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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Cards unfamiliar with late draft picks

By Josh Weinfuss

TEMPE, Ariz. - If the NFL draft order were determined this week, the Arizona Cardinals would have the 23rd overall pick, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

It’s an area of the draft board they’re not familiar with. The top 10 is more the norm for the Cards.

Arizona has made just four initial selections at 20th or later in the first round in the history of the team, although two of them have come in the past five years. The most recent was Dan Williams, in 2010 at No. 26; the year before, they chose Beanie Wells at No. 31.

Those two drafts coincided with runs to the playoffs. Arizona lost in the Super Bowl in the 2008 playoffs, which gave them the second-to-last pick of the 2009 draft. And in 2009, the Cards lost in an NFC divisional playoff.

It was 33 years between picks in the last third of the first round, however. In 1976, the Cardinals chose Mike Dawson 22nd, and in 1975 they picked Tim Gray at No. 21.

While the draft order can change dramatically in the next four games, Arizona has never selected 23rd.

Since 1980, the 23rd pick has produced a handful of impact players, according to MyNFLDraft.com, including three tackles in the past five years. Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall went 23rd to Pittsburgh in 2008.

Among some of the better 23rd picks are DT Sharrif Floyd (2013), OT Michael Oher (2009), WR Dwayne Bowe (2007), RB Willis McGahee (2003), RB Deuce McAllister (2001), CB Ty Law (1995) and T Bruce Armstrong (1987).