After reaching Super Bowl XLIII, the Arizona Cardinals drafted Chris "Beanie" Wells with the 31st overall selection in the 2009 NFL draft, the second-to-last selection of the first round.

In the 2008 season, the Cardinals finished 9-7 in the regular season, finishing in first place in the NFC West. They won three playoff games before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

The Cardinals have used four of their last six first-round selections on offensive players. Prior to 2009, the last time the Cardinals' first selection was outside the top 20 was in 1999, when they selected Eastern Michigan offensive tackle L.J. Shelton.