2013 NFL Free Agents: Most Underrated Players on the Market

John RozumCorrespondent IMay 14, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 30:  Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons rushes away from Michael Bennett #71 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Georgia Dome on December 30, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Star players such as Charles Woodson, Brian Urlacher and John Abraham remain in 2013's NFL free agency.

And with much attention focused on them, that also underrates plenty of reliable talent.

By the same token, not every overlooked player has established consistency in pro football. As a result, the better athletes not receiving exposure get lumped into the greater pool of availability.

Meaning: They go well off the radar and even more so when you include the 2013 NFL draft. Fortunately, there is a good amount of time before this season kicks off, and the following deserve another opportunity to suit up.


Michael Turner, RB

It's easy to overlook Michael Turner.

With pro football as a pass-happy league, most running backs go unnoticed. Turner, however, was also part of one of the NFL's most prolific offenses from 2008 through 2012.

The Atlanta Falcons feature an explosive receiving duo in Roddy White and Julio Jones, not to mention tight end Tony Gonzalez. Factor in quarterback Matt Ryan and Turner goes even further off the radar. Well, lest we forget this was a guy who accounted for 6,081 rushing yards over the past five years.

Turner even averaged 4.3 yards per carry in that span and scored 60 rushing touchdowns. Although he's not a dual-threat, his size at 5'10" and 247 pounds is a competitive advantage between the tackles.

Possessing the burst to get past the second level, Turner also brings the vision to change directions and make players miss in space.

Israel Idonije, DE

Israel Idonije is a much more versatile defensive lineman than given credit.

Measuring at 6'6" and 275 pounds, Idonije supplies the reliable instincts to quickly react against any blocking scheme. Combine that with underrated athleticism and it wasn't surprising to see him rack up 20.5 sacks from 2010 through 2012.

Still, he went drastically overlooked as part of the Chicago Bears defense, namely because of star players such as Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers. Other playmakers like Lance Briggs and cornerback Charles Tillman also garnered more attention.

That never damaged Idonije's production, though. For his career he has eight blocked kicks, as well as 13 run stuffs the past three campaigns.

Idonije also got selected to the NFL's 2012 All-Joe Team.

Daryl Smith, LB

Although Daryl Smith didn't play in 2012 until late in the season because of injury, he can still bring the pain.

Between 2009 and 2011 Smith racked up 311 tackles, 8.5 sacks, forced six fumbles and defended 19 passes. He was a key reason the Jacksonville Jaguars ranked inside the top 10 for defense during the 2011 campaign.

Offering the dynamics to fill gaps, blitz and sink into coverage, Smith is capable of lining up at inside or outside linebacker. That talent certainly enhances his marketability, because it opens the defensive playbook to a more complex blitz package.

In short, his impact allows a front seven to attack the quarterback multiple ways. Considering it's a pass-oriented league and that luxury develops as a favorable edge to the defense.