Arizona Cardinals Draft History: The fourth-rounders
Over the next week or so, we’ll be taking a round-by-round look at the draft history of the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals since they relocated from St. Louis in 1988.
Here’s a look at the best fourth-rounders of the last 25 years…
5. Greg Toler, CB, St. Paul’s (4th round, 131st overall, 2009)
Mark it down…Toler will be the only player from St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Virg. to make it to the NFL.
The Cardinals selected the talented defensive back in 2009 and two years later the school disbanded its athletic program to ease financial difficulties.
Toler played a reserve role in his rookie season, registering seven tackles and picking off a pass in a Week 15 win over the St. Louis Rams.
Toler was inserted in the starting lineup the next season, registering 79 tackles and coming up with two interceptions, including one he took back 66 yards for a touchdown during a Christmas night win over the Dallas Cowboys.
He’d miss the 2011 season with a knee injury, but came back in a part-time role in 2012 when he had 26 tackles and two interceptions, including a 102-yard return for a touchdown in a Week 15 win over Detroit.
Fun fact: The Cardinals were 5-0 in games in which Toler picked off a pass.
Following the 2012 season, Toler signed a three-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts.
4. Chris Dishman, G, Nebraska (4th round, 106th overall, 1997)
The former second-team All-American didn’t play much as a rookie, but moved into the starting lineup in 1998, helping the Cardinals to their first playoff win in 41 years.
In his Cardinals career, Dishman played in 91 ball games, starting 54.
In 2006, he was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.
3. Ronald Moore, RB, Pittsburg State (4th round, 87th overall, 1993)
Despite getting picked in the fourth round out of a small school, Ronald Moore wasn’t all that thrilled with the process.
That’s because the Cardinals already had Garrison Hearst (on whom they invested a high first-round pick that same year), Larry Centers and Johnny Bailey in the backfield.
“I never thought I would really be given the chance to play,” Moore once said in an interview with the Morning Sun.
But Hearst injured his knee in Week 6 and missed the rest of the season, giving Moore his opportunity. He didn’t disappoint.
Moore was a workhorse for the Cardinals and head coach Joe Bugel. Over the last eight weeks, he carried the ball 190 times for 710 yards and seven touchdowns. In a 16-3 win over Philadelphia in Week 9, Moore carried 36 times for 160 yards. Three weeks later against the Rams, he ran for 126 yards and scored four touchdowns on the ground in a 38-10 win.
With Hearst again battling injuries the next season, Moore was again the Cardinals’ feature back, but he wasn’t quite as productive. He ran for 780 yards on 232 carries and scored four times for head coach Buddy Ryan.
Following the season, Moore was traded to the New York Jets along with the 16th pick in the draft in exchange for wide receiver Rob Moore, in what has to be the only Moore-for-Moore deal in NFL history.
Following the trade, Moore would run for only 412 yards over the next four seasons.
He was inducted into the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
2. Michael Pittman, RB, Fresno State (4th round, 98th overall, 1998)
“Four Legs,” as he was known by some in the Valley because of his massive arms, Pittman was a very productive player for the Cardinals in his four seasons with the team.
Pittman started in 2000 and 2001, racking up 1,565 yards an nine touchdowns on the ground and 115 catches for 843 yards and two more scores on the receiving end of things.
The back was eventually released by the Cardinals after being arrested on domestic violence, criminal damage and criminal trespassing in the summer of 2001. It was Pittman’s second arrest in a month.
“Michael Pittman has far bigger issues in his life right now than football,” then-Cardinals head coach Dave McGinnis said. “Misconduct on the part of our players is unacceptable. I am furious Michael put himself back into a position that ended in his arrest last night. Two weeks ago, Michael — eye to eye — assured me he would take care of his personal business. Clearly, he has not.”
Pittman’s criminal troubles followed him after his Cardinals days. In 2003, he was arrested on six felony counts after he rammed his Hummer into his wife’s car.
He did play on a Super Bowl championship squad in his first year with the Bucs and was named the “Buffest player in Cardinals history” by this website, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
1. Michael Bankston, DT, Sam Houston State (4th round, 100th overall, 1992)
During his six years as part of the Cardinals defense, Michael Bankston was overshadowed by the likes of Eric Swann, Freddie Joe Nunn, Clyde Simmons, Simeon Rice, Seth Joyner, Eric Hill, Aeneas Williams and Jamir Miller.
But Bankston was as steady as they come on the Cards’ D-line. During his time in the desert, Bankston had 16.5 sacks and was productive against the run.
In 1993, Bankston recovered five fumbles and forced two more.
Following the 1997 season, Bankston signed a three-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he would end his career.
• Jim Wahler, DT, UCLA (1989)
• Terry Irving, LB, McNeese State (1994)
• David Barrett, CB, Arkansas (2000)
• Sam Acho, LB, Texas (2011)