When you look back at the Arizona Cardinals history, there is a clear three year period that should have set them up for the future, that was botched by two different regimes.
Look at 2011, one of the greatest drafts in NFL history and the Cardinals came away with only Patrick Peterson. While Peterson is without question a superstar and on a Hall of Fame path, the Cardinals could have done much more. (Also, Sam Acho was a nice fourth round pick)
Ryan Williams and Rob Housler were the next two picks. Williams was unfortunately plagued by injuries, while Housler was just bad scouting.
In 2012, sitting with the 13th pick in the NFL Draft, the Cardinals went with Michael Floyd. They had traded their second round pick for Kevin Kolb, whoops, and reached heavily for Jamell Fleming in the third round. Fleming didn’t even get a second year with the Cardinals, that is how bad he was.
They didn’t do bad on the backend, Bobby Massie is a starting NFL right tackle and Senio Kelemete has been a nice backup guard after being cut by Arizona. Obviously the highlight of this draft was sixth rounder Justin Bethel.
Then there was 2013, which he have talked about quite a bit.
Jonathan Cooper is still trying to find his way in the league, Kevin Minter is having a nice season in Cincinnati, while Tyrann Mathieu and Andre Ellington were the only two to get second contracts with the Cardinals (I guess you could say Earl Watford did as well).
In a three year span the Cardinals signed four players to second contracts, out of 24 draft picks. 13 of the 24 are still in the league, Anthony Sherman hasn’t been mentioned so I’ll do that here, and of those 13 only six are starters on their current teams.
In three drafts, with plenty of picks, the Cardinals came away with Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel as long term contributors, with Tyrann Mathieu and Andre Ellington needing to stay healthy.
It is tough to be a good team when you are consistently having to draft the same positions.