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Calais Campbell, Patrick Peterson among top defensive nightmare matchups

The two are tough for offenses to deal with

Christian Petersen

Across the NFL, there are certain players that are tough to deal with in game planning. ESPN's Field Yates put together a list of the top 10 defensive players that are nightmares for offenses to go against.

Two Arizona Cardinals were mentioned -- defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Peterson was an honorable mention, but make sense because he is one of only a few cornerbacks in the league that will line up anywhere to defend a receiver, which makes it tough to deal with. Take the Arizona Cardinals. Bruce Arians lines up Larry Fitzgerald all over the place to get more favorable matchups. If Peterson were an opponent, Arians wouldn't be able to avoid him.

But he was not in the top 10.

That was Campbell, who came in at number seven.

Campbell's numbers are very good, but it's best to evaluate him by throwing out the stats. His combination of a thick build and length (he's 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds) allows him to play practically anywhere along the defensive line. Campbell can line up as an edge rusher; he can anchor the middle of the line; he can play in a 3-4 or a 4-3 -- no matter where he is, he's bound to generate pressure. His long arms allow Campbell to ward off double-teams at the point of attack and wield leverage against stockier offensive linemen. He has a Watt-like feel for when to get his hands up in the passing lane, too.

What is a shame about all this is the fact that Campbell has yet to get really any league recognition. Outside of J.J. Watt, is there a more productive defensive end? Think about this, when Ray Horton was asking Campbell and Darnell Dockett to do restrictive things as defensive ends in terms of numbers, Campbell still put up numbers.

In years past, Dockett would have likely found himself on this list. Now playing a bit out of position, but he was the player that for years offensive coordinators schemed for.

Daryl Washington would make a fine addition to this list if he were able  to play this season, as he is one of the fastest linebackers in the game. Deon Bucannon and Tyrann Mathieu might soon be part of another such list.

Is there anyone else of the Cardinals defense that is a nightmare matchup for opposing offenses?