Pro Football Focus came out with there "NFC Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet" yesterday, listing all the players they believe will make the trip to Hawaii from the NFC. For Cardinals fans, this sheet is both a good thing and a bad thing. Calais Campbell, a stellar defensive end for the Cards, is listed as the top 3-4 NFC DE candidate in front of Chris Clemons and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Here is what they said about Campbell:
Following a year where his ability to get pressure clearly out-stripped his run defense, Campbell has put it all together this year and is behind only J.J. Watt among 3-4 defensive ends.
Campbell started out strong, but has faded a bit over the Cardinals' three game losing streak. To me, he is still worthy of a spot on the Pro Bowl team, but he will need to kick it up a notch over the final half of the season if he wants to win those honors.
Simply taking on opposing offensive linemen will not be enough. He needs to help more in the run game (which he has not done for a couple of games) and get more pressure on the opposing quarterback. Hopefully playing the 49ers, a team he hates, is just the spark he needs.
As great as it is to see Campbell mentioned, there was one player not on the list that shocked me a bit. Daryl Washington was not listed as one of the top inside linebackers in the NFC, as Penn State products NaVorro Bowman and Sean Lee were the top two.
I asked PFF about this on Twitter and they replied to me with this:
@tylernickelasu He plays in the NFC. With Lee, Bowman & Willis its tough to crack. 6 missed tackles in last 2 games didn't help— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 23, 2012
I still don't agree. Washington is one of the better pass rushing inside linebackers, he plays extremely well against the run and he can play in coverage. With Sean Lee out for the season, Washington's chances of getting the call have gone up, but I think that case could have been made prior to Lee's injury.
Larry Fitzgerald also wasn't mentioned as one of the top wide receivers, but that may be because of the quarterbacks he is forced to play with. I have no doubt that he will make the Pro Bowl when all is said and done.
What are some other snubs you can think of? Does D-Wash deserve to make the Pro Bowl ahead of the aforementioned inside linebackers? What about Fitz? Tell us in the comments section below.