As you learned earlier this morning, Larry Fitzgerald was named the 7th best player during the 2011 season in the NFL. It is quite an honor, but if you ask me, due to the players ahead of him, it may be a bit low.
Joining Fitz on the Top 100 list was rookie star return man and cornerback, Patrick Peterson. He came in at number 55 for his outstanding punt return abilities and other stellar plays on the field.
Other than those two, no other Cardinals ended up making the list. Could there have been more players? Absolutely.
Calais Campbell was one of the biggest reasons the Cardinals were able to climb out of their 1-6 hole last season to end up with an 8-8 record. His play was phenomenal and he was rewarded as such during the offseason with a 5-year, $55 million contract.
In 2011, CC recorded 53 solo tackles, 8 sacks and 2 forced fumbles from the defensive end position. His ability to pressure the opposing quarterback while also having the strength and mindset to play against the run was unparalleled on this Cardinals football team. Could he have made the Top 100 list? I think so, yes. He didn't make as many flashy plays as some of the players up there, but he was extremely important to the team, so he could have received the nod.
Another couple players that could have joined him were Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson. Both of the solid Cardinals veterans had great years as well. Dockett, by his own standards, had a down year in the sack department, but that is mainly because he was asked to do so many different things along the defensive line.
And don't kid yourself, Campbell was only able to do as well as he did because of what Dockett was able to accomplish on the other side. His ability to occupy multiple offensive linemen led to breakout years for many Cardinals defensemen.
Adrian Wilson looked like the stud of old in the secondary. He played much better in coverage than in 2010 and when he gets up near the line of scrimmage, he becomes on of the best "outside linebackers" in the league. His speed and strength allow for him to do so much on the football field and if he would not have played through his torn biceps muscle, who knows how the Cardinals would have fared.
What are your thoughts on these rankings? Do more Cardinals other than Fitzgerald and Peterson belong in the Top 100? Tell us in the comments section below.
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