Daryl Washington is going to be a huge part of what the Cardinals do defensively; in fact, he might be the catalyst for Ray Horton's defense. D-Wash is so versatile opposing offenses might have a hard time finding him in 2012.
At 238-pounds, Washington is slight for an inside linebacker but perfect for the fire-zone scheme Horton deploys. He operates extremely well in space, runs sideline to sideline, has excellent speed, can make plays on the ball whether defending passes or picking them from the air, and he's a Grand-Master-Tackler of the highest order, a hunter of men.
Washington will play on the line of scrimmage in some defenses, either blowing through the A-gap or coming off the edge as a pass-rusher. Other defenses will have D-Wash playing off the ball in space, covering him up with a 3- technique defensive end, allowing him to run freely. And some defenses will have Washington covering receivers, taking on the responsibilities of a safety!
In years past offenses had to find Adrian Wilson in order to diagnose and dissect the Cardinals defense. I don't believe that will be the case going forward. Daryl Washington is going to become the Cards new X-Man. If he holds up at the point-of-attack and stays healthy, Pro Bowls are in his future.
And D-Wash may not be the only X-Man on this defense. Based on what I've seen from the Cards defense in the first few days of training camp, Ray Horton's defense might include X-Men.
Lets hope Wolverine looks good in red.