What Hope Can Cardinals Fans Expect to Find in 2024 NFL Draft?

What Hope Can Cardinals Fans Expect to Find in 2024 NFL Draft?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Arizona Cardinals are racing towards another year to forget, with the franchise stuck squarely at the bottom of the NFC West standings and guaranteed their second straight 10-loss campaign.

With the Cardinals sitting at 3-10 and fresh off their bye week, it’s worth turning our attention towards the NFL Draft to give Arizona sports betting fans something to look forward to.

Since 2000, the Cardinals have finished with five or fewer wins 10 times, landing some of the franchise’s cornerstone players on teams that reached the playoffs five times between 2000 and 2021 and one Super Bowl (2009).

To get a sense of how Arizona fared in the NFL Draft after forgetful seasons, BetArizona.com broke down the numbers on which draftees helped shape the franchise in the 21st Century. To do so, we used Pro-Football-Reference.com to get each of the club’s first round pick’s Weighted Average Value (wAV), so we could assess which picks thrived and which ones were busts.

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Top Picks in Worst Seasons Since 2000

  • 2018-19 (3-13/.188): QB Kyler Murray (51 wAV in 61 games) 
  • 2000-01 (3-13/.188): T Leonard Davis (66 wAV in 171 games) 
  • 2022-23 (4-13/.235): OL Paris Johnson (0 wAV in 13 games) 
  • 2003-04 (4-12/.250): WR Larry Fitzgerald (93 wAV in 263 games) 
  • 2002-03 (5-11/.313): WR Bryant Johnson (26 wAV in 139 games)/DE Calvin Pace (61 wAV in 187 games) 
  • 2005-06 (5-11/.313): QB Matt Leinart (12 wAV in 33 games)  
  • 2006-07 (5-11/.313): T Levi Brown (34 wAV in 81 games) 
  • 2010-11 (5-11 .313): DB Patrick Peterson (101 wAV in 197 games) 
  • 2012-13 (5-11/.313): G Jonathan Cooper (16 wAV in 46 games) 
  • 2019-20 (5-10-1/.333): LB Isaiah Simmons (17 wAV in 62 games)  
  • Average: 47.7 wAV (477 total wAV)

Although things have been bleak this season, Arizona has yet to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Because of that the Cardinals Super Bowl odds are still on the board at +100000.

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Cardinals Fans Can Find Hope in Draft

While the jury’s still out on 2023 first-round pick Paris Johnson (who has a career total of 0 wAV in 13 games this year), we do know which Arizona first round draft picks have excelled (or not) between 2000 and 2022.

Over that period, cornerback Patrick Peterson produced the most value on the field, at 101 wAV, followed by future Hall of Fame wideout Larry Fitzgerald (93 wAV), offensive tackle Leonard Davis (66 wAV), quarterback Kyler Murray (51 wAV) and offensive tackle Levi Brown (34 wAV). Conversely, the biggest draft busts for the Cardinals included quarterback Matt Leinart (12 wAV), offensive guard Jonathan Cooper (16 wAV) and linebacker Isaiah Simmons (17 wAV).

For those wondering where Arizona is stacking up to draft in 2024, Tankathon.com has the Cards at No. 3, sitting behind Chicago (via the 1-12 Carolina Panthers) and New England. As for the week ahead, Arizona hosts 10-3 San Francisco on Sunday. Oddsmakers from ESPN BET Arizona list the Cardinals as a 13.5-point home underdog.  

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Author

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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