Hall, Pacman Adam Jones, and Terrance Newman. He finished his rookie debut with 13 tackles and a sack. The jury is still out on this selection.
Cardinals Selection: 7th
24th Selection: Bjorn Werner (Colts)
In two seasons Werner has developed into a potential perennial Pro Bowler. In 2014, he racked up four sacks and 37 tackles. Knee and shoulder injuries took the toll on him late in the season, but he's been a solid player for the Colts.
Cardinals Selection: 13th
24th Selection: David DeCastro (Steelers)
DeCastro was a player many fans wanted here. His rookie year was limited to the final four games of the season due to a knee injury sustained in only the third preseason game. In the two year since, DeCastro has blossomed into one of the top talents in the interior line.
Cardinals Selection: 5th
24th Selection: Cameron Jordan (Saints)
Jordan has been one of the best defensive ends since his second year. In four seasons he's tallied 29 sacks, good for nearly seven per season. As of right now, with the Saints rebuilding their roster from top to bottom, it is likely the team could look to shop him, and is a guy that will be looking for a lot of money when his fifth year option runs out at the end of the season.
Cardinals Selection: 26th
24th Selection: Dez Bryant (Cowboys)
Bryant took two years to fully warm up, but in the past three seasons he has caught passes for 3935 yards and 41 touchdowns. After his rookie contract ran out, the Cowboys franchise tagged him. There have been concerns of maturity, but he's become an elite receiver in the NFL.
Cardinals Selection: 31st
24th Selection: Peria Jerry (Falcons)
The first bust on our list. Jerry only recorded 5.5 sacks in 64 career games, as well as only 51 tackles. He was fighting for a job in the 2014 offseason, before announcing his retirement, on July 31st.
Cardinals Selection: 16th
24th Selection: Chris Johnson (Titans)
Johnson cannot be labeled a bust, particularly with his career numbers. In seven seasons, Johnson has recorded 8628 rushing the ball, and 51 touchdowns. His biggest flaw on the field is the fact that he was overused. In those seven years, he carried the ball 1897 times. The tires have worn thin for a player who ranks 36th on the all time rushing leaders.
Cardinals Selection: 5th
24th Selection: Brandon Meriweather (Patriots)
Meriweather has been less effective than he has been labeled for his late hits. He had a nice two year run from 08-09 where he intercepted nine passes, returning them for 174 yards total. Since then however, he has slipped into a rather quite role.
Cardinals Selection: 10th
24th Selection: Jonathan Joseph (Bengals)
Joseph has been one of the more consistent defenders in his tenure. Not many players get to spend time with only two teams in the NFL, but Joseph has been able to do that. In nine seasons he has picked off 25 passes, taking five of them in for a defensive score.
Cardinals Selection: 8th
24th Selection: Aaron Rodgers (Packers)
It's only fitting that this list ends with one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game. Rodgers spent three years learning behind another NFL great, Brett Favre. But Rodgers quickly came out from behind his mentors shadow. He has only thrown fewer than 4000 yards passing twice, once in 2013 where he only played nine games, and the other in 2010, playing only 15 games. I'm sure Arizona would have love to go back to 2005 and re-do their selection.
If the trend is to continue, Arizona led by Bruce Arians and Steve Keim should find a stud at 24, to help strengthen a strong team and help the team reach Super Bowl 50.