We continue to look at some saddening Cardinals history. Last time we examined the fact that Arizona has ranked better than 21st in rushing only once in the past 20 years. Now, CBS Sports has joined in on the fun, compiling a list of every team's worst first round pick in the last 20 years.
Many would say Levi Brown would be the pick, and you could make a strong argument for it. However, CBS gave it to a guy who only lasted three years in the desert.
Andre Wadsworth was in consideration for the number one overall pick in 1998. The Colts held that selection but they had their heart set on one of two quarterbacks. We know how that played out. The Colts went with Peyton Manning and enjoyed years of success with him, while the Chargers traded down from the 3rd spot to the Cardinals 2nd overall pick and got stuck with Ryan Leaf.
That left Arizona with a few choices to make. Sitting on the board was that years eventual Offensive Rookie of the Year in Randy Moss, and Charles Woodson, who would later go on to be the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Cardinals went the route of 6'3, 238 pounds of aggression in Andre Wadsworth. At the time it filled a need for the team.
His tenure started off rough however, as he held out until the day before the regular season. He would start 15 games his rookie year, recording 42 tackles, 5 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries. In the two years after his rookie debut, Wadsworth underwent two knee surgeries and recording three sacks and 30 tackles his final two years.
The team wound up cutting Wadsworth, and quickly offered him a veteran minimum, but he did not sign and never found another team.
CBS Sports had this to say on Wadsworth:
"Levi Brown should probably be in the discussion here with the Cardinals taking him two picks before Adrian Peterson. But Andre Wadsworth is the play, going third in 1998, one pick ahead of Charles Woodson. The only reason we're not talking about it more is because of Leaf/Manning."
While Levi Brown may have been a bust he had a longer career and enjoyed more success than Wadsworth did, which is likely why he only made the list as an honorable mention. Most fans are still upset that we selected him, while Adrian Peterson was only two places behind him.
The other honorable mention on that list is Tom Knight, the team's ninth overall selection just a year before the Wadsworth fail. Knight managed five years in the NFL, but only produced three interceptions. He played for the Cardinals from 1997-2001, before taking a year away from football, and playing 2003 with the Baltimore Ravens. He was drafted a few selections ahead of Tony Gonzalez.
There's a few more players that could be dubbed honorable mentions. Wednell Bryant, the teams 12th overall pick in 2002, played only 3 seasons recording 28 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was drafted over guys like Albert Haynesworth, Jeremy Shockey, and and Ed Reed.
Matt Leinart in 2006, drafted over guys like Jay Cutler (better QB okay?) Haloti Ngata, Antonio Cromartie, and Tamba Hali. Leinart finished his career 8-10 as a starter, throwing 14 touchdowns to his 20 interceptions.
Chris "Beanie" Wells in 2009 could make this list as well. His inability to stay healthy, coupled with a poor work ethic cost Wells any shot he had at being a legitimate NFL back. Patrick Chung and Rey Maualuga are some notable selections after him.
Jonathan Cooper could find his way onto the honorable mentions list if he cannot find a way to stay healthy.
Is there anyone else that should be mentioned? Discuss below.