By Kevin Saito @Kevin_Saito on March 30, 2014
The Arizona Cardinals have had their fair share -- and then some -- of draft day blunders. With draft day fast approaching, the Cardinals' brain trust, holding the 20th overall pick, has some important decisions to make. They're a franchise looking to take it to the next level, but they're also a franchise haunted by some enormous draft day misses. Here is a look back at some of the bigger draft busts in team history.
Taken 12th overall in the 2002 draft, Bryant was supposed to bring some much-needed ferocity to the Cardinals' defensive front. Instead, he brought his battle with drugs and alcohol to the team. After testing positive for a third time, he was suspended from the league for the 2005 season and has not been seen in the NFL since. He finished his lackluster career with the Cards with a total of 1.5 sacks and 39 tackles in 29 career games.
Johnson makes the list more for who the Cardinals could have taken rather than for anything he did on the field. Playing behind Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, Johnson never figured heavily into the offensive sets. Instead of Johnson, the Cardinals could have taken ASU linebacker Terrell Suggs, who could have had a real impact on the team. Instead, the Cards took a receiver who never figured to be more than the third option. Go figure.
Some might not remember Stouffer ever playing for the Cards -- and that would be because he didn't. Though drafted with the 6th overall pick in the 1987draft, Stouffer couldn't come to a contract agreement with the team and sat out what would have been his rookie season. The contract impasse led the Cardinals to trade him to the Seattle Seahawks where he went on to be a big draft bust in the Pacific Northwest.
Coming out of USC with two national championships, a Heisman Trophy and vast experience running a pro-style offense, the Cardinals thought Matt Leinart was a sure thing and took him with the 10th overall pick in 2006. He started 16 games for the Cards with mixed results, eventually losing the starting job to Kurt Warner. Leinart never came close to living up to his hype, and has spent his career bouncing around the league as a backup.
Coming out of Florida State in 1998, Andre Wordsworth was hyped as a “can't miss” prospect who would revolutionize the game. He had that rare combination of size, speed and strength that DCs covet. Wadsworth showed a lot of promise in his rookie season, recording five sacks and 57 tackles, but then a rash of injuries conspired to derail his career. After his third knee operation in 2001, the Cardinals cut their can't miss prospect.
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