Now, it is hip to like the Arizona Cardinals. One of the charter members of the NFL and a team that has endured winning and losing in both St. Louis and Arizona, the Cardinals are on the rise again.
Just a few months removed from a 10-win season and no playoff appearance to show for it, the Cardinals are mired in arguably the best division in the NFL – the NFC North.
A resurgence, a revitalization – whatever we call it, the Cardinals could have been the team wearing Cinderella’s slipper last year.
Now, with better players and another year of Bruce Arians to guide them, the future looks bright in the desert.
Things weren’t always this good with this franchise. Bad decisions on Draft Day, poor management and poor coaching has done this team in on many an occasion. Mainly the Draft and choces that were supposed to help this team (Eric Swann) went astray.
These five picks in particular turned this team on its side and took a while for the franchise to recover. All information obtained came form NFL.com
Bryant Johnson -- 2003
You don't want to get too involved with the guys the Cardinals could have had. Because that's not always fair. However, the Cardinals held the sixth-overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft and Terrell Suggs of Arizona State was just waiting to be picked by the Birds.
Nobody would have flinched if the Cardinals swung and missed with Suggs. You almost had to do it. Instead, they traded out of the spot and ended up with Johnson.
Andre Wadsworth -- 1998
Wadsworth was considered by some to be the top prospect in the 1998 NFL Draft. Yes, the same draft with Peyton Manning in it. The Cardinals selected Wadsworth with the third-overall selection. And that was the high point.
He held out initially and had a somewhat productive rookie year. But injuries soon mounted and Wadsworth was gone by 2001. Thankfully for Wadsworth, people only remember the player selected just before him before in the 1998 draft, Ryan Leaf.
Buster Davis -- 2007
You would think the Cardinals would have been scared off by a guy who had "bust" in his name. Undaunted, the Birds drafted the linebacker out of Florida State in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. While not unusual for a third-round pick to not make it, Davis didn't even make the final roster cut for the Cardinals.
He was released before the season started and claimed by the Detroit Lions. Davis, you might be surprised to find, is no longer playing football.
Wendell Bryant -- 2002
The Cardinals selected Bryant with the 12th overall selection in the 2002 NFL Draft. Bryant, however, battled drug and alcohol problems during his career and was eventually suspended for the entire 2005 NFL season for his third violation.
The defensive tackle registered just 1.5 sacks in 29 games for the Cardinals. Bryant tried to revive his career a number of years later, but was never able to live up to his talent.
Kelly Stouffer -- 1987
Tony Sacca might draw some sentimental favoritism for those who remembered that era, but no quarterback bust (Matt Leinart included) could top Stouffer. The Cardinals used a sixth-overall selection on Stouffer in the 1987 NFL Draft and he refused to play his rookie year because of a contract dispute. The Cardinals eventually traded his rights away to the Seattle Seahawks.