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Best draft picks in Cardinals history, ranked

The Cardinals may be relatively new to Arizona, having moved there in 1988, but overall, the franchise has a rich history that goes back to their roots in St. Louis and Chicago. With that rich history comes a whole list of star players.

Last year, Arizona had the number one overall pick and picked quarterback Kyler Murray but what are the best picks throughout the franchises’ century of existence.

5. Dan Dierdorf

There was perhaps no better offensive tackle in the 1970s than Dierdorf. Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round (43rd overall) in the 1971 draft, Dierdorf was the full-time starter by his second year.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound offensive lineman spent all 13 years of his career in Saint Louis and in the seven-year span between 1974 and 1980, Dierdorf would be named to six Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams. The Cardinals legend would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

4. Aeneas Williams

Playing at HBCU Southern University, Williams fell to the third round of the 1991 draft. Selected by the Cardinals with the 59th overall pick during their few years in Phoenix, Williams burst onto the scene as a rookie recording 48 tackles and a team-high six interceptions.

Williams played a decade for the Cardinals before being traded to St. Louis, in that time, the 5-foot-11 cornerback made six Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams while recording 46 total interceptions — second-most in team history.

3. Patrick Peterson

When the Cardinals selected LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, they expected him to be a star. However, it’s hard to expect a player will be as good as Peterson has been in his first nine seasons with Arizona.

Up until this past season, Peterson had yet to miss a single NFL game and was named to the Pro Bowl every year. Not only has Peterson managed to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL today, he has also excelled as a punt returner although that was mainly earlier in his career.

Peterson’s legacy is still being built and the star defensive back still has a few great years left in him at least.

2. Larry Wilson

If Aeneas Williams is second on the Cardinals all-time interceptions list, who’s first? That would be Larry Wilson. Drafted in the seventh round (74th overall) all the way back in 1960, Wilson was the best safety in football throughout most of the decade.

In 13 years with the St. Louis Cardinals, Wilson recorded an impressive 52 interceptions and made first-team All-Pro every season between 1966 and 1970. Wilson was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 1966 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

1. Larry Fitzgerald

An absolute no-brainer. Larry Fitzgerald is both the best draft pick and best player in Cardinals history.

Drafted third overall 2004 after an electric career at Pitt, Fitzgerald was a star from day one. Currently second on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list behind only Jerry Rice, Fitzgerald has been a model of consistency, professionalism and talent during his 16-year career.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound pass-catcher is still an impact player at 36 years old and for his career, has more tackles than dropped passes.