Pittsburgh had its famed draft class of 1974. Arizona had its in 2004.
Five years ago, the Cardinals picked the players who put them in Super Bowl XLIII – Pittsburgh wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (first round), Auburn linebacker Karlos Dansby (second), Florida State defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (third) and Oklahoma State defensive end Antonio Smith (fifth).
Two of the players already have gone to the Pro Bowl, another has received the Cardinals’ franchise tag, and the fourth is a superb pass rusher.
Pittsburgh had what is regarded as the single greatest draft in 1974, picking four future Hall of Famers in the first five rounds -– Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. That draft class became the foundation for the Steelers’ four Super Bowl titles in the 1970s.
Now the Cardinals have their own illustrious draft class. It’s no accident that it has correlated into the team’s first Super Bowl appearance.