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Who Are The Cards' Best 1st Round Picks Of All Time?

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Which high-profile picks lived up to their reputation? (Okay, you can guess who's #1, but who are the rest?)

John David Mercer-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.

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, on draft day, we have FINALLY reached the first and second rounders.  You can find out the 2nd round players on our website.

Ready to find out who the best of the best are?  Here we go!   Starting with:

5. Eric Hill, LB, LSU

Hill's place on this list, while maybe not as notable as the next one as a "first ever" selection, is important due to the length of time he manned the linebacker position--Nine years.  Hill was taken the very next year after Harvey in the 1989 draft and he spent almost the entirety of his NFL career with the Cardinals.

After playing in a total of 160 games, of which he started 151 of them.  A solid player who stands out amidst the crowd of other Cardinal first-rounders

4. Ken Harvey, LB, Cal

Harvey was an excellent linebacker for the Cardinals.  Drafted out of Cal with the 12th overall pick in 1988 to the Phoenix Cardinals, Harvey had a solid six-year career with the Cardinals.

While he never made a Pro Bowl in the desert, he left as one of those productive first-round linebackers who actually lived up to the hype.  He solidified the Cardinals defense during their first stretch in the desert, and has a special place in the team's history:

He was the team's first EVER draft selection in Arizona.  Good thing they made it a great one.

3. Eric Swann, DT, (None)

That's right.  He never went to a football college.  Swann's story is almost as inspiring as his career as a Cardinal.  Ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA after being all lined up to go to North Carolina State, Swann instead ended up in a professional football league with a $5 an hour salary.

The Cardinals took notice of his play, and he was drafted 6th overall in the 1991 NFL draft.  Swann was a two-time All Pro and Pro Bowl selection with the Cardinals and was a standout player, signing a 5-year $25 million dollar deal (which at the time, was the richest in Cardinal history to that point).

Though knee injuries shortened his productive career, Swann is another standout Cardinal first rounder, who's inspirational overcoming of odds is something to be cherished by Cardinals fans.

2. Simeon Rice, DE, Illinois

If there's a "Von Miller" type of player that the Cardinals ever could claim as their own, it was Simeon Rice in his heyday.  An elite pass-rusher who unfortunately happened to play at a time when running the football was still dominant in the league, Rice didn't see as much action as he deserved on every down, but what he did do with his time as a pass rusher was incredible.

He spent only four years with the Cardinals before bouncing around the league, but he wasn't just some journeyman player.

Defensive rookie of the year, defensive lineman of the year, NFC Sacks leader Pro Bowls, All-Pros, Super Bowls, you name it, Simeon Rice did it as a pass-rusher.  He joined the 100 sacks club and some time later, the Hall of Fame, having an incredible career in which he ended up being one of the greatest pass-rushers to ever play the game.

While it's a shame the Cardinals, being the disorganized franchise that they were at the time, couldn't keep Rice, he was an incredible pick who lived up to his reputation and did the Cardinal Red proud while he wore it.

1. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pitt


Shocker, right?  Not at all.  Fitzgerald has lived up to everything that the Cardinals could have hoped for when selecting him third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft.  Hopefully as fans, we will get to see "Larry Legend" play for a few more seasons at a high level before he walks off the field and retires as one of the greatest to ever play the position.

He's Canton-bound.  All that's left to decide is when.

It goes to probably say that we saved the best for last here at RCF, as Fitz is the greatest Arizona Cardinal of all time.  And considering his myth already, it's hard to see anyone coming close for a long, long time.  And while the team might have seen a bit less losing days if they'd taken a QB like Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers in 2004, Fitz is proof that sometimes, when you nail the pick, you don't really care about who you could have had, you just love the player that you do.

Agree with our list?  Or have a hot take that Fitzgerald is NOT the best 1st round choice of all time?

Check out our poll below and visit our comments section!