In conclusion of NFL.com‘s Top 100 Players of 2014 list, I picked the most overrated and underrated players as well as a couple of guys who I think got snubbed. This isn’t a ranking, but rather a list of guys whose place on the list should be different.
- Joe Thomas (rank: 18) – I think linemen are underrated in this league, altough they might one of the group with the most depth, but because of that and the fact that one offensive lineman clearly isn’t as important to the team’s success as a quarterback. In fact, I don’t even think he is the best offensive tackle in the league. I’ve got that one on my list of underrated players.
- Antonio Brown (rank: 23) – Last season he put up one of the finer receiving seasons in the league and showed his natural catching ability and quickness. With that being said I’m not completely sold on him and want to see him do it again before ranking him ahead of guys like Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall.
- Cam Newton (rank: 24) – Yeah, I know he has scored a lot of touchdowns in his first three years and can be very dangerous, but to me he just doesn’t show the accuracy to consistently hit his targets and isn’t the reason the Panthers won that many games in 2013 – it was their defense.
- Gerald McCoy (rank: 28) – He’s played a very good season and still has a lot of potential left, but there are already three interior defensive linemen on my list of underrated players that I’d put ahead of him. He’s not the second best interior D-lineman.
- Rob Gronkowski (rank: 41) – When he’s a hundred percent healthy he has a strong case to be the best tight end in the game, but when you start only 17 games the last two season and are that kind of a gamble, there are a lot of players that should be taken ahead of you.
- Charles Clay (rank: 89) – To put him here hurts me, because I really like him because of his will and motor, but I just think he’s what Dennis Pitta was last year. I’d take guys like Jason Witten, Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron ahead of him.
- Aaron Rodgers (rank: 11) – The best quarterback and overall player in the league today. End of the discussion.
- J.J. Watt (rank: 12) – In my last article that featured my personal top 10 players in the NFL I had him ranked as the third best player and deservedly so. His sack and pass deflection total might have gone down, but anybody who’s watched him play last year knows what a consistent disruptive force he is.
- Patrick Willis (rank: 27) – Altough he’s been outplayed by his teammate NaVorro Bowman last year, he still is the leader of the 3rd ranked scoring defense and is all over the field every game.
- Andrew Luck (rank: 30) – Again I have to ask you to read my last article to understand this. In short version: His stats and overall game has improved strongly over the last two years and I believe he has (together with Rodgers) a strong chance to be the MVP this upcoming season, while leading the Colts to the AFC’s number one seed.
- Geno Atkins (rank: 48) – I know he has missed half the season, but again this is the list of the top 100 players of 2014 and I believe he will once again make offense linemen’s lives hell with his unbelievable quickness and leverage at the point of attack.
- Jason Peters (rank: 67) – To me he is the best O-lineman in the game today. He set the table for the leagues rushing leader and does a great job in pass blocking as well. If they gave the award to linemen, he would have been Comeback Player of the Year.
- Justin Smith (rank: 69) – I’m not exactly sure who voted him this low, but I think if you’d only ask offensive linemen, he’d be number one on this list. His strength and power is UNREAL and he makes the 49ers defense go.
- Matt Forte (rank: 91) – Almost 2000 yards from the line of scrimmage last year with no sign of slowing down and he still only barely made the list? Shows to me he’s still one of the most underrated players in the league.
- Brent Grimes (rank: 95) – He’s in the conversation for best athelete in the NFL. His quickness and leaping ability are remarkable, as well as his ball skills for a DB. He was the biggest steal in last year’s free agency. When he’s healthy (as he was last season) he can be a true game changer and one of the best cornerbacks.
- Julio Jones – The only receiver in the league that matches his skill set is Calvin Johnson – he is a beast and he showed that in the first five games last year, as he had 580 yards receiving, before getting injured. I expect him to pick defenses apart in 2014.
- Matt Ryan – His team might have struggled and he had kind of a down year himself in large part because of the season ending injury to his best receiver (listed right above) and Roddy White, but given one of the worst offensive lines and the 32nd ranked running game, he still was able to produce. He is one of the top 10 signal callers to me.
- Karlos Dansby – This guy led a great Cardinals defense and was a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. If you don’t believe me, just watch him play last season – he was on fire. He switched teams this year, but I still look at him as one of the better inside linebackers in the game.
- Percy Harvin – He missed pretty much the whole 2013 season, but just his kick return touchdown in the Super Bowl reminded me how special he is – he is a difference maker and deadly with the football in his hands. If he can stay healthy this year, he will once again dominate.
- Jairus Byrd – Another guy who had some injury problems last season. In nine games he started he still had four picks. That just shows you the great cover skills he has because of his enormous range and knack for the ball. l look for him to turn out as a great acquisition for the Saints in 2014.
- Calais Campbell – He has quietly become one of the best defensive linemen in the game. You just can’t deny the force this huge man brings with him and the way he attacks offenses.
- Vince Wilfork – Most players on this particular list were hurt for part of the season and the same is the case with Wilfork. When you just look at his production over the years and the fact he has been the cornerstone and rock of the Patriots defense you clearly have to put him up there.