The word overrated is a funny one. To some, it means a player that is being paid more than he deserves. To others, it means a player that is not good at all, but receives praise anyway. The truth is different. The truth is that an overrated player is simply one that is good, but perhaps not as good as everyone says they are. Here’s the NFL’s All-Overrated Team for 2017, starting with the offense.
The NFL’s All-Overrated Team: The Offense
Tackle: Russell Okung
Russell Okung was a good left tackle at one point, hypothetically. He has one of those names that every football fan knows, and he probably had a high Madden rating at one point. However, as a member of the Los Angeles Chargers, he’ll be playing on his third team in three years. Hardly an elite tackle.
Guard: Mike Iupati
Remember when Mike Iupati left the San Francisco 49ers and he was the biggest guard in free agency? He went to the Arizona Cardinals, who were Super Bowl contenders at the time, and it felt like it was going to be easy street from there. Fast forward a couple years, and he just hasn’t been the player they thought he would be.
Center: Jason Kelce
When an offensive lineman loses a step, it’s rarely pretty. That’s what happened to Jason Kelce last year. He’s visibly slowed down, and was frequently ran over by stronger, more powerful defensive linemen. The Philadelphia Eagles are in the middle of a rebuilding phase, and it might be smart to move the aging lineman while they can.
Guard: Jeff Allen
It’s ironic that Jeff Allen‘s name appears on this list, as two years ago people were calling him the most underrated offensive lineman in the NFL. As a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, he helped pave the way for Jamaal Charles, and gave the line a sense of physicality. However, when he made his way over to the Houston Texans, he brought none of that physicality with him.
Tackle: Jake Matthews
This name will come as a bit of a shock for many people. The Matthews name is a very proud one in the NFL, and Jake Matthews looked to be living up to that legacy. Unfortunately, he really hasn’t. Two years ago, he made a big leap and Falcons fans thought he had finally arrived. Unfortunately, he didn’t get any better in 2016, and it was his holding call that lost the Falcons the Super Bowl.
Tight End: Jordan Reed
This is where everyone loses their mind. Because Jordan Reed can’t possibly be overrated. Jordan Reed is the third best tight end in football! Jordan Reed is a touchdown machine! Kirk Cousins would be lost without Jordan Reed! The hype train for Jordan Reed left the station at remarkable speed, and despite a so-so 2016, it hasn’t slowed down.
But at the end of the day, Jordan Reed just isn’t special. He’s a wide receiver that plays tight end ala Tony Gonzalez or Jimmy Graham. That’s not to say he’s bad. He plays a vital part in that offense, and is very good at it. But he shouldn’t be mentioned in the same conversation as Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce.
Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall
Rewind to the moment Brandon Marshall was released by the New York Jets. The move was greeted with heavy sighs and a feeling of “oh here we go again.” And it’s easy to see why. The Jets were Marshall’s fourth team, and his third in six years. However, the minute the 33 year old receiver signed with the New York Giants, the internet exploded. He was the missing piece! Brandon Marshall teaming up with Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning? That’s a Super Bowl trio! Never mind that the egos of Beckham and Marshall are sure to collide after one doesn’t get a pass in a key moment.
Wide Receiver: Michael Crabtree
There were moments during the 2016 season when Raiders fans claimed that Michael Crabtree was actually the number one receiver on the team. Mostly this was true because while Amari Cooper was phenomenal between the 20’s, it was Michael Crabtree that brought in the touchdowns. Go back and read #RaidersTwitter after the Ravens game last year, the man named Crab dominated in Baltimore.
However, he also led the NFL in drops this year. In fact, the Oakland Raiders led the NFL in drops this year, but Crabtree was the biggest culprit. People will attempt to discredit the development and success of Derek Carr by pointing out how good his offensive line is and how the Raiders have a top five receiving duo in the NFL, but that’s hardly the case. Crabtree needs to get his groove back if he wants to stay on the team after 2017.
Running Back: Devonta Freeman
Stop for a minute and imagine something. You’re a running back on a NFL team. Your quarterback is the Most Valuable Player and the Offensive Player of the Year, Matt Ryan. Out wide, you’ve got Julio Jones, arguably the best receiver in football. You play behind a very solid offensive line, and your offensive coordinator is one of the most desired coaching candidates in football.
How does someone with that kind of surrounding talent barely scrape to 1,000 yards every season? And beyond that, why is he in the conversation for best running back in the NFL? David Johnson makes sense, Le’Veon Bell makes sense, but the guy with the easiest job in the NFL? No way.
Quarterback: Cam Newton
People reading this are already making excuses for Cam Newton‘s 2016 season. They’re talking about coaching, receivers, and injuries. In their minds, Cam Newton will return to form in 2017. However, what they’re missing is that 2016 is typical Cam Newton. With the exception of the MVP year, Cam averages 20 touchdowns and 3,587 passing yards a season.
Sure, he’s a great rusher, and he’s added 48 rushing touchdowns to his career total, but he’s just not all that great. He’s a former MVP in this league, but he’s not even top five. He might not even be top ten. He’s a fantastic athlete, but a really mediocre quarterback. If you need more proof, just go back and watch him hand that Super Bowl to the ghost of Peyton Manning.
If you think you’ve got what it takes, the list continues with the defense and special teams as well.