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As Draft Approaches, The History Of 4 And 27

Cardinals have not picked fourth since 1972

The last time the Cardinals drafted fourth overall, they took wide receiver Bobby Moore (left; later known as Ahmad Rashad). The last time they drafted 27th, they took safety Deone Bucannon.
The last time the Cardinals drafted fourth overall, they took wide receiver Bobby Moore (left; later known as Ahmad Rashad). The last time they drafted 27th, they took safety Deone Bucannon.

The last time the Cardinals took a player at No. 4, they took a wide receiver.

It was 1972, and the team selected Oregon wideout Bobby Moore -- a very nice pick. Moore developed into a multi-time Pro Bowler, albeit later with the Vikings, under his new name: Ahmad Rashad.

The Cardinals are picking at 4 again this week in the draft. OK, they are scheduled to pick at 4; a trade remains possible. And yes, if the Cardinals take the No. 4 overall selection again for the first time in 52 years, it very well could be a wide receiver. Marvin Harrison Jr. is possible, although Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze have earned their way into the conversation.

The last time the Cardinals took at player at No. 27 was a lot more recently. Washington State safety Deone Bucannon was the pick, although defensive coordinator Todd Bowles turned him into a "dollar backer" and the Cards had him play a major role on the defense that helped put the team in the 2015 NFC Championship.

What the Cardinals do at 27 -- if they remain in that spot -- will be based on what happens at 4. Or with a trade. But for now, they are at 4 and 27, selections that even if the team doesn't move from could provide a significant jolt for 2024 and beyond.

At 27, there is more of a risk factor, not a surprise given how much lower it is. (The Cardinals ended up at 27 in 2014 when they had 20; they traded with the Saints, who took wide receiver Brandin Cooks. The Cards took Bucannon, and then with the extra third-round pick they received they took wide receiver John Brown.)

DeAndre Hopkins was the pick at 27 back in 2013. The best No. 27 pick ever is a pretty easy choice -- Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino in 1983.

A look at the No. 27 pick over the last decade underscores the hit-and-miss reality:

Table inside Article
Year Name (Pick 27) Position Team
2023 Anton Harrison T Jaguars
2022 Devin Lloyd LB Jaguars
2021 Rashod Bateman WR Ravens
2020 Jordyn Brooks LB Seahawks
2019 Johnathan Abram S Raiders
2018 Rashaad Penny RB Seahawks
2017 Tre'Davious White CB Bills
2016 Kenny Clark DT Packers
2015 Bryon Jones CB Cowboys
2014 Deone Bucannon S Cardinals

As for the fourth overall pick, history has been littered with stars and Hall of Famers. Among the players picked at No. 4 since the merged drafts of the AFL and NFL: Steelers defensive tackle Joe Greene, Patriots guard John Hannah, Bears running back Walter Payton, Eagles/Packers defensive tackle Reggie White, Chiefs edge Derrick Thomas, and Washington/49ers tackle Trent Williams.

Over the past decade, the No. 4 spot has again provided big names but also some picks that are off the mark. Two of those players were receivers, in Amari Cooper and Sammy Watkins:

Table inside Article
Year Name (Pick 4) Position Team
2023 Anthony Richardson QB Colts
2022 Sauce Gardner CB Jets
2021 Kyle Pitts TE Falcons
2020 Andrew Thomas T Giants
2019 Clelin Ferrell DE Raiders
2018 Denzel Ward S Browns
2017 Leonard Fournette RB Jaguars
2016 Ezekiel Elliott RB Cowboys
2015 Amari Cooper WR Raiders
2014 Sammy Watkins WR Bills

It will be the fourth time since the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988 in which the team will have two first-round picks. In 1989, they took linebacker Eric Hill (10) and offensive lineman Joe Wolf (17). In 1993, they got running back Garrison Hearst (3) and offensive lineman Ernest Dye (18). In 1999 they got wide receiver David Boston (8) and offensive lineman L.J. Shelton (21). And in 2003, they selected wide receiver Bryan Johnson (17) and defensive end Calvin Pace (18).

That list will grow Thursday -- assuming they don't find a way to add a third first-round pick.