With the offseason continuing, we search the Web to find worthwhile Cardinals stuff. As it turns out, Pro Football Focus has been revealing their top 101 players in the league for 2011.
Three Arizona Cardinals made that list. You can imagine that Larry Fitzgerald was on that list. But who else?
Adrian Wilson and Calais Campbell are the others on that list.
But first, Fitz:
Fitzgerald is ninth on the list and trails Calvin Johnson overall. They say this about Fitz:The top five receivers in this category were being thrown passes by the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning, and all of those QBs had a rating well over 120 when throwing to their favorite targets, but when the Arizona QBs targeted Larry Fitzgerald, they had a rating of just 78.0 because they managed to throw more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns (eight). But, when the ball got even remotely close to Fitzgerald, he made positive things happen, and was often the only person doing so on an underachieving offense. In essence, you can't blame the Cardinals for trying to get the ball to him as much as they possibly could, but their passers simply weren't capable of doing the job effectively.
Fitzgerald had an All-Pro caliber season despite some extremely poor quarterback play and there really is no limit to what he could have achieved had he had anything approaching a Top 5 quarterback throwing him the ball.
Calvin Johnson probably deserves to higher on the list, but that can be factored out with the fact that Matthew Stafford was simply better than Kevin Kolb/John Skelton.
A little lower on the list was Calais Campbell at number 57. As a notable stat, he had more tackles than any other 3-4 defensive end. Here is what was written:
Campbell isn't always the best lineman against the run, but he is one of the most destructive when it comes to making plays rushing the passer. He finished second in our 3-4 DE rankings in large part due to the nine sacks, nine hits, and 29 hurries he tallied. He was also rather exceptional when it came to getting his hands up in throwing lanes as he led the league with nine batted passes.
Not too far behind Campbell on the list is Adrian Wilson. He comes in at number 70.
After Wilson admitted he was disappointed with his 2010 season, the accountable safety showed exactly how good a player he is in 2011. One of the premier "in-the-box safeties" around, he made a reputation rushing the passer, but it was that overstated part of his game that represented the least accomplished facet of his season. Alternatively, he ended the year with eight pass breaks up to go with an interception that helped him pick up our highest coverage grade of all safeties. Throw in some stout work in run defense and Wilson returned to being one of the league's best, not just one of the most hyped.
This doesn't even mention the injury he sustained in training camp that he played through somehow. So not only did he show how good he is, he showed how tough he is as well.
Were these guys ranked appropriately? Let us know what you think.
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