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Who Are The Cards' Best 3rd Round Picks Of All Time?

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There's a lot of talented guys the Arizona Cardinals have found in Round #3, find out who our top 5 are right here!

Matt Kartozian-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 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 3rd round draft selections.

Ready to find out who the top third rounders are?  And let's be honest, there are some REALLY good names on this list.  Let's start with:

Honorable Mentions: (TIE) David Johnson & John Brown, RB & WR, Northern Iowa University & Pittsburg State

Despite the recency in these picks, it's a good bet that these two could be very good NFL players for a long time.  John Brown's story is already a very popular one with the fanbase--a small-school kid who couldn't find anywhere to play and overcame the death of his brother to become the talk of training camp and have a spectacular rookie season, including a few game-sealing touchdowns.

David Johnson, however, might be on a different level.  Already seen by many as the 2nd best running back to come out of the 2015 draft class, Johnson set records his rookie year for rookie touchdowns and has a space already in the NFL Hall of Fame as the first rookie to ever rush for, receive and return a touchdown in his first two NFL games.

His workload is expected to increase as he will be the Cardinals #1 back going into Training camp, and while it's too early to judge (and there are way too many good names to put them ahead of some Cardinals' legends) both Johnson and Brown are worth mentioning.  If both live up to their potential, who know?  Maybe we'll see them mentioned with the other legendary names on this list.

5. Ricky Proehl, WR, Wake Forest

Proehl is another player who's most remembered years didn't come with the Cardinals, but he certainly made his impact when he was with the team.  Setting a Cardinal rookie record for receptions and leading the team likewise, Proehl was a young star who was later traded to Seattle for a draft pick.

Proehl ended up with Kurt Warner in St. Louis as part of the "Greatest Show On Turf", winning a ring and having a productive 17-year NFL career before moving to coaching.  He ended up back in the Super Bowl, with a headset on, as the Panthers Wide-Receivers coach (yes, Cards fans, he's part of the Panthers staff that caused you so much pain).  Still, he was an excellent selection, and the fact that a player with his career ranks so low on this list shows you how good they truly are.

4. Darnell Dockett, DT, Florida State

Dockett as a person is almost as polarizing as his Twitter account, but his on-field play wasn't.  Falling to the third round based on character concerns, he anchored the defensive tackle position for Arizona for almost a decade, finishing as one of their most productive pass-rushers ever.

Despite a slight fall-out with the team after they gave him an offer to return in 2015, he signed with the division-rival San Francisco 49ers, only to be sent to IR in the end.  He still leaves the Cardinals as one of their most popular players, and with his tenacity being one of the best identifiers of the toughness of the Cardinals defense, even leaving an impact on that locker room and players like Peterson and Mathieu today.

3. Tyrann Mathieu, FS, LSU

Speaking of Mathieu, what more is there to say about the Honey Badger?  If healthy, he's proven to be one of the NFL's superstars on the field, and his inspirational comeback story from drug abuse to an inspirational figure has arguably made him the most popular player on the Cardinals, even rivaling Fitzgerald.

Considered a huge risk, Mathieu came to the Cardinals and determined to turn his life around and, with the support of Patrick Peterson, he put football first and the results are paying off.  If he can stay healthy over the long-haul, and even if he doesn't, Mathieu will go down as a risky third-round pick.  But he's one of those guys who's demonstrated that reward that is making teams kick themselves for missing on him.

2. Adrian Wilson, SS, North Carolina State

Some of the more recent Cardinals fans might wonder why Mathieu isn't higher.  This man is the reason why.

A third-rounder back in 2001, Adrian Wilson is one of a select group of NFL players to join the 25/25 club with 25 sacks and 25 interceptions.  A force in the box and in coverage, Wilson was an enforcer who saw the change of the Cardinals from the bottom of the league to becoming one of it's more consistent franchises.  Wilson earned a spot in the Ring of Honor and is currently a paid scout for the team after being officially hired as a scout by the team.  Adrian Wilson is one of the first people who comes to mind when the phrase "Greatest Arizona Cardinals of All-Time" comes up.

1. Aeneas Williams, CB, Southern

Hall of Famer.  Shutdown Corner.  Arizona Cardinal.  This is Aeneas Williams.  Taken in the 3rd round after playing college football only for two years, Williams set a Hall of Fame pace from the get-go, tying the league for most interceptions as a rookie and leading the league in interceptions in 1994 with nine.

He intercepted Troy Aikman to help the Cardinals to their first playoff win in the desert, and is also known for ending Steve Young's career on a sack.  He may have spent the rest of his career with the Rams, but he's best known for his time as a Cardinal as one of the greatest shutdown corners to ever play the game, and is the first ever Arizona Cardinal to enter the NFL Hall of Fame.

Agree with the list?  Think we're wrong?  Sound off in the poll below or in the comments section!

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