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A Look Through Recent No. 3 Picks in the NFL Draft

The Arizona Cardinals have the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. If history tells us anything, a potential cornerstone player is ripe for the picking.

With bad comes a bit of good, and that will bode true for the Arizona Cardinals here in just a few short months. 

The Cardinals recently wrapped up a 4-13 season that saw them gain the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. 

It's a spot Arizona is somewhat familiar with - the Cardinals drafted in the top ten for three straight years prior to 2021. After trading their first-round pick in the deal for Marquise Brown last year, the Cardinals will look forward to again taking a player that can help change the trajectory of the franchise. 

There's quite a few players that could be at their choosing that early in the draft, as either Georgia DL Jalen Carter and Alabama EDGE Will Anderson could be available with Alabama QB Bryce Young expected to go No. 1.

Recent No. 3 picks have been extremely hit or miss. Take a journey through the time portal with us:

2022: Derek Stingley Jr., CB, Houston Texans 

Stingley was placed on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury late in the season, but there's no doubting the impact he can have when utilized properly and healthy. 

The Texans have a good one to bank on moving forward in the secondary. 

2021: Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Prior to his season-ending ankle injury, there were flashes of what the 49ers could be with Lance at the helm. However, Brock Purdy has now taken over and it looks as if Lance could be on the move in the offseason. 

Not even 23-years-old, Lance offers strong athleticism at the quarterback position but many are skeptical of how he'll function outside of Kyle Shanahan's guidance. 

2020: Jeff Okudah, DB, Detroit Lions

Okudah has ended his first two season on injured reserve after suffering a core muscle injury in 2020 and a ruptured Achilles in 2021. This season Okudah was able to play his first full season and failed to impress. 

Lions GM Brad Holmes gave him the benefit of basically only having one season under his belt:

The Lions hope to have him back and healthy to actually progress into the player they believe him to be. 

2019: Quinnen Williams, DL, New York Jets

It took a minute to get going, but man what a player Williams has turned himself into. He's evolved into a strong presence along New York's defensive interior. He earned All-Pro honors this season. 

Williams is hoping to snag a big payday soon. If he continues his strong level of play, the Jets should have no problem handing him the bag. 

2018: Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets

The Jets apparently had to make amends with Williams after drafting Darnold the year prior. There was a lot to like about him coming out of USC, but turnovers and ultimate decision-making plagued what was once a young and intelligent QB prospect. 

Some say he's still seeing ghosts to this day. 

2017: Solomon Thomas, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

Thomas offered plenty to like in terms of athleticism but failed to make good on any of his traits, as the 49ers declined his fifth-year option and Thomas is now on his third team. 

What could have been.

2016: Joey Bosa, EDGE, Los Angeles Chargers

There's been some hits and misses on this list, but there's no doubting Bosa's been an absolute pleasure to watch with the Chargers. His ability to get after the quarterback is one of the best in the league, and his mic'd up moments are even better. 

He can talk the talk and walk the walk. 

2015: Dante Fowler, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Fowler hasn't exactly been a bust, but he's yet to reach his full potential. He's on his fourth team since and has seen some instances of productivity but nothing sustainable. 

Only playing 30% of defensive snaps for the Cowboys this year, six sacks isn't a terrible mark for Fowler. Yet how much gas does he have left in the tank moving forward when he's already 28?

2014: Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

For every prospect with size and other glossy measurables that pans out (Josh Allen), there's 50 that aren't able to live up to the hype. Bortles is a perfect case study of that.

Though he was able to ride a great defense and rushing attack to a conference title game, nothing much prospered since.

2013: Dion Jordan, EDGE, Miami Dolphins

This list couldn't have ended with a better name, as the hype around Jordan was astronomical coming out of Oregon. Yet he failed to gather more than four sacks in a season and even missed a year due to violating the league's substance abuse policy. 

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