As we normally would be talking about free agents, trades and getting ready for training camp, the NFL lockout continues. However, we carry on with what we can. One of the latest articles by Pro Football Focus rates 3-4 defensive linemen, and there is an Arizona Cardinals player that makes the grade, although it is not the player you think.
It is not Darnell Dockett, but rather Calais Campbell, who lines up on the other side of the defensive line.
PFF says this:
It may surprise some that this is the Cardinal who makes the list. Certainly not as flashy as his partner in crime, Darnell Dockett, Campbell has really come to the forefront since a breakout 2009 season. A more consistent pass rusher than Dockett (he has more pressures on fewer snaps), Campbell will be looking to improve on a patchy 2010.
Campbell certainly did disappoint, as he was set to be a breakout player in 2010. For whatever reason, be it lack of concentration or simply being surprised at the attention he got, he did not make strides. He did, though, lead the team with six sacks on the year.
At the same time, the ROTB faithful are very aware that Dockett is out of position. He is best utilized as a 4-3 tackle. Even still, he can be a dominant force as an end. Even he has indicated that he would love to play that position in a recent tweet.
However, this does not diminish Dockett's achievements or what he could do in 2011. It simply recognizes Campbell. In grading DEs since 2008, CC grades out as number five.
Hopefully in 2011 he loves up to that billing. It would go a long way for the defense.