Most Overrated Player On Each NFL Team
The NFL has benefited from the great flux of young talent that has entered the league, but also the veteran players who carry a good reputation based on their past success.
It's difficult to determine the criteria for an overrated player, so it's important to keep these ideas in mind when reading the article.
1. Veteran players who continue to have a good reputation because of their past success.
2. Players who have benefited from gaining a reputation because they were a high draft pick.
3. Finally, many of these players are unable to produce at the level that gained them their reputation for being among the league's elite.
With that in mind, here is the most overrated player on each NFL team.
1. Arizona Cardinals: RB Beanie Wells
Beanie Wells was highly touted by the Arizona Cardinals a few years ago, as they needed a running back who was capable of complementing the passing game that helped them appear in the Super Bowl.
However, Wells has never lived up to his potential with the Cardinals due to his consistent injury problems. But, Wells shouldn't receive a pass for his inability to stay healthy.
After all, in the three years which Wells has been the primary back, he has only recorded one season of at least 1,000-plus rushing yards despite playing in 13 games or more the last three seasons.
Wells has the capability of being a useful running back around the league, but he has shown no reason to believe that he will live up to his potential during his time with the Cardinals.
2. Atlanta Falcons: CB Dunta Robinson
Dunta Robinson has never proved to be the elite cornerback that the Falcons were hopeful of when signing him to a six-year, $57 million dollar contract.
In three seasons for the Falcons, Robinson has not helped turn around a Falcons secondary that was one of the worse units in the league before he got there.
He has only recorded four interceptions since 2010 and was viewed as the third cornerback behind Brett Grimes and Asante Samuel entering this year.
3. Baltimore Ravens: LB Ray Lewis
It's tough adding Ray Lewis to this list, especially since he will probably go down as the greatest middle linebacker in NFL history.
However, his on-field production doesn't match his past, nor his current contract that he has with the Baltimore Ravens.
This is the first year that Lewis has shown major signs of slowing down physically. He is no longer able to make tackles in open space and lacks the speed to keep up with opposing running backs and tight ends.
Although Lewis' injury will prevent him from being the leader of the defense, it may be in the best interests for the Ravens to play with younger and more athletic linebackers who could be better against stopping the run.
4. Buffalo Bills: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick was clearly overvalued by the Buffalo Bills, who likely regret signing their quarterback to a new extension.
His downfall began last year after receiving the extension, as he finished 2011 with 23 interceptions that resulted in a bad finish in the second half of the season for the Bills.
In 2012, Fitzpatrick has eight interceptions on the season thus far and hasn't shown many signs of improvement this year with Chan Gailey.
The question that remains to be answered is how long will Fitzpatrick last as the starting quarterback for the Bills moving forward.
5. Carolina Panthers: RB DeAngelo Williams
When the Carolina Panthers signed DeAngelo Williams to a five-year, $43 million contract in 2011, the expectation was that Williams would emerge as one of the game's elite running backs.
However, Williams has not lived up to his contract with the Panthers after rushing for only 836 yards and four touchdowns in 2011. He is on pace for another sub-par season, having rushed for only 173 yards in five games.
He has never been durable enough to be the consistent feature back, having to split carries with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert.
6. Chicago Bears: QB Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler has the physical tools to be an elite passer due to possessing one of the stronger throwing arms in the league.
However, his inability to be an efficient passer in the pocket has led the Bears to countless disappointing finishes since joining in 2009.
Cutler is on pace for another turnover-plagued season, having thrown seven interceptions in only five games this year.
Cutler may have the talent of an elite quarterback, but his consistent play at the quarterback position does not warrant the hype that he receives.
7. Cincinnati Bengals- RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
The Cincinnati Bengals attempted to upgrade their backfield by signing BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis was one of the more productive running backs in the complex Patriots offense.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, he hasn't provided the same spark that this offense was hoping for.
Although Green-Ellis was a change of pace running back in New England, his speed doesn't give him the edge in becoming a quality starter with the Bengals.
The Bengals offense continues to searching for production outside of AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham, and Green-Ellis hasn't been the answer to their woes.
8. Cleveland Browns: WR Greg Little
When drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2011, Greg Little was viewed as a prospect who would emerge into a quality receiver for an offense in need of talented receivers.
Though, there is no reason to believe that Little is capable of becoming a No. 1 target for any team, especially with his poor start in 2012.
Little has not been consistent enough for the Browns in large part due to his frequent drop passes, with the most notable drop coming a few weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens.
The expectations were set high in Cleveland, but it was unfair to give Little that much hype in the first place.
9. Dallas Cowboys: WR Dez Bryant
Dez Bryant continues to disappoint the Dallas Cowboys with not only his on-field performance, but also his mental mistakes during the game.
His act was on display during Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens, where, in a two-minute span, he showcased his antics that are wearing on Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones.
Bryant showed up in a big way when he recorded his first touchdown reception of the season against Ravens corner back Cary Williams.
However, he dropped a crucial two-point conversion that would have tied the game with under two minutes to play. He also killed the Cowboys' momentum on the final drive of the game by arguing with a ref, which resulted in Dallas having to settle with a 51-yard field goal attempt to win the game.
Bryant may show the potential to be an elite receiver, but his performance hasn't warranted the hype he has received since college.
10. Denver Broncos: RB Willis McGahee
Willis McGahee has been a pleasant surprise for the Denver Broncos these last two seasons after coming over from the Baltimore Ravens.
However, he isn't the ideal running back that the Broncos have typically used in the past. At times, McGahee shows the ability to be an explosive runner this late in his career.
Though it must be noted that McGahee isn't consistent enough from week to week, where he can always be counted on providing a spark for a Broncos offense that benefits from play-action.
He may be a good fit in the Broncos system, but he isn't as dominant of a running back at this stage in his career that warrants the attention from the Broncos.
11. Detroit Lions: DT Ndamukong Suh
Ndamukong Suh has garnered the attention as one of the building blocks for a Lions franchise that has slowly turned themselves into a respectable franchise.
However, Suh is given too much credit for the turnaround of the Lions. Despite a rookie season where he recorded 10 sacks, the former Nebraska lineman is known for taking many plays off throughout games.
A true example is the production of Suh this year. He is no longer getting the sacks against easier opponents and has not elevated the overall play of the defensive line.
Granted, Suh is a promising play who has the potential to be good. Though he has plenty of room to improve before he should be called an "elite" defensive tackle.
12. Green Bay Packers: TE Jermichael Finley
Jermichael Finley is one of the better tight ends in the league and is a good fit for Mike McCarthy's offense.
However, his overall play doesn't warrant him to be considered an elite tight end with Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez.
Finley did have his best year in 2011 when he caught eight touchdowns on the season. Though he does benefit from the variety of talent in the Packers offense and often faces many mismatches against opposing defenses.
His slow start in 2012 speaks volumes about where Finley stands in comparison to the other great tight ends. As the opportunities increased to be more productive in the offense, Finley hasn't provided enough consistency to warrant such praise outside the state of Wisconsin.
13. Houston Texans: QB Matt Schaub
Matt Schaub has made the most out of his opportunity with the Houston Texans. He managed to lead the Texans in the right direction towards their first playoff berth in franchise history.
However, Schaub hasn't proven his worth on the big stage that warrants the attention of elite quarterbacks. He was awarded with a big contract extension from the Texans, yet he hasn't stayed healthy enough on a consistent basis or won any big games against the best in the game.
He had a perfect opportunity to show his potential against the Packers, but Schaub was no match for a Green Bay secondary that was able to force turnovers the entire night.
While Schaub may be leading the Texans in a good direction, he still needs to elevate his game when the opportunities arise.
14. Indianapolis Colts: DE Cory Redding
Cory Redding joined the Indianapolis Colts this season to hopefully provide more pass rush to a declining defensive front.
Despite recording two sacks, Redding is off to a quiet start based on the expectations that head coach Chuck Pagano had for him.
However, the team has overestimated his abilities. Redding is an average defensive end who can provide enough pass rush to be a quality lineman on a team's roster. He benefited from playing with a Ravens defense that was one of the top units in the league for the last decade.
His ability to take advantage of one-on-one match ups with linemen occurred in large part as a result of the talent around him.
In Indianapolis, he will provide good depth for the Colts roster, but will never be a major difference-maker in the young defense.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Laurent Robinson
The Jacksonville Jaguars hoped to bolster their receiving corps with the addition of Laurent Robinson in free agency.
Through his first season with the Jaguars, it's safe to say that Robinson hasn't lived up to the contract he signed in the offseason.
Robinson has only appeared in four games and has caught nine passes, none of them being touchdowns.
As Blaine Gabbert continues to struggle in his development, the blame can be put on the lack of production from Robinson and the other receivers.
16. Kansas City Chiefs: DT Glenn Dorsey
Glenn Dorsey is on the long list of players who have been disappointments for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The former LSU product has been with the Chiefs for five seasons and yet has not been a productive defensive tackle when it comes to providing a pass rush on opposing quarterbacks.
With only four sacks in his career, Dorsey hasn't lived up to the draft hype when he was selected fifth overall by Kansas City
In 2012, he has only played three games, as injuries are limiting his ability to be effective this year.
17. Miami Dolphins: WR Davone Bess
Davone Bess has never risen to the occasion by asserting himself as the go-to receiver on this Dolphins roster.
Although Bess is viewed highly by the Dolphins organization, there are questions as to what warrants the praise.
He does not possess any elite speed and has shown the tendency to drop passes in the most crucial situations.
Ultimately, he hasn't been able to emerge as a threat for Ryan Tannehill, who has instead built chemistry with Brian Hartline.
18. Minnesota Vikings: DT Kevin Williams
Kevin Williams was once viewed as one of the more dominant defense tackles in the NFL, leading a Vikings defensive front that ranked among the best in football.
However, Williams is no longer the same dominant pass rusher that he has been over the course of his career.
Although he has been on the decline for the last few years, he has been a non-factor in 2012. With 16 tackles and zero sacks on the season, Williams is simply living on his good reputation at this point.
19. New England Patriots: WR Brandon Lloyd
Brandon Lloyd has become one of Tom Brady's favorite targets this season due to his ability to stretch the field consistently.
Though it's weird to see why Lloyd has been unable to play at an All-Pro level over the entirety of his career.
The answer is pretty simple: He is a product of Josh McDaniels' coaching.
Lloyd's most productive seasons came while McDaniels was the head coach at the Denver Broncos. After the firing of McDaniels in Denver, Lloyd wasn't able to produce at a high level unti reuniting with McDaniels in St. Louis.
Although he is a talented receiver, he is a perfect example of a receiver who is only successful based on a certain offense.
20. New Orleans Saints: OG Ben Grubbs
Ben Grubbs took advantage of becoming a free agent when signing a lucrative contract with the New Orleans Saints.
However, the former Ravens guard hasn't provided the same impact that Carl Nicks provided to the Saints offensive line.
Grubbs lacks consistency and can easily be mismatched by opposing defensive linemen. The Ravens allowed him to leave for free agency because although Grubbs was talented, he doesn't always provide the effort each game to be truly considered one of the elite guards in football.
21. New York Giants: CB Prince Amukamara
Prince Amukamara was highly coveted by the Giants when he fell to them in the 2011 draft. The hope was that the former Nebraska star would help fix the major flaws at the corner back position, especially the lack of depth.
Through two years, Amukamara has clearly not lived up to the high expectations. Injuries have played a major part in his lack of good development, but he hasn't taken advantage of the opportunities that he is now receiving with the Giants.
With only two interceptions in his career, it appears that the Giants are beginning to realize the limits Amukamara has as a corner back in the NFL.
22. New York Jets: WR Santonio Holmes
Santonio Holmes has not performed at a level that warrants that the contract offered by the New York Jets from a few seasons ago.
Holmes has continued losing his explosive speed that once made him one of the more clutch receivers in the league, especially in the postseason.
Ultimately, he has not taken the challenge of improving his chemistry with Mark Sanchez, and thus has regressed into a receiver that doesn't compare to the league's elite.
23. Oakland Raiders: LB Rolando McClain
Rolando McClain earned the reputation of a hard-hitting linebacker that would produce like the many other talented defensive players from the University of Alabama.
On the contrary, the former first-round pick displays nothing but false hope for the Oakland Raiders. He shows the ability to make tackles that appear on highlight reels but isn't consistent enough to lead this front seven.
He continues to be a liability in pass coverage and appears to not have shown much improvement in Dennis Allen's defense.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Nnamdi Asomugha
Nnamdi Asomugha was viewed as the most coveted free-agency back in 2011 due to his outstanding career with the Oakland Raiders.
Although he has been a solid addition for the Philadelphia Eagles, Asomugha hasn't played at a level that resembles performances from Darelle Revis.
Unlike in Oakland, opposing offenses are not afraid to challenge Asomugha. In fact, he has become much more prone to committing penalties late in games for the Eagles.
Certainly, Asomugha is one of the more quality cornerbacks in the game. However, he has been passed by cornerbacks such as Lardarius Webb and Joe Haden as among the best in the game.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers: S Troy Polamalu
Troy Polamalu has been an electrifying player for the Pittsburgh Steelers and will be a first ballot Hall of Famer whenever he decides to end his career.
The question that remains is, will his career much quicker than expected? It's obvious that Polamalu's performance has significantly worsened over the past year, beginning last season.
He is still capable of making crucial plays when needed, but he doesn't provide as strong of a presence with the Steelers defense against the run. More importantly, his lack of pass coverage has eventually led to his decline in a Steelers uniform.
26. San Diego Chargers: QB Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers' second-half debacle against the Denver Broncos on Monday night shouldn't come as a surprise.
It's evident that Rivers can't be trusted in any big moment, especially in recent years. His erratic play has led to plenty of disappointing seasons that consists of creating too many turnovers and performing poorly down the stretch.
It appears that his opportunity of becoming an elite quarterback is coming to a close. He hasn't won the big game when it mattered despite the multiple opportunities he had of sending this team to an appearance in the Super Bowl.
27. San Francisco 49ers: RB Brandon Jacobs
There is no question that Brandon Jacobs is the most overrated running back in the National Football League.
He wasn't a difference-maker with the New York Giants the last few years when he received opportunities to perform.
Jacobs lacked the speed to be effective in Kevin Gilbride's offensive system and lacked toughness to pound the ball inside against opposing defenses.
Thus far, he hasn't received the opportunity that he was hoping for with the 49ers. This is a result of his inability to be an effective starting running back at the pro level this late in his career.
28. Seattle Seahawks: WR Sidney Rice
Sidney Rice has been primarily a disappointment for the Seattle Seahawks, who were hoping to sign the receiver that showed promise with the Minnesota Vikings.
Although injuries have impacted Rice's performance, that doesn't excuse his lack of focus when he has been at full health.
Rice appeared to shine only when Brett Favre was the quarterback a few years ago in Minnesota. There's no reason to believe that Rice will elevate his play to a similar level in Seattle with Russell Wilson at the helm.
29. St. Louis Rams: S Quintin Mikell
Quintin Mikell was looking for a fresh start with a new team after a disappointing tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Rams had high hopes that Mikell would fit in a more aggressive defense that Jeff Fisher runs, but thus far, it has been mixed reviews.
Although 31 tackles are impressive, Mikell has been unable to generate turnovers for a defense that is in need of more production from its safeties.
Overall, he hasn't lived up to the expectations thus far through the first six games of the season.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Eric Wright
Eric Wright continues to prove that he is not a cornerback that is capable of covering elite receivers in the NFL.
He was a disaster with the Cleveland Browns, who managed to be one of the better defenses against the pass despite Wright's presence.
In the offseason, Wright found an opportunity with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were need in some corner back help opposite Aquib Talib.
He has shown no reason to believe that he can be a quality pass defender in the NFL.
31. Tennessee Titans: RB Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson continues to be arguably the most disappointing player in the league after another slow start with the Tennessee Titans.
In 2012, Johnson has rushed for over 100 yards one time while also managing to record 25 yards or under three times this season.
He doesn't lack the same aggression that made him one of the more feared running backs in football. His inability to challenge defenders from the point of attack has led to another disappointing season for Johnson.
32. Washington Redskins: Pierre Garcon
Pierre Garcon is a quality receiver who can make big plays in an offense when given the opportunity. The Washington Redskins offered him a contract that would make him the focal point in the Redskins passing game.
Despite his successful start in 2012, Garcon continues to be plagued by injuries, which is an issue his entire career.
He found an opportunity to play an important role while with the Colts, but keep in mind that it was Peyton Manning who led the team at this time.
Garcon could end up being a viable option for Robert Griffin III, but he will never be worth the money that owner Dan Snyder offered him this offseason.