Daryn Colledge of the Packers faces off against Kyle Williams of the Bills in the trenches...
No term strikes more anger into the hearts of fans than this term.
Many people perceive it to be a slight against a player, which indeed it is. Unfortunately, people seem to believe that labeling a player as overrated means that they are not good at all. Rather, the term overrated simply means that a player is not as good as perceived or advertised.
For instance, 10 of the players listed as “overrated” in this article still manage to crack my own personal “Top 100 Players in the NFL” list. They are not “bad” players when perceived to be good, so please do keep that in mind.
Conversely, fans fall in love with the term “underrated." They feel as if it sings the praises of the unsung heroes on their team that people don’t seem to notice unless they are a fan of that team. People love to hear how good a player on their team is from someone who otherwise might not know about said player. Eleven of the players listed as “underrated” in this article manage to crack my own personal “Top 100 Players in the NFL” list.
With that said, calling someone overrated is bound to incite the fury of fans of that respective player's team. As such, I am expecting backlash from this article but as always, I am fully prepared to back up my stance.
And now onto the list…
Overrated: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Rodgers-Cromartie has most certainly lived up to the athletic prowess displayed at the combine that got him selected 16th overall back in 2008. His 61 career passes defensed, 13 interceptions and four touchdowns are certainly indicative of that.
But when picking a corner that high, you want a Darrelle Revis—not a Deltha O’Neal. DRC simply gets beat too often to consider his playmaking an asset.
Underrated: Kerry Rhodes
I am not saying that Kerry Rhodes is anywhere near the player he was three or four years ago. He certainly is not a top-three safety anymore. However, Rhodes is arguably still a top-10 safety but gets overlooked because he’s no longer as good as he once was.
The likes of Eric Weddle get viewed as superior to Rhodes when Rhodes is still playing at a high enough level to warrant him as a good player.
Overrated: Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan has certainly established himself as the franchise quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. He’s also established that he has a bright future in this league. But people continue to annoint him the next “Tom Brady” or “Peyton Manning,” which just is not the case.
Matt Ryan has not managed to outplay his draft-mate Joe Flacco but if you listen around NFL circles, Ryan is elite while Flacco isn’t.
Underrated: Sam Baker
I think the primary reason that I chose Baker is because he’s the most overlooked member of the Falcons line. The Falcons have five offensive linemen who are all great individually and even better as a unit. Baker is arguably the worst individual on there but still a very respectable left tackle.
Because of the logjam of serviceable tackles in the league, Baker seems to get overlooked which isn’t fair.
Overrated: Anquan Boldin
Last offseason when the Ravens acquired “Q,” I—like many football fans—declared them the eventual AFC champions. Ironically, Boldin is arguably the primary reason they didn’t get the chance to accomplish that feat with his late-game drop in the divisional round of the postseason
Outside of a one-week decimation of the Browns, Boldin was an average-at-best receiver last season.
Underrated: Ben Grubbs
Everyone knows the overhyped Michael Oher and his story thanks to “The Blindside." Many know the overhyped Jared Gaither. Matt Birk is pretty well known as well. Finally, I’ve heard some say Marshall Yanda is a top-10 guard.
Ben Grubbs is the “other” guy on the Ravens offensive line but he is easily the best linemen in Baltimore and it’s time people realized it.
Overrated: Kyle Williams
I am not saying that Williams isn’t a good football player. He is one of the best one-gapping linemen in the league. At the 3-technique, he is truly effective at penetrating.
The problem, however, is that Williams seems undisciplined in maintaining his assignments. Many times I witnessed him abandoning gap assignments to make the big play and the offense getting a big play as a result. This severely hurt his case.
Underrated: Fred Jackson
Unless you’re an avid fantasy football player you probably are unaware of Fred Jackson but he—not C.J. Spiller—was the reason the Bills were so comfortable letting go of Marshawn Lynch.
Jackson has averaged 1,287 yards from scrimmage over the past two seasons in the anemic Buffalo Bills offense. While he fumbles a bit too much, Jackson certainly is one of the more overlooked guys in the league.
Overrated: DeAngelo Williams
I think DeAngelo Williams is one hell of a halfback. While most people have forgotten about him over the last season because of injuries, I think he’s overrated for a completely different reason.
Many people feel as if Williams is better than his backfield mate Jonathan Stewart when I believe Stewart to be the better of the two.
Underrated: Ryan Kalil
There has been a lot of turnover in the running game in Carolina. Travelle Wharton, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have missed games. Keydrick Vincent was let go. Despite all this change, the Panthers run game continues to remain strong.
This is because of the only consistent piece to the equation: Kalil. He is without doubt a top-6 center but is never mentioned as such and I don’t know why.
Overrated: Julius Peppers
Julius Peppers is without question a top-five 4-3 defensive end in the National Football League. However, the entire offseason, all I have heard is about how Peppers single-handedly turned around the Bears defense. When people do this, they ignore several other factors including the return of captain Brian Urlacher to the defense.
A guy who finishes top 10 in only one pass-rush metric—hits—did not solely change a defense.
Underrated: Brian Urlacher
Brian Urlacher was always overrated early in his career. People pegged him as some elite cover linebacker when he never finished in the top 10. However, after many people started to believe he was on the “downside” of his career, Urlacher actually turned it around.
Urlacher has been excellent at coverage since 2007 and had arguably the best season of his career last year.
Overrated: Leon Hall
If you asked around last offseason, Leon Hall was a unanimous top-five cornerback—why, I will never know because it was the first competent season of his career. It just so coincided with a season in which every player on the Bengals defense was playing at an “overachieving” level.
Hall has been outplayed by fellow Bengals cornerback Jonathan Joseph every year but one of their careers, yet everyone talks about Hall.
Underrated: Andrew Witworth
Andrew Witworth does something amazing for which he'd be getting praise for months if he were Jake Long: He has shut down James Harrison not on just one occasion, but in three of their past four meetings. He’s frustrated Harrison so much that the Steelers moved Harrison over to play next to Woodley to try and get pressure in one game.
Despite this, Harrsison finished with zeros across the stat column.
And Witworth’s a good enough run-blocker as well.
Overrated: D’Qwell Jackson
D’Qwell Jackson is an example of why I hate the statistic of the “tackle." It is the most overblown, overused and widely interpretable stat out there. If a player trips a halfback by the ankles, he is credited with a tackle by some statisticians.
Many people thought Jackson was an amazing linebacker because he led the league in tackles in 2009 but he was often out of place and making cleanup—his own—tackles.
Underrated: Alex Mack
I don’t understand why Mack continues to get overlooked in terms of elite center talk. Mack is one of the six-best centers in the league right now and yet nobody talks about him. Perhaps what is most frustrating is that everybody talks about fellow recent first-round centers Maurkice Pouncey and Nick Mangold but Mack has played every bit as well as them.
But of course, he plays in Cleveland, so he’s overlooked.
Overrated: Miles Austin
Austin passed the test that we “wish” all wide receivers would inevitably have to take: the one where we see if they can manage top production without an elite quarterback throwing them the ball.
While Austin passed and still managed top-10 production, I cannot help but see him as a product of a scheme. Austin essentially produces off of two routes—X-screens and post routes—and doesn’t have a complete skill set in my opinion. With Andre Gurode's selection to the top 100 players list, I am incredibly tempted to place him here.
Underrated: Doug Free
Free isn’t on the verge of being an elite left tackle but then again, 27 of the 32 guys playing that position aren’t. What Free brought to the table, however, is starting caliber play where his quarterbacks can depend on him keeping pass-rushers from getting to them.
Where the overrated Andre Gurode continues to get props from the media, it was Free who was the Cowboys best lineman last season.
Overrated: Ryan Clady
Everybody has heard about Clady’s rookie campaign in which he was credited with allowing only half of a sack on the season. Since then, however, the debate has raged if whether or not his half of a sack allowed meant anything when he gave up so many pressures.
I still find that number impressive but what I don’t find impressive is his regression to a borderline top-10 tackle since then, yet people still lock him in as a top-three guy.
Underrated: D.J. Williams
It’s not that I think Williams is an unheralded player who plays at an elite level. I have never thought of him as a top-5 linebacker at any of the positions.
However, Williams is impressive in that he has played three different linebacker positions at a high enough level to warrant praise that he never gets. Williams has succeeded as a 4-3 middle linebacker, a 3-4 inside linebacker and a 4-3 outside linebacker.
Overrated: Kyle Vanden Bosch
Vanden Bosch is a guy that I have never really gotten the hype about. People always allude to Vanden Bosch having a “motor” but when you evaluate it against guys like Clay Matthews III, he doesn’t even compare. While you cannot really quantify a “motor,” I’d imagine it would be more than two double-digit sacks.
Additionally, the guy has never succeeded without an elite defensive tackle lining up next to him.
Underrated: Louis Delmas
I believe that this is the second straight year which I have talked about Delmas being underrated and I still adamantly believe it. I think Delmas has Troy Polamalu-type abilities. Delmas is officially listed as a free safety but he is very capable of lining up in the box as a strong safety as well.
With all the questions in the Lions secondary, Delmas seems to be the only sure thing going for them back there.
Overrated: Clay Matthews III
Clay Matthews III had one heck of a start to his season. He even had a tremendous game-changing play in the Super Bowl. But he was not as good of a player as the media would have had you believe last season.
Matthews regressed heavily against the run in 2010 and disappeared at times. People often blamed it on “double-teams” but every elite pass-rusher faces those.
Underrated: Ryan Grant
For years, I had Grant penciled in as overrated because I believed he was a product of a system. With all of the talent in the passing game in Green Bay, I argued that people didn’t focus on him and his production was a byproduct of that. Through absence Grant proved that he is every bit as good as his production, as none of his replacements could thoroughly step in last season.
Grant is underrated. By the way, it would have been too easy to mention Tramon Williams or Josh Stitton.
Overrated: Mario Williams
I’ve been on the Williams’ bandwagon since day one. I knew all along that he was the correct pick for the Houston Texans. With that said, I believe people are so intent on proving that he was the “right” pick that they often overrate him. Many people pencil Williams in as a top-three 4-3 defensive end when the reality is that he is barely top-five at the position if at all.
His move to 3-4 outside linebacker will truly tell us what to think about him.
Underrated: Kareem Jackson
Jackson was toasted left and right in his rookie season but people tend to overlook that last tidbit of information. Jackson was expected to replace Dunta Robinson from day one and the transition from college to the NFL at the cornerback position is one of the toughest to make.
I’m not even saying that Jackson is good but that he received too much criticism being thrust into a role most rookies aren’t.
Overrated: Pierre Garcon
It’s not that Garcon isn’t a good player on his own right. In fact, I have seen him make some plays that have made me think the opposite of what I am about to say.
But I do not think Garcon is as good as his statistics make him to be. His stats would make you feel he is every bit as good as Mike Wallace, Percy Harvin, Jeremy Maclin and Hakeem Nicks when the reality is he has Peyton Manning throwing him the ball.
Underrated: Jeff Saturday
With all due respect to Nick Mangold, if he is better than Saturday then it isn’t by much. However, if you were to ask around a crop of fans you would hear Mangold’s name mentioned constantly all the while rarely hearing Saturday’s name mentioned.
Saturday is arguably the best pass-blocking center of all time and a stout run-blocker on a makeshift line. He is the second-most important piece on that offense behind Manning.
Overrated: Marcedes Lewis
Lewis had widely been considered a waste of a first-round pick outside of Jacksonville until the previous season. Perhaps it finally all clicked for him and last season was the proverbial “leap” year that a lot of players take.
I don’t believe that though. I feel as if Lewis overachieved in the way of being a red-zone target and is not the top-10 tight end that people have him pegged out to be based on last season.
Underrated: Terrance Knighton
It’s incredibly easy—and also misleading—to look at statistics for a defensive lineman and pencil them in as having a good or bad year. If you did that with Knighton, you would get mixed reviews. Some people would believe his seven plays behind the line of scrimmage aren’t much while others would believe them to be a lot.
However, Football Outsiders had Knighton with one of the best stop rates in all of football.
Overrated: Tamba Hali
How can a guy who notched 14.5 sacks in a season be overrated? We'll hear people say that Tamba Hali is the best pass-rusher in the league. Even if he did lead the league in pressures last season, Hali is nowhere near that claim. Those 14.5 sacks are the only time he’s etched double-digit sacks and he did it when rushing the passer on just about every snap.
Hali is a good player but I’m not sure I’d call him a top-5 pass-rusher.
By the way, Brian Waters may be declining but nobody talks about him so he's not overrated.
Underrated: Derrick Johnson
While everyone was singing the praises of Tamba Hali last season, the linebacker they should have been talking about was Derrick Johnson.
I am almost without doubt that had Todd Haley not been such an egomaniac and started Johnson all season two years ago, Johnson would widely be considered a top-10 inside linebacker. His coverage is astounding and he’s every bit the playmaker you would want.
Overrated: Jake Long
I am not saying that Jake Long isn’t a good player. He’s a top-five tackle in the league. Despite this, his play has been overrated from the first game he ever played because of his high draft status.
In his first two seasons, Long never faced a strong slate of pass-rushers and had it pretty easy. Finally facing a strong slate last season—and doing amazing—Long got injured and his play dipped but he still got First-Team All-Pro nods despite guys playing better
Underrated: Cameron Wake
While everyone was singing the praises of Tamba Hali, it was Cameron Wake that was the best breakout 3-4 outside linebacker last season. Sure, Wake primarily played the right side—but he dominated from it. He was consistent week in and week out.
Although he crashed the line of scrimmage primarily, Wake still managed to be a force. Wake’s 33 “big plays” far outshined the likes of Clay Matthews III.
Overrated: Steve Hutchinson
Steve Hutchinson is living off of what I have deemed “The Alan Faneca Effect” at this point in his career. Having been such a dominant run-blocker for his entire career coupled with a strong running game on his current team, people believe him to be better than he actually is.
Hutchinson is clearly on the decline and is not the person he was in 2009. Hutchinson wouldn’t even grade as a top-10 guard now in my opinion.
Underrated: Antoine Winfield
When ESPN’s panel of voters rated Winfield the sixth-best cornerback in the league, I stated he did not deserve to be there. That’s how underrated he is. I’m currently calling him underrated because before I was calling him overrated because he wasn’t a good coverage corner anymore.
The truth of the matter is while he is not Nnamdi Asomugha, he’s still good in coverage, all the while being stout as ever against the run.
Overrated: Jerod Mayo
Never has there been a better example of why tackles are overrated than Jerod Mayo. Mayo led the league in tackles but how many of them were actually stopping first downs or big gains?
Per Football Outsiders, there were at least 17 interior linebackers with more run stops and defeats than Mayo. A paltry 41 percent of Mayo’s tackles were within four yards of the line of scrimmage. He needs to make more impact plays to truly be elite.
Underrated: Sebastian Vollmer
Everybody is talking about Matt Light leaving the Patriots in free agency but the organization isn’t worried. Sebastian Vollmer has been groomed to be the franchise's best lineman and he certainly is.
Already a top-three right tackle, Vollmer will be an elite left tackle next season as he was one for half of the 2009 season. In 2009 at left tackle for eight games, Vollmer only surrendered 1.5 sacks.
Overrated: Jahri Evans
Jahri Evans is one hell of a player. He’s an even better person as I knew him before he was drafted. He’s unarguably a top-10 guard in the NFL.
But some people seem to hold this odd misconception that Evans is the best guard in the league. Pretty interesting thought process when he’s not the best guard on his own team. Carl Nicks has long been the better run-blocker and the more disciplined of the two.
Underrated: Jabari Greer
When people talk about the top 10 cornerbacks in the league, nobody talks about Greer. Heck, even when discussing the Saints, everybody just remembers Tracy Porter because of his pick-six against Peyton Manning.
Greer is the best cornerback in New Orleans and I just wish he could play a full 16-game season so the common excuse of injuries would stop hurting his stock at his position.
Overrated: Antrel Rolle
If I asked you to name five of the league’s best safeties, I can almost assure you that Rolle’s name would not come out of your mouth. Yet somehow, this happened for the "NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2011" list.
Rolle was one of only five safeties mentioned and even more so, he was listed above the likes of Nick Collins and Adrian Wilson. There’s a reason Rolle was allowed to walk in Arizona.
Underrated: Hakeem Nicks
With all due respect to Steve Smith—who still remains one of my favorite NFL players—Hakeem Nicks has stepped up as the premier receiver on that young corps in New York. Nicks went off last season to the tune of 79 receptions for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns in a mere 13 games.
If DeSean Jackson’s numbers were good enough to make the Pro Bowl in 14 games, then Nicks’ unquestionably were.
Overrated: Darrelle Revis
I am in no way saying Darrelle Revis the player is overrated here. Darrelle Revis is comfortably the second-best pure cornerback in the league in my opinion.
What is overrated—or should I say overhyped—about Revis is his 2009 season. I’ve heard numerous people call it the “best season ever by a cornerback” when quite frankly it wouldn’t even rank in the top 10. In case people didn’t know, Revis’ 2010 season was better than his 2009 but Rex Ryan didn’t hype it up…
Underrated: Sione Pouha
With Kris Jenkins going down for two consecutive years, many people thought the Jets defense would take a step back in terms of defending the run. It hasn’t.
Sure, Pouha might not be the force against the pass that Jenkins was but at this point, I’m not sure Jenkins provides an improvement over what Pouha offers.
Is he a top-10 interior defensive lineman? Probably not. Is he in that next tier? Probably.
Overrated: Darren McFadden
For the first two seasons of his career, McFadden was approaching “bust” status. Last season, McFadden finally lived up to the “Run DMC” nickname afforded to him during college. He ran for 1,157 yards on 5.2 yards per carry and added an additional 500 yards receiving on 47 receptions. Most impressive were his 10 total touchdowns from scrimmage.
However, the fact that Michael Bush was so productive in McFadden’s stead while injured hurts McFadden’s case.
Underrated: Zach Miller
Zach Miller just quietly continues to produce 60 receptions for 700 yards and four touchdowns year in and year out, yet he continues to go overlooked. Most people don’t include Miller on their top 10 tight end lists for some asinine reason.
Miller has produced from the first day he stepped on an NFL field and yet I hear the like of Marcedes Lewis mentioned as a top-10 tight end before him?
Overrated: LeSean McCoy
I’ve always liked LeSean McCoy. I wanted the Steelers to pair him with Rashard Mendenhall. So when he got drafted to my hometown team in the Eagles, I wasn’t too disappointed because I’d get to watch him play.
I am glad I get to see him play because his performance doesn’t live up to the numbers.
Teams were clearly focused on Jackson and Vick and McCoy was the benefactor, often running through wide open holes as teams game-planned for those other two guys.
Underrated: Jeremy Maclin
DeSean Jackson may grab the headlines but Jeremy Maclin is actually the best wide receiver in Philadelphia. Maclin runs routes with precision and can attack the ball better than Jackson ever has (although he still needs work in that aspect). Maclin can run all over the field and can stretch the field as well.
Maclin continues to get overlooked but that’s just fine.
Overrated: Maurkice Pouncey
I may be the only Steelers fan alive that thinks Maurkice Pouncey isn’t some end-all, be-all, amazing offensive lineman. While Pouncey is excellent at getting to the second level, too many times did I see him get walked back while pass-blocking which led to his high amount of sacks allowed (three).
Pouncey was not worthy of a Pro Bowl, nor all the media hype given to him.
Underrated: Lawrence Timmons
Everybody knows about James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley but it was Lawrence Timmons who was the Steelers' best linebacker last season. How he didn’t make the All-Pro team was a joke to me.
Timmons is a prime example of making your tackles count, as 62 percent of his tackles were within four yards of the line of scrimmage. He finished third in run defeats/stops and was a playmaker (three sacks, two interceptions) to boot.
Overrated: Shaun Phillips
Shaun Phillips was recently voted as the 95th-best player on the "NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2011" list. Whether this is based on career or the 2011 season—as it should have been—I don’t know if Phillips deserved the honor.
Outside of that Arizona Cardinals game Phillips was an average player. What’s worse is I’ve heard some Chargers fans say he’s superior to the likes of LaMarr Woodley or Terrell Suggs.
Underrated: Antonio Garay
Antonio Garay never gets mentioned amongst the top interior defensive linemen, which is to be expected. He’s young and the replacement to a guy who was a Pro Bowler year in and year out in Jamal Williams. But Garay has already stepped in as a great young nose tackle.
Unlike Kyle Williams—who people thought was “underrated” this past season—Garray can make plays behind the line of scrimmage but understands gap responsibility and doesn’t leave his backers out to dry.
Overrated: Justin Smith
This is another one of those “overrated” players in that they are nearly as good as advertised but some people out there are certainly overselling them. Justin Smith is entrenched as the second-best 3-4 defensive end behind Haloti Ngata.
However, I’ve seen people recently name him a top-10 overall defensive player in this league. Justin Smith owes a bit of his success to nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin if you ask me.
Underrated: Mike Iupati
I say that Iupati is underrated because he was one of two high-profile interior offensive linemen taken in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. Maurkice Pouncey was the other one and he didn’t play much better than him—if at all—yet was hyped all the way to a Pro Bowl berth and media hype.
If Pouncey received media hype, then Iupati certainly deserved some talk as well.
Overrated: Jason Brown
Jason Brown was overrated when he was in Baltimore. As a result, the Rams overpaid for him in free agency in an effort to rebuild their franchise from the offensive line up.
While things seem to be going according to plan, it won’t be long before Brown is easily the weak link on the offensive line. He is being paid like one of the five best centers in the league but I’m not sure that he is top-10.
Underrated: Roger Saffold
It would be too easy to name the three cornerstones of the Rams' budding defense in James Laurinitis, Ron Bartell and Chris Long so I’m going offense here.
Jake Long, Joe Thomas and D’Brickashaw Ferguson all are considered elite left tackles. Saffold had a better rookie season than all three of them but didn’t get nearly the amount of hype because he wasn’t a top-15 pick. Saffold allowed only 3.5 sacks as a rookie while blocking for a rookie QB.
Overrated: Marshawn Lynch
Everybody remembers Lynch’s admirable postseason run against the Saints—which I believe to be overrated as well—but nobody seems to remember that his career has been dismal at best.
Lynch has yet to reach “Beast Mode” during his NFL career for more than a highlight play or two and has hovered around four yards per carry all his career, often going below that.
Underrated: Brandon Mebane
The fact that the Seahawks are contemplating letting this kid walk is a little ridiculous. Brandon Mebane has an argument as one of the top 10 interior defensive linemen in the NFL. He is stout against both the run and pass and has excellent gap control.
He was an excellent reason as to why David Hawthorne stepped in for Lofa Tatupu in 2009 and produced elite numbers.
Overrated: Davin Joseph
Part of me wanted to go with Mike Williams. Although he had a good season by rookie standards, he was in no way a top-100 player in the NFL.
However, Joseph has been overrated for longer. Year in and year out, I hear people mention Joseph as an elite guard when he just simply isn’t one. He’s only completed two seasons and wasn’t that great in either. He’s never put together a good season as both as pass-blocker and run-blocker.
Underrated: Josh Freeman
I think a lot of people are starting to get to know Josh Freeman and he’s getting his due. He might even be known by the casual fan after making the "NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2011" list.
However, he continues to be overshadowed by draft-mate Mark Sanchez just because Sanchez plays in New York. Freeman has shown amazing poise that Sanchez hasn’t come close to with a 26-touchdown and five-interception season, yet few people talk about him.
Overrated: Kenny Britt
On a national scale, Kenny Britt isn’t exactly overrated because nobody is talking about him. But if you were to ask Titans fans about Britt, they would tell you he’s in the same echelon as the top four guys from his draft class.
Perhaps time will tell that he is but we certainly haven’t seen enough from Britt to believe that he actually is a No. 1-caliber wide receiver or just a stopgap.
Underrated: Jason Jones
Jason Jones gives those Kenny Britt fans hope. A few seasons ago, Titans fans professed that Albert Haynesworth was replaceable due to Jason Jones. While the rest of the football community laughed at the time, Tennessee fans get the last laugh.
The NFL Network named career journeyman Jason Babin a top-100 player but it should have been Jones named to the list, as his play against the run and pass made Babin look so good.
Overrated: DeAngelo Hall
I think DeAngelo Hall has appeared on just about everybody’s overrated list at some point in his career. It even makes one beg the question of whether or not one can actually think he’s “overrated” if so many people think so little of him.
Well, apparently some people actually think he's a great corner given Hall recently was voted a top-10 cornerback according to a panel of ESPN “experts." I’m sure their vote had nothing to do with his four-interception game against Cutler.
Underrated: Brian Orakpo
Brian Orakpo is every bit as good as the likes of Tamba Hali, Clay Matthews III and Cameron Wake, yet nobody talks about him. Orakpo might even be the best pass-rusher out of all of them. He certainly was the most consistent, drawing a sack or hold in all but two games last year.
He tied James Harrison for the defensive player held the most this past season and I can count at least two more blatant ones not called.