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Who Are The Cards' Best 5th Round Picks Of All Time?

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The 5th round might not be as sexy as a pick as the first round but some steals can be found here. Which Card will end up as the team's best 5th round selection ever?

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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 last several weeks here at Revenge Of The Birds we have been taking a look at the best players drafted by the Cardinals organization in each round and ranking them accordingly.  Today, we'll be looking at the 5th round draft selections.

Let's find out who the top fifth rounders are!  Starting with:

5. Steve Breaston, WR, Michigan

Remember when Steve Breaston was the next big thing?  It wasn't too long ago he was sharing headlines with Anquan Boldin and the infamous Fitz as one of three Cardinals wide receivers to break 1,000 yards in that magical 2008 season that saw the Cardinals to a Super Bowl.  In fact, the Cardinals likely let Anquan Boldin walk because of what they had seen from Breaston.

Breaston was seemingly forgotten after Kurt Warner left, however, despite putting up a pair of solid 700+ yard seasons in 2009 and 2010.  His career was shortened by injury, however, carrying over from Arizona into his brief stint as a Kansas City Chief, and he was out of the league by 2013.  Breaston ended his time as a Cardinal with 187 catches for 2528 yards and seven touchdowns.

4. Anthony Redmon, G, Auburn

Who?  Now, now, I know Redmon isn't a well-known name, but considering how many offensive line issues Arizona has had over the long haul in the desert, Redmon was good value during his time as a Cardinal.

Redmon played in 50 games for the Cardinals, starting 46 of them at Right Guard during his six-year NFL career.  With how Steve Keim has invested now two first round picks and two high-profile Free Agent signings in Jared Veldheer and Mike Iupati, it's harder to find a decent starter like Redmon at the guard position for more than just a single year.  (Look at the "surefire" Jonathan Cooper)

3. Tim Hightower, RB, Richmond

From fifth-round pick to sending the Cardinals to the Super Bowl.  To many, Tim Hightower was a big part of that high-flying offense that sent Arizona to the big dance in 2008, scoring that game-leading touchdown with only minutes left on the clock.  Oh, and did we mention he was a rookie at the time?  His ten total touchdowns as a rookie set a Cardinals record...until RB David Johnson broke his record this past season with 13.

Hightower was a valuable part of the Cardinals offense, able to pound the rock and catch out of the backfield as a dual-threat.  His career, like Breaston's, was also hampered by injuries, and he ended up dealt to the Washington Redskins for DE Vonnie Holliday and a 6th round pick.  His stats with the Cardinals: 439 carries for 1733 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns, adding in 118 catches for 801 yards over three years.

However, the inspirational story that was Tim Hightower wasn't over just yet.

Hightower returned to the NFL last year, and at age 28 after rehabbing from many injuries over the past few years, ended up being a valuable part of the Saints' offense after starting RB Mark Ingram went down.  The Saints re-signed him for the one-year league minimum this offseason.  Given the shelf life of most running backs, for a guy such as Hightower to come out of nowhere and still be having an impact when other players have retired is truly special.

2. Antonio Smith, DT, Oklahoma State

When you look at the names that Antonio Smith is mentioned alongside from his 2004 NFL Draft Class, you get a good look at how infamous that class really is.
Larry Fitzgerald
Karlos Dansby
Darnell Dockett
And Antonio Smith as the "Ringo Starr" of the group.
While Fitzgerald is the only Cardinal pick from that season remaining with the team, Smith was indeed a fantastic pick by the organization.  Smith played in 62 games for the Cardinals, starting 39 of them.  He finished his career with 14.5 sacks, 98 tackles and 3 forced fumbles before going to the Houston Texans, and finishing a solid career with the team as a role player.  While he may be the "forgotten" star of that draft class, Smith should be remembered as part of the draft class that helped change Arizona's fates.

1. Larry Centers, FB, Stephen F. Austin

Again, we have another no-brainer for the top pick for this round's Best Drafted Arizona Cardinal.  Now, half of Larry's time was spent as a Phoenix Cardinal but his impact on the franchise as maybe one of, if not the best, pass-catching fullbacks of all time, owning records for the most passes caught and receiving yardage as a running back in the NFL.

Yeah, that's what the kids would call a G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time)

In his time in Arizona, Centers ran the ball 517 times for 1736 yards and 10 touchdowns (yep, as a fullback).  But his true damage was done through the air, catching 535 passes for 4539 yards and 19 touchdowns.   He was a three-time Pro Bowler with Arizona and even though he bounced around with a few other teams after leaving the desert, finishing with a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots, he finally received a deserved place in the Cardinals' Ring Of Honor.

And unlike many positions, with how fullbacks are almost exclusively blockers in today's NFL, (and even that is fading now) it's highly unlikely another fullback will ever replicate his numbers.

Speaking of replicating numbers, Centers takes the top spot as the top Cardinals receiver of all-time.  Currently, anyway.  There's a certain Larry Fitzgerald who will have that crown officially claimed at the end of his career.  In the meantime, let's appreciate the steal that Larry Centers was, with Phoenix/Arizona finding him as late as the 5th round.

Agree with our list?  Disagree?  Drop a line below in our poll!

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