Now that the bloody massacre that was Super Bowl XLVIII is beyond us, it’s time to look ahead to the NFL offseason and most importantly the NFL Draft. Like every other offseason since Kurt Warner’s retirement the Cardinals may be in the market for a new gunslinger in this year’s draft.
Before we jump full steam ahead into our exhaustive and way too early analysis of who the Cardinals might have their eye on come May, let’s have a little fun and reminisce about some of the dark times, of which this franchise has many, and take a look back at some of the worst quarterbacks the Cardinals have drafted in their franchise history.
Unfortunately there is stiff competition for the dubious crown of worst quarterback drafted in Cardinals history. Of the 21 quarterbacks drafted by the organization in the past 40 years including stirring names such as Stoney Case, Tony Sacca, Rick McIver and Steve Pisarkiewicz (I’m sure you’ve heard of those guys right?), only three have thrown as many or more touchdowns than interceptions. The three Cardinals starters who were with the team for at least two years were Neil Lomax, Josh McCown and Jake Plummer (Plummer threw for exactly 151 touchdowns and interceptions in his 10 year tenure with the Cardinals).
So after weeding out lower draft picks which have been pretty awful in a Cardinals uniform but didn’t come in with high expectations (Ryan Lindley anyone?) I have narrowed the list down to three:
Matt Leinart (Round 1: Pick 10, 2006)
Career Stats: 17 games started, 14 TD’s, 20 INT’s a 70.8 QB rating and a 7-10 record as starter.
Kelly Stouffer (Round 1: Pick 6, 1987)
*Career Stats: 16 games started, 7 TD’s, 19 INT’s, a 54.5 QB Rating and a 5-11 record as a starter
Steve Pisarkiewicz (Round 1: pick 19, 1978)
Career stats: 4 games started, 3 TD’S, 7 INT’s, a 49.3 QB rating and a 2-2 record as a starter.
And the winner is…… Kelly Stouffer (Round 1: Pick 6, 1987)
Although it was tempting to pick Matt Leinart here as he was a highly touted former Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion at USC who didn’t pan out, there is no way I could pick him over Kelly Stouffer for this dubious honor. Leinart had the cards (no pun intended) stacked against him as he happened to wearing a Cardinals uniform during one of the few short stretches in Cardinals history where they already had a proven and highly capable QB in Kurt Warner. Leinart also had well-documented off-field fun as well and has bounced around the league since starting with Arizona.
Kelly Stouffer, on the other hand, is the highest drafted quarterback in the past 40 years for the franchise and never even suited up for the team. He never agreed to a contract after being drafted in 1987 and his draft rights were traded to the Seattle Seahawks in 1988 where he floundered in 16 career games as a starter with seven touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Wasting the sixth pick of the NFL Draft on a quarterback who never even suited up for your team and didn’t garner anything in return is the ultimate waste of a valuable draft pick.
It affords Kelly the illustrious honor of being the worst quarterback drafted in Cardinals history. Even without throwing a single interception for the team.
If Stouffer was the worst, see who we thought was the best quarterback.