The Arizona Cardinals finished an abysmal 4-13 last season, but at least three names should have been mentioned on PFF's Top 101.
PFF recently released their Top 101 Players of 2022, and while two former Arizona Cardinals snagged the honor, no one from the recent incarnation of Redbirds were as lucky. Overall, it's preposterous to believe that no one on the 53-man roster held a spot, considering that, despite the poor season, several members of the Cards stepped up their game and played some of their best football.
So who didn't show up on the list that should have? Here are three players who deserved a spot.
3 Arizona Cardinals who belonged on PFF's Top 101 of 2022
Player #1 - Marco Wilson, CB
Perhaps no one on the Arizona Cardinals defense improved quite like Marco Wilson. Once regarded as yet another wasted pick from the Steve Keim Era, Wilson stepped up in 2022 with 3 interceptions, 77 return yards, a pick six, and 10 passes defensed.
On 87 targets, he allowed just 50 completions, or a 57.5% completion percentage, and a 77.1 rating for opposing quarterbacks. He also allowed a measly 6.3 yards per target, and 10.9 yards per completion. While Wilson received a low 55.3 grade on PFF, ranking him 100th out of 118 corners, he posted more than solid numbers for a second-year player who struggled as a rookie.
Player #2 - Budda Baker, S
Budda Baker made his fourth straight Pro Bowl and fifth overall. He once again posted numbers that should regard him as one of the NFL's top safeties. In 15 games, he registered 111 combined tackles, a forced fumble, 7 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, and 54 return yards.
No, Baker didn't generate a sack for the first time in his career, and he had just one tackle behind the line. But he was still one of the most effective safeties in the NFL this season, and he probably will be for the next few years.
Player #3 - J.J. Watt, DE
Although Watt retired following the 2022 season, he still deserves a spot on this list since it was constructed only from a player's performance in 2022. Therefore, players who retired following the season or who are contemplating retirement may appear.
Anyway, Watt enjoyed a resurgent year, recording 12.5 sacks, 25 quarterback hits, 18 tackles behind the line, a forced fumble, and 7 pass deflections. Overall, Watt looked vintage this past season, and he could have easily have played another year or two if he desired. Even so, it was a remarkable way for the defensive end to finish his career.
So why did PFF snub the Arizona Cardinals in their rankings? One theory is that this list includes the regular season and the playoffs. Therefore, players on teams who earned a postseason berth could have leapfrogged the likes of Watt, Baker, and potentially even Wilson.
Source: The PFF 101: Highlighting the top 101 players from the 2022 NFL season by Sam Monson