The Cardinals have made 18 picks in the first round of the NFL draft since 2000. Take a look at the standouts.
The Arizona Cardinals have made 18 picks in the first round of the NFL draft since 2000.
Some of those players have gone on to solid NFL careers. Many, well, have not.
Five of those picks are still on the Cardinals’ roster.
Cards’ 1st-round hits and misses since 2000:
?2016: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Mississippi
Too early to tell: Nkemdiche has a lot of talent, but fell to the Cardinals in the draft after being labeled a character risk. Still, national writers praised the Cardinals’ pick. Nkemdiche’s current teammates did, too. He saw very limited action his rookie season, recording just one tackle.
2015: D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
Too early to tell: After not playing a single snap his rookie season, Humphries seemed to exceed expectations this year. He constantly drew rave reviews from coach Bruce Arians, General Manager Steve Keim and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.
2014: Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
Hit: Bucannon has thrived as a linebacker for Arizona. He had 112 total tackles in 2015 and three sacks. He had 91 tackles last season.
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2013: Jonathan Cooper, OL, North Carolina
Miss: Cooper was the 7th overall pick, but was a disappointment in Arizona. He missed all of his rookie season with a broken leg and struggled the next two years. The Cardinals traded him to the Patriots for Chandler Jones in the offseason and he’s bounced around since.
2012: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Hit: Floyd turned into a productive receiver in Arizona with six touchdowns, 52 receptions and 849 yards receiving in 2015. He took a step back in 2016, before Arizona released him following an arrest on DUI charges.
2011: Patrick Peterson, DB, LSU
Hit: Peterson has become a perennial Pro Bowler with the Cardinals. He is regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the league.
2010: Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Hit: Williams, the 26th overall pick, played five seasons in Arizona and has done alright for a guy picked so late in the first round. He played with the Raiders in 2015 and 2016.
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2009: Beanie Wells, RB, Ohio St.
Miss: Wells, a college star, played four seasons in Arizona and in the NFL, ending in 2012. The 31st overall pick, Wells suffered multiple injuries in his career. His best season came in 2011, when he rushed for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns.
2008: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, DB, Tennessee St.
Hit: Rodgers-Cromartie was the 16th overall pick. He played three seasons in Arizona, recording 10 total interceptions and four touchdowns. The Cardinals traded him to the Eagles for Kevin Kolb in 2011.
2007: Levi Brown, OT, Penn St.
Miss: Brown will forever be linked to the player the Cardinals could have had instead of him: Adrian Peterson. The Cardinals took Brown at No. 5 overall. Peterson went to the Vikings at No. 7. He never materialized into the player the Cardinals envisioned and he was traded to the Steelers in 2013. He never played in Pittsburgh.
2006: Matt Leinart, QB, USC
Miss: Leinart was the 10th overall pick coming out of USC. He played in 12 games in 2006, recording 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and passing for 2,547 yards. He never meshed with Ken Whisenhunt after Dennis Green was fired and lost time to Kurt Warner. He last played in the NFL in 2012 with the Raiders.
2005: Antrel Rolle, DB, Miami
Hit: Rolle was the 8th overall pick. He played five seasons in Arizona, including getting 89 total tackles in 2008. He had five interceptions in 2007 and three touchdowns. The Cardinals released him in 2010 and he went on to win a Super Bowl with the Giants.
2004: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pittsburgh
Hit: Fitzgerald has 1,125 career receptions, 14.389 career yards receiving and 104 touchdowns in his career in Arizona. That’s not a hit, it’s a bull’s eye.
2003: Bryant Johnson, WR, Penn St.
Miss: Johnson was drafted 17th overall after the Cardinals traded down from the 6th pick. His best season in Arizona was in 2006, when he had four touchdowns and 740 yards. Guess who went No. 10 in that draft? Former ASU standout Terrell Suggs.
2003: Calvin Pace, DE, Wake Forest
Miss: Pace was picked one spot after Johnson. Pace had 98 total tackles and 6.5 sacks in 2007. He signed with the Jets in 2008 and had some productive years, just mainly not in Arizona. Still, his career wouldn’t match that of Suggs.
2002: Wendell Bryant, DT, Wisconsin
Miss: Bryant, the 12th overall pick, played just three seasons in the NFL. Substance abuse ended his career. The Cardinals never saw it coming.
2001: Leonard Davis, OT, Texas
Miss: Davis played six seasons for the Cardinals after being the 2nd overall pick. The team kept moving him along the offensive line as he played at right guard, right tackle and left tackle. He went on to shine with the Cowboys, going to the Pro Bowl in his first three seasons in Dallas.
2000: Thomas Jones, RB, Virginia
Miss: Jones played three seasons in Arizona. His best season came in 2002 when he rushed for 511 yards and two touchdowns. After leaving the Cardinals, he had five seasons with more than 1,000 yards rushing. He last played in the NFL in 2011.
Do you agree with our hits and misses? Share your thoughts in the comments.
To see each of the Arizona Cardinals franchise’s first draft picks since1954, including year drafted, position and college, click here.
azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Bob McManaman contributed to this story.
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