Welcome to the first edition of a little game I like to play with myself sometimes as a football fan. I call it “what hurts the most.” The object of this game is to basically hate your franchise. Here are the rules, you look at your first round draft picks since 2000, you find the worst pick, then you look at that draft and see who you could have had. Fun right? Let’s get this shit rolling! Warning, this is a surprisingly depressing article so I recommend that you don’t play any Rascal Flatts while reading and that you hide all sharp objects!
Now I know the easy pick here is Matt Leinart, remember the 10th overall pick who was supposed to be the future of the franchise? National champion, Heisman Trophy winner, elite prospect? But as I was looking I realized that the 2006 draft class honestly wasn’t that impressive, meaning this wouldn’t be depressing enough. When I kept digging, I found something much much more heartbreaking for Cards fans. (Thank me later)
Flash back all the way to 2001, Arizona selects Leonard Davis, offensive tackle out of the University of Texas with the 2nd overall pick. His career actually started off pretty decent, he played guard and was fairly dominant. But then the coaching staff forced him to move to tackle due to “being paid too much” for a guard. From that point on his play took a nosedive and he became one of the most penalized players in the league.
After his rookie deal expired the Cardinals elected not to resign him, understandably so due to his level of play. Right? He sucked! Not the case, the Dallas Cowboys signed him to play guard and he rewarded them by being an All-Pro in 2007 and making the Pro Bowl in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Can’t get any worse right? Wrong!
Here’s where it really starts to hurt, the players available when the Cardinals picked in 2001? Just some guys named LaDanian Tomlinson, Steve Hutchinson, Reggie Wayne, and Chad Johnson. But the one that hurts the most? Drew Brees. Heard of him? I know Kurt Warner comes along later and provides the beautiful underdog story and leads the Cardinals to a heart breaking Super Bowl loss. But picture Drew Brees paired with Larry Fitzgerald for the last decade and a half. Brees in Arizona probably rewrites their entire franchise history. To make it just a little worse, picking Brees eliminates all reason to pick Matt Leinart, allowing them to use a first round pick on a different position of need, further improving their probably championship caliber roster.
Well, that wraps up our first edition of “What Hurts The Most.” I’m sure if you’re a Cardinals fan you’ve already vomited in your lap, if you’re not then I’m sure you’re laughing uncontrollably over how stupid they are. Just know your turn is coming!