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Interesting Cardinals draft facts

The race for the Super Bowl begins with the NFL Draft on April 28, when rookies are selected to rejuvenate the rosters of their respective NFL franchises for the coming year. The Cardinals hold the fifth overall pick this year, looking to improve from a 5-11 record last season and build for the future. Here are ten interesting draft facts about the Cardinals heading into this year’s draft.

• The Cardinals hold eight selections in the 2011 NFL draft with two picks in the sixth round and a compensatory selection in the seventh round.

• The Cardinals have the fifth overall selection this year. Recent picks at the fifth spot include Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk, former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson and Cardinals offensive tackle Levi Brown.

• Of the 27 players selected since Ken Whisenhunt began his tenure in Arizona in 2007, 21 remain on the Cardinals roster for the 2011 season and 18 have started at least one game.

• This is the eighth time in Cardinals history that the team has selected fifth overall and the second since moving to Arizona in 1988. The previous seven players chosen with the fifth overall pick by the Cardinals have been selected to a combined five Pro Bowls.

• Since 1960, the Cardinals have drafted offense in the first round 27 times and defense 27 times with one pick used on a special teams player.

• Of the 43 players selected by the Cardinals in the first round since 1970, more (10) have come from the Big-10 than any other conference.

• In the last four drafts under Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves, the Cardinals have selected seven players from Division I-AA including Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, John Skelton and Tim Hightower.

• The Cardinals have drafted a total of 14 players from Arizona colleges since the draft began. Five from the University of Arizona and nine from Arizona State University.

• Of the 48 selections the Cardinals have made since 2004, the most common position drafted was linebacker with 10 total picks followed by offensive line and defensive line with eight picks each.

• Of the 22 regular starters for the Cardinals in 2010, 13 were drafted by Arizona.