Daryl Washington Recognized By Pro Football Focus For Two Outstanding Performances In 2011

GLENDALE AZ - DECEMBER 12: Linebacker Daryl Washington #58 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after scoring on a 40 touchdown interception against the Denver Broncos during the fourth quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 12 2010 in Glendale Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Broncos 43-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Pro Football Focus is running a series right now that goes through every position in the NFL and seeing which players stand out at each one. Specifically, they are giving the top five performances based on their grading scale and listing why that player earned that recognition.

We all know that Daryl Washington had another outstanding year in 2011 as an Arizona Cardinal. But were any of his games good enough to earn honors from PFF? Yes, in fact, two of them were.

Washington tied for the fifth best performance out of all 3-4 inside linebackers for his play during the week one game against the Carolina Panthers at home. In Cam Newton's debut, Washington was able to pick off two passes (one was negated by penalty) and he registered two sacks as well. PFF gave him a grade of +6.0 for the season opener. They cited his ability to stop the run as part of the reason for tying Patrick Willis for fifth.

After that, Washington also made it into the fourth spot for his performance against the St. Louis Rams in week nine. In a game where Patrick Peterson will be remembered as the hero, Daryl Washington racked up nine tackles, two pass deflections and his third down defense was superb. PFF states that he, "showed the kind of top-end talent to excite Cardinals fans when he can put it together consistently for a season."

With more consistency, Washington could easily become one of the best linebackers in the entire league. As time goes on, he will only get better and cement his status as one of the best defenders on this football team. Next year, maybe we can expect to see him on the top of some Pro Football Focus posts.

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