The One at 1: 1994 -- Dan Wilkinson

Defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Bengals tackles quarterback Mark Rypien of the Cleveland Browns in 1994.
Defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Bengals tackles quarterback Mark Rypien of the Cleveland Browns in 1994.

The Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick for April’s NFL draft for the first time since 1958. As the day for the Cards to make their selection draws closer, azcardinals.com will take a look at the last 30 No. 1 overall selections and each player’s impact on the team and league.

NAME/YEAR: Dan Wilkinson/1994

TEAM: Cincinnati Bengals

THE SITUATION: Some notable prospects were in play at the top of the 1994 draft, and the No. 1 selection reportedly received great trade interest. The Bengals chose to hang on to the pick and zeroed in on “Big Daddy” Wilkinson, who was fresh off an All-America season at Ohio State. Cincinnati’s big issues were on offense the year before but it believed Wilkinson was the best player in the draft.

THE CAREER: While Wilkinson wasn’t a bad player, he didn’t live up to the lofty standard of the top choice. He finished with 25 sacks over four years with the Bengals but was traded in 1998 after a falling out with the team. Wilkinson played the next five years with the Redskins, then finished his career with the Lions and Dolphins. Wilkinson ended up with 54.5 career sacks and never made a Pro Bowl.

THE OTHER OPTIONS IN TOP FIVE: Bengals fans may want to avert their eyes when they see who went No. 2 overall. The Colts chose running back Marshall Faulk one pick after Wilkinson, and he went on to have a Hall of Fame career. Heath Shuler was the No. 3 overall pick but he was a bust for Washington. The Patriots took star linebacker Willie McGinest at No. 4, and the Colts’ selection of linebacker Trev Alberts rounded out the top-5.

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