There are always those NFL players who get more hype and credit for their play than they actually deserve. The over-hyping could be due to the fact that they had one good season, they are aging or they are inconsistent.
This slideshow will document one player from each NFL team that fits this category. Some of these picks may surprise you...
Clements is commonly beaten for touchdowns and even when he manages to make a play on defense, he gives the ball right back to opposing teams offense via fumbles.
After receiving an eight-year, $80 million contract with $22 million guaranteed in 2007, Clements was expected to be a shut-down corner. Instead, he has recorded 10 interceptions over four seasons with the team.
Although Jay Cutler will occasionally put the team on his back and lead them to victory, his interceptions tend to also kill his team's chance of winning.
Cutler finished the 2010 season with a 86.3 QB rating, placing him 16th in the league as an average QB.
He also lacks the consistency to be a good NFL QB. Cutler has games—like the game against the Eagles this year—where he throws for three touchdowns, no interceptions and looks like the best QB in the league. Other games, he throws one touchdown, four interceptions and single-handedly sends DeAngelo Hall to the Pro Bowl.
Carson Palmer is that player who is living off prior success. In 2005 and 2006, Palmer had a TD-to-INT ratio of 32-12 and 28-13, respectively.
This past season, his ratio plummeted to 26-20 with a QB rating of 82.4.
Palmer has been contemplating retirement if the Bengals do not trade him. It may be in the best interest of both the Bengals and Palmer for them to part ways.
It hurts me to say this because I am a lifelong Terp, but "Lights Out" has turned into a shell of his former self.
Merriman totaled 39.5 sacks over his first three seasons; over his last three seasons, Merriman totaled four sacks. For a pure pass-rushing 3-4 outside linebacker, the sack numbers tell the story.
Did I miss Tim Tebow winning a Super Bowl and league MVP?
Tebow is a player who is getting respect purely off his college hype.
Over his rookie campaign, he threw five touchdowns and three interceptions with an 82.1 QB rating, very pedestrian numbers from this "star" player out of Gator Nation.
Until Tebow proves it on the field, he will remain a vastly overrated player.
I am one of the biggest Peyton Hillis fans out there, but we need to put this year's performance in perspective.
Hillis rushed for an impressive 11 touchdowns, but only 1,177 yards. Of his three years in the league, 2010 was the only year Hillis showed any form of production.
If he continues to produce like he did last season, he will certainly jump out of the overrated title. Until then, though, let's relax on the hype surrounding the Madden cover boy.
Kellen Winslow Jr. is living off the family name. His father was one of the top five tight ends of all time; Winslow Jr. does not even fall in the top five current tight ends.
At 6'4" and 240 lbs., it is his job to put points on the board, especially in red zone situations. Winslow Jr. has only managed to average 4.2 touchdowns over his last five seasons.
For him to be considered elite, he needs to put the ball in the end zone at a higher rate.
Playing with less talent around him, Breaston recorded about 300 less receiving yards. He has also only managed to amass a total of seven touchdowns in four NFL seasons.
Darren Sproles certainly has big-play potential, but he doesn't have the skill level or durability to be a No. 1 back. Even though he has never been "the guy" in the backfield, people still look at him as one.
Sproles has been in the league six years (one year he sat out due to injury) and only managed to rush for 1,154 yards—a number good backs get in one season.
He should be recognized for his size and quickness rather than his performance on the field.
Mike Vrabel provides great leadership and work ethic, but his performance on the field has been deteriorating the past few years.
At 35, to say Vrabel has lost a step would be an understatement. With the Chiefs, he has totaled 48 and 53 tackles in two seasons. These are low numbers for someone who was consistently around 80 tackles with the Patriots.
If you are playing with one of the best of all time in Peyton Manning, it should be fairly easy to run the ball—just look at the numbers Edgerrin James put up.
Unfortunately for the Colts and their fans, though, Joseph Addai does not live up to the hype he generated the first few years.
In his first two years, Addai had 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Since then, he has averaged 622 yards a season, incredibly poor numbers for a running back with Manning under center.
His starting role will soon be lost to recent draft pick Donald Brown.
The trade the Dallas Cowboys put together with the Detroit Lions for Roy Williams and four draft picks—including a first-round pick—looks worse and worse as Williams continues to under-produce.
Over his two years with Dallas, Williams has a total of 1,126 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. The 12 touchdowns is not too disappointing, but with the trade, the Cowboys expected a No. 1, elite-level receiver.
Instead, Williams continues to slide down the depth chart with the emergence of Miles Austin and the drafting of Dez Bryant.
When you take a step back and look at Ronnie Brown's career stats, he actually turns out to be a pretty average running back.
Brown has only one 1,000-yard year, even though he has played six seasons in the NFL. Another alarming number is his 63.4 career yards per game. His contribution in the receiving game is minor as well at 19.6 YPG.
Brown also lacks some durability, commonly working in a platoon system with backs like Ricky Williams.
Michael Vick reminds me a bit of LeBron James. They are both absolutely great players, but people put them on this ridiculous pedestal when they have yet to win anything.
Even though he had a terrific year passing last year, Vick has consistently been a below-average passer. I need to see a little more consistency in terms of pocket passing to elevate him to the level of greatness everyone else seems to put him on.
Also, he has to win something—anything. When he has the chance to win, he needs to rise to the occasion rather than shrink in the spotlight as he did in the Green Bay game this postseason.
When he retires, Tony Gonzalez may be considered the best tight end to ever line up at the position (that is until Antonio Gates retires).
Even though he may be the best to ever do it, he is on the back end of his career.
Gonzalez has lost a step and his numbers reflect this. Even while playing with a Pro Bowl running back, wide receiver and quarterback in Atlanta, Gonzalez has averaged 54 and 41 YPG, low numbers for an all-time great.
He has only tallied 12 touchdowns with the Falcons as well. While this is good for most tight ends in the league, Gonzalez was capable of recording double-digit touchdown seasons at the peak of his game.
Eli Manning is overrated due to his Super Bowl victory against the undefeated Patriots and his last name.
First of all, the Giants won that Super Bowl because of their defense, not because of anything Eli did on the field.
In terms of his last name, he will never be as close to as good as his brother Peyton.
Eli commonly forces passes that lead to crucial turnovers. He has the luxury of playing with perhaps the best offensive line in the NFL and one of the best defenses in the league, yet he doesn't put up the numbers he should.
The biggest knocks I have against Eli are his leadership and intangibles. He is certainly tough, but as an NFL quarterback, you have to be able to rally the troops. Eli commonly falls short in this aspect with the dazed look he sports on the turf.
Rashean Mathis had one good year in 2006-2007 where he had eight interceptions.
Through eight total seasons in the NFL, though, Mathis has only 29 interceptions.
To put this in perspective, if you take away that eight-interception year, Mathis is only averaging three a year.
These are solid numbers, but good enough to call him a No. 1 shut-down guy? I think not.
At best, Sanchez is the ultimate game manager. He was drafted into a great situation where he could rely on his defense to make plays for the offense. Over his career, he has a 70.2 rating, a number that would normally get a quarterback benched. Sanchez should feel blessed that he was drafted in a perfect situation.
This stat may shock you a bit: In JaMarcus Russell's first full season with the Raiders, he posted a 77.1 rating, better than the 75.3 rating Sanchez had last year.
Kyle Vanden Bosch
Kyle Vanden Bosch benefited greatly from Albert Haynesworth when he played on the Titans. (Remember when Haynesworth actually cared about football?)
With his production, he received a $26 million contract from the Lions. During his last two years with the Titans, though, he only recorded 7.5 sacks total. In his first year with the Lions, he managed only four.
Vanden Bosch is a high-motor defensive end I would love to have on my team, but he is not a Pro Bowl-caliber defensive end.
Drafted fifth overall, A.J. Hawk was supposed to be the franchise guy to anchor the middle of the Packers' defense. He has turned out to be a solid player, but not the Pro Bowl-quality linebacker they were hoping for.
Hawk is pretty solid in the run game, but struggles greatly in pass coverage. He is not a playmaker, but rather simply makes the plays he should make. His overrated tag simply results from where he was drafted and the hype he had coming into the league that he did not live up to.
The trade for Jeremy Shockey did improve the Panthers at the tight end position, but only because they began from nothing and went to very little.
Ever since coming out of Miami, Shockey has been vastly overrated. He has averaged a meager 46.6 YPG and only 3.6 touchdowns per season over his NFL career. For someone coming into the league with as much cockiness and pure arrogance as Shockey, he should be performing at a higher level.
This has nothing to do with his numbers necessarily, but rather the system in which he plays.
When Wes Welker went down with an injury, Julian Edelman stepped in and also performed well.
Basically, I'm saying numerous NFL wide receivers could do the same job Wes Welker does if they were put in the same position with an all-time great quarterback, coach and system.
Robert Gallery was drafted second overall in 2004. With the second overall pick, you expect a franchise left tackle. Instead, Gallery has been slotted at guard for the majority of his career.
Gallery has also never made an appearance in a Pro Bowl. With the No. 2 overall selection, the Raiders expected numerous Pro Bowls.
Simply put, Gallery has not lived up to the expectations associated with a No. 2 pick.
It was hard picking a player labeled as "overrated" on the Rams because their entire roster is composed of average to below-average players with limited expectations, but Chris Long did enter the league with some hype and has failed to meet expectations thus far.
Howie Long, Chris' father, was an all-time Oakland Raider great. Chris has not yet matched the play of his father, but he did record nine sacks last season. Perhaps the nine sacks are a sign that he has turned the corner; he only totaled nine combined sacks the previous two seasons.
Until he proves to be consistent, Chris Long will still be slightly overrated.
Willis McGahee is no longer a No. 1 back in the NFL. He has had three 1,000-yard years, and over the past three years, his rushing numbers have steadily declined from 671 to 544 to 380 yards.
He does not have the work ethic or durability to be a premier back at this level anymore. Ray Rice is now the No. 1 back in Baltimore, as he should be.
DeAngelo Hall is a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, but he commonly takes far too many risks to make plays. His playmaking nature often leaves him vulnerable to being beat deep on double moves.
Hall did make a Pro Bowl appearance last year, but that can be directly attributed to Jay Cutler's horrendous four-interception performance, all landing in Hall's hands.
Reggie Bush was great at USC, but that was college, and this is the NFL.
At USC, he was simply faster and quicker than anyone else on the field. At the NFL level, everyone is faster, bigger and stronger. The running around routine until he finds a lane doesn't work.
Bush could be an above-average slot receiver in the NFL, but he is a below-average running back at this level. He never learned how to run between the tackles, and that has hurt him with the Saints.
He is inevitably on his way out with the drafting of Mark Ingram. Whichever team Bush ends up on, look for him to showcase his abilities in the return game and the receiving game.
The Mike Williams story is great. He ate himself out of the league, then worked hard to get back in the NFL and reunited with his college coach.
It's unfortunate the story does not match his performance on the field.
Williams lacks the speed and quickness to separate from corners on a consistent basis. He had by far his best year last season, but he only had 751 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
These are not the numbers of a true No. 1 receiver.
Ryan Clark benefits from the fact that he plays with the best defense in the NFL. Not only is his defense as a whole great, but his partner-in-crime, Troy Polamalu, is perhaps the best defensive player in the entire NFL. Also, the great pass-rush does not leave Clark in dangerous situations downfield.
If Clark was put in a different situation with a different team, his performance would certainly decline.
Brian Cushing's rookie campaign was great, totaling an impressive 133 tackles and four sacks. Unfortunately, he was busted for performance-enhancing drug use and missed the first four games of this past season.
After coming back from the injury, Cushing seemed to be lacking the explosion he had the previous year, ending the year with just 76 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Even though Locker has yet to play a game in the NFL, he was incredibly overrated in terms of where he was drafted.
Locker threw only 17 touchdowns last season after throwing 21 the previous season. Decline is never something you want to see in a collegiate athlete.
Furthermore, he was never able to lead his team to meaningful victories. Granted he did not have much talent around him, but if you are drafted eighth overall, you should be good enough to lead your team to victory.
Do not be surprised if Locker never performs well at the NFL level.
Sidney Rice is a free agent who is expecting to cash in big this offseason, but buyer beware.
Not only is Rice injury-prone, but he has only had one good year in the NFL, even with the best running back in the NFL on his team.
Even though he is fairly tall at 6'4", he fails when it comes to putting the ball in the end zone; he has only 18 touchdowns in four NFL seasons.
Is that someone you want to devote millions of dollars to?