As we get closer to the NFL Draft, our mailbag turns to all-things draft related. This week’s question is about that coulda-woulda-shoulda picks the Cardinals are probably still kicking themselves for. We’re limiting this to players Arizona took in the first round.
Which draft picks do the Cardinals wish they had do-overs for?Who would you have taken instead? -Butch in Mesa
This is a great question and it starts with the obvious answer of Adrian Peterson over Levi Brown in 2007. Peterson is likely a first-ballot Hall of Fame back while Brown has torn his triceps each of the last two seasons. Brown is also weighing the team down with $6 million in dead money against this year’s cap.
Another one we want a do-over on is the 2009 first-round pick (31st overall) of Chris “Beanie” Wells from Ohio State. He played in the league three seasons, had one campaign with more than 1,000 yards and is currently out of the league trying to latch back on with a team. We would rather have had LeSean McCoy who went in the 2nd round, 53rd overall. One of those guys had 370 touches last season and is the most versatile back in the league.
Can we get a do-over on 2006 please? Taking Matt Leinart 10th overall was as bad of a choice as milk was for Ron Burgundy. Leinart struggled with the Cardinals and wound up losing his job to Kurt Warner–who took the team to its only Super Bowl appearance. Leinart was last seen in the league suffering from a broken collarbone when pressed into service for the Houston Texans.
We would have rather had: Jay Cutler, taken by Denver one pick later. Cutler has thrown for nearly 24,000 yards in his career with 155 touchdowns. Leinart is more likely to throw back 24,000 ounces of an adult beverage than he is to hit that many yards passing in the NFL.
In 2003, the Cardinals had two picks in a row with the 17th and 18th picks. They took Bryant Johnson with the 17th pick and Calvin Pace with the 18th pick. Pace turned out okay but Johnson wasn’t everything the team thought he would be. Johnson finished his career with 312 catches for 3,893 yards and 15 touchdowns. Catching 40 passes a season wasn’t the best way to spend a first-round pick.
We would have rather had Larry Johnson who went 27th overall to Kansas City. The running back from Penn State turned out to be a two-time Pro Bowler and scored 61 career touchdowns. His 2005 and 2006 seasons combined for 752 carries, 3,549 yards and 37 touchdowns on the ground. That sounds much better than Bryant Johnson.
What picks would you want a do over on? Let us know in the comments.