clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Who are the best 6th round picks of all-time for the Arizona Cardinals?

New, comments

Which 6th-round Draft Selections for the Arizona Cardinals have had the biggest impact?

Justin Bethel Seals The Pick
Justin Bethel Seals The Pick
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft process is the result of months and months of film, interviews, filling out scouting reports, navigating the trades and fake interest, all for the point of hearing the names called out from behind the podium of the newest members of the Arizona Cardinals.

Some rise to the occasion from a lowly draft status, some fall short of the lofty expectations. But ultimately, what captivates fans is the thrill of the pick and the endless possibilities.

Over the next several weeks here at Revenge Of The Birds we will be taking a look at and ranking the best players drafted by the Cardinals organization in each round and ranking them accordingly.  Today, we'll be looking at the 6th round draft selections.

Who are they?  Let's find out!  Starting with:

Honorable Mention: The 6th round pick traded for QB Carson Palmer

Was there ever a 6th round pick that wasn't a player that Cardinal fans have appreciated more?  While Palmer's legacy as a Cardinal remains unclear, the fact that Steve Keim's first "big" move cemented the team a starting quarterback.  Considered washed-up at the time, Palmer is currently one of the cornerstones of the team and the main reason for their renewed success under Bruce Arians and Steve Keim.

Certainly one 6th round pick that fans would say was well worth giving up.  But as it was not for a player, let's get to....

4. Jay Taylor, CB, San Jose State

Jay Taylor isn't a well-known or well-remembered name when it comes to Arizona Cardinals players.  Part of that comes from his draft position in 1989 being almost 20 years old out of San Diego State (same as fellow sixth-rounder Ryan Lindley).  But for a sixth-round pick, Taylor was productive over a three-year period.

His career stats as a Phoenix Cardinal: 18 games, five interceptions and 93 total tackles.  He doesn't fall into the ranks of famous Arizona defensive backs like Aeneas Williams or Patrick Peterson, obviously.  But Taylor proved that he belonged in the league, and made the most of his shot.  For a 6th round pick, that much should be considered a win.

3. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson

It's tough to say, given the injuries despite his talent, if Andre Ellington will be viewed as a "success" long-term.  However, as it stands, he was still a supremely talented player that Steve Keim found late in the 6th round.  Ellington's best season with the Cardinals was his rookie season, in which he averaged 5.5 ypc for 652 yards and 3 touchdowns.

As it stands currently, though likely backing up David Johnson and Chris Johnson, he still possesses that elite breakaway speed.  Ellington puts that speed on display in that infamous TD which led to backup QB Drew Stanton becoming a dance icon.

2. Reggie Wells, OG, Clarion

Man, it doesn't even seem like it when you consider the Cardinals well-known offensive line struggles over the years but Reggie Wells was a rock for seven years (2004-2009) for the team at the left guard position.  And he did it as a sixth rounder no less.

Wells was the starter at left guard when the Arizona Cardinals went to their first Super Bowl, and saw his career shortened greatly after he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles prior to the 2010 season and retired from the league.

Even so, to find a starter, much less one that makes it to their second contract is remarkable for a player taken as late as Reggie Wells was.

So who could be the top overall player drafted in the 6th round?

1. Justin Bethel, CB/ST, Presbyterian

I debated over putting Wells over Bethel as the top choice for length, but considering his three-time 1st team Pro Bowl selection, game-changing plays over solid play like Arizona got from Wells.  Add in the fact that he's staying in Arizona for the foreseeable future, it's time Justin Bethel earned this spot with his impact special teams plays.

Bethel signed a new three-year, $15 million dollar deal that will keep him in Arizona, whether or not he rises to a starting corner or if he stays a backup will definitely impact his long-term legacy on this list, but for now he has proven himself enough as a special teamer.

Bethel's statistics are 64 games, 2 INT's, (one this year for six) and 72 tackles, with countless plays made as a gunner on special teams.

Fun fact: Bethel was acquired with the pick that the Cardinals got from trading Tim Hightower to the Washington Redskins.  The more you know!

So, agree or disagree with our list?

Sound off in the poll below and let your voice be heard!

-You can follow blakemurphy7 and Revenge Of The Birds on Twitter.