The Arizona Cardinals have never been bad enough to have the first overall pick, which with their history seems... Crazy to think about.
Yet, they have been fortunate enough to be able to acquire a former first overall pick in Carson Palmer.
Their trade of two late round picks for Palmer not only revitalized Palmer’s career, but made the Cardinals a consistent threat in the NFC for the first time since Kurt Warner was behind center.
Palmer’s journey through the NFL may be viewed as less than for many, but for NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison, he sees Palmer as one of the 20 best first overall picks in the history of the league:
19) Carson Palmer, quarterback
Drafted by: Cincinnati Bengals, 2003.
Carson Palmer sat his entire rookie season to learn, but by Year 3, he had the Bengals in the playoffs, with the promise of much more to come. However, injuries and inconsistent play marred much of Palmer's time in Cincy, which was followed by a sub-.500 two-year stint in Oakland (Palmer went 8-16 with the Raiders in 2011 and '12). He's managed to be a more effective player under Bruce Arians in Arizona. Palmer's ability to throw a nice deep ball dovetails with Arians' belief that routine checkdowns are as enjoyable as routine enemas.
Palmer’s career not working out in Cincy and his bad two year stint in Oakland probably holds him down even more.
Palmer being one of the twenty best first overall picks in NFL history is something to look back on fondly if you are an Arizona Cardinals fan, even if they were not the team that selected him.
His work in Arizona probably has carried him up the list quite a bit and with one more great season, maybe he can leap into the top 15 of all time.