Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson greets the crowd at the Arizona Biltmore Wednesday night after Peterson -- as were all his fellow Cardinals -- were picked by Cris Carter's team.
For one day, at least, the most beloved NFL general manager in Arizona was not Steve Keim.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter was tasked with building a team at the Pro Bowl draft on Wednesday night at the Arizona Biltmore, and he ended up with a distinct Cardinals flavor.
The team's four Pro Bowlers – cornerback Patrick Peterson, defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback Antonio Cromartie and special teamer Justin Bethel – were all chosen to be a part of Team Carter for the all-star game on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Campbell was excited about joining his Cardinals teammates, and also liked the idea of teaming up with Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt and standout Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston. Team Carter also includes quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Drew Brees, running back Jamaal Charles and wideouts Antonio Brown and A.J. Green.
"I think Cris Carter did a good job with his draft strategy," Campbell said. "He waited a little too long to take me, in my opinion."
Michael Irvin went heavy on the Cowboys with his picks, choosing quarterback Tony Romo and running back DeMarco Murray among his six Dallas players. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Saints tight end Jimmy Graham and Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake are also on Team Irvin – which will also be coached by the Cowboys' staff.
The Ravens' coaching staff will lead Team Carter.
Peterson was the first defensive player taken. He had an interception in last year's game.
"Especially in my backyard, they better have taken me No. 1," Peterson said with a smile.
Bethel was picked on Tuesday, along with other special teamers. Cromartie was the final Cardinals player taken. He was added as an alternate in place of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who will miss the game because he's in the Super Bowl.
Each of the Cardinals drafted received a loud ovation from the crowd following their selection. Peterson said he will miss the beach in Hawaii but also likes the idea of playing the Pro Bowl in his home state.
"To have it here is special," Peterson said. "I think it's going to draw more local fans. It's not that expensive to fly to Arizona compared to flying across the water to Hawaii."
Images of the Cardinals in Pro Bowls since 2010