Ah yes March has arrived! That means the smell of spring in the air, NCAA March Madness, spring training baseball and NFL free agency! While much of our content is focused on potential free agents who could be on the radar and make an impact for the Cardinals, this is part of our worst player ever drafted in Cardinals history draft series. So far we have broken down the worst quarterback (Kelly Stouffer), worst running back (Tony Jeffery), wide receiver (Clyde Duncan), and tight end (everybody), and this weekend it is time for interior lineman.
As shocking as this may seem, the Cardinals have actually had some success in drafting players coming out of college who are characterized as being interior lineman (meaning guards or centers), in the past 40 years or so, there is just one problem though: they haven’t held on to them. They have drafted 11 interior lineman in the first three rounds of the draft in the last 40 years, only one of which was in to first round, Jonathan Cooper last year.
Not so coincidentally he is only one of three interior lineman drafted in the first three rounds of the draft in the past 20 years (there’s a reason why their offensive line has been so ineffective for so long). Of the 10, excluding Jonathan Cooper because he hasn’t had the opportunity to play yet, eight have played at least five seasons in the NFL and five of those eight have played at least 100 games in the NFL and started at least five seasons in the league. Only two of these lineman actually played as much as three years of their career as a Cardinals though unfortunately, Lance Smith and Doug Dawson.
The unique quandary the Cardinals have had the past 40 years of being mostly successful in drafting interior lineman in the first few rounds but being unable or unwilling to keep them makes selecting the worst interior lineman ever drafted a difficult task. There is one name though that stands out and fits all of the criteria for the dubious honor being the worst interior lineman ever drafted by the Cardinals organization…
Greg Kindle (Round 2: Pick 33, 1974)
Career Stats: 4 seasons, 12 starts, one season where he started more than half of the games.
The Tennessee State prodigy was the highest drafted interior lineman the Cardinals had drafted in over 40 years until they took Jonathan Cooper with the 7th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Greg didn’t live up to his draft status with the team though as he was only able to last four seasons in a Cardinals uniform and only muster 12 starts as an offensive guard over that four year span. Thereby making him the worst interior lineman drafted in Cardinals history.