We are always hearing about certain players being underrated and not being shown enough appreciation for how valuable they are to their teams.
There are many of these players in the NFL today. Sometimes, the tag of being underrated can stick to a player, even if it isn't the case anymore
Take Chad Pennington for example—he has the highest career pass completion percentage of any quarterback, and took a bad Jets team to the playoffs, yet he was always being criticized in New York.
He moved to Miami, and brought a 1-15 team to the playoffs. He is still "underrated," despite his career achievements.
All of these are players like Pennington, who play important roles for their teams yet don't get enough recognition.
He might not have the Marino-esque release, but the talent, ,and leadership are all there. He has been efficient, and has put up good numbers since he became the starter.
In my opinion, he was the MVP last year.
He put the Chargers on his back with their huge expectations, awful defense that leaked points like a sieve, and a deteriorating running game. He threw for more yards, more touchdowns, and less interceptions than eventual MVP Peyton Manning.
Why is he not considered one of the best quarterbacks in the game today?
Jones led the AFC in rushing last season, yet the most talked-about Jets running back was Leon Washington.
Jones is one of the best overall backs in the NFL. He has good speed and can also break tackles easily. He runs with a low center of gravity, which gives him a huge advantage.
Jones will get even more carries this year with a rookie under center, so expect another good year, and maybe the attention he deserves.
Boldin is one of the top five receivers in the NFL. He played 12 games last season, and had 89 receptions, 1038 yards and 11 touchdowns.
If he played 16 games, he would have 119 receptions, 1384 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Those are the numbers of a top-five receiver. He gets no respect whatsoever, mainly because of the sulking over his contract. He is one of the toughest receivers there is, and his ability to run after the catch is second only to that of Wes Welker.
If he stays healthy, he may have better stats than Larry Fitzgerald this coming season.
Fasano played second fiddle to Jason Witten at the start of his career, and showed us just how good he is when playing for the Dolphins last year.
He got off to a flying start, and caught Ronnie Brown's touchdown pass in the "Wildcat" game against the Patriots.
He quickly became one of Chad Pennington's favorite targets with his sticky hands, deceptive athleticism, and great leaping ability. He is also one of the better blockers at the tight end position.
Drew Brees was sacked only 13 times last year, and with the left tackle being the key position in terms of pass protection, Brown should get a lot of credit for that—only he doesn't.
We hear about Ryan Clady and Joe Thomas as the best young tackles in the game, but Brown is right up there with them, and should get much more recognition.
Injuries ended his 2008 season, and the Jaguars' offensive line wasn't the same without him. There were other injuries as well, but he was missed the most.
He absolutely mauls defenders in the running game, and is more than adequate as a pass blocker. His surprising athleticism is a big part of the screen plays the Jaguars run with Maurice Jones-Drew.
The Panthers' offensive line is one of the better units in the NFL, and Kalil anchors it brilliantly. He was an instrumental part of the Panthers' running attack with his clean blocks and ability to get to the second level quickly.
He should have been named to the Pro Bowl last season.