Cardinals Linebacker Daryl Washington: The Next Lawrence Taylor?

Sept. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington (58) and outside linebacker Sam Acho (94) sack Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Eagles 27 – 6. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

I’m old enough to remember the greatest linebacker to have ever played in the NFL: Lawrence Taylor.  I believe that when you add all of the skills that a great linebacker needs to possess, Taylor is without equal.

Yes, there may have been linebackers who were better at one aspect of the game.

Ray Lewis is just as strong as Taylor was,  and could hit just as hard as Taylor did.

Mike Singletary could read and anticipate offensive plays as well as Taylor.

Junior Seau could tackle as well as Taylor.

And Patrick Willis is just as fast as Taylor was.

But no other linebacker could combine all of these skills as well as Lawrence Taylor did.

But that may change very soon.

There is one linebacker in the NFL who I believe has the potential to be the complete linebacker that Lawrence Taylor was.

He happens to play for the Arizona Cardinals, and his name is Daryl Washington.

Now I realize that’s very strong praise for a player who is only in his third year, and just beginning to come into his own.  But Washington is playing at such an incredibly high level right now, and I think the comparison is not so far fetched.

He’s fast … he hits hard … he has a knack for being wherever the ball is … he creates turnovers … he anticipates what the offensive play will be … and he tackles incredibly well.

And I’m very glad he will be with the Cardinals for the next six years.