New York Giants: The Most Overrated and Underrated Player at Each Position

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IJune 23, 2011

New York Giants: The Most Overrated and Underrated Player at Each Position

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    With every team you are going to have players that get unwarranted time in the spotlight, and unheralded players who live in the shadow of their teammates.

    The Giants are no exception to that, so I took a look at the most underrated and overrated players at each position. Some may surprise you but that's bound to happen. 

    Feel free to leave a comment and tell me I'm wrong!

Quarterback

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    Most Overrated: Jim Sorgi

    Many people are under the illusion that Jim Sorgi can play simply because he sat behind Peyton Manning with the Colts for so many years. The guy may have talent, but he'll never be a starter in the NFL.

    Most Underrated: Eli Manning

    Eli Manning takes way too much heat for how well he has played the past three seasons. In 2008 and 2009 he had Pro Bowl caliber seasons, though only made it in 2008, and this past year he even improved on many of his numbers.

    Those interceptions went way up, however, but that was mainly due to his receivers dropping passes left and right into the hands of defenders.

    Expect Eli to get back to form this season, even if he has been doing other things this off season.

Runningback

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    Most Overrated: DJ Ware

    Many expected big things out of DJ Ware when he dominated in the preseason a couple of years ago, but he's not lived up to those expectations. He has rarely carried the ball in the regular season and when he does it's not pretty.

    Despite that, the Giants gave him a two year deal this offseason, though not much of it is guaranteed. You could see Ware cut this year.

    Most Underrated: Brandon Jacobs

    It's hard to pick this one, because frankly, both of the Giants running backs are a bit underrated. However, with all of the negativity surrounding Jacobs during the preseason, I felt that he wasn't justly praised when he turned his season around and began running the ball hard like he had in the past.

    Tom Coughlin even admitted he wished Jacobs got to carry the ball more last year.

Wide Receiver

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    Most Overrated: Victor Cruz

    I felt like after last year's preseason guys were anointing this guy as the next great elite wide receiver. Settle down.

    While Cruz may have a shot to be a productive slot receiver, there is a reason the Giants didn't play him before his hamstring injury caused him to hit the IR. He did lead the preseason in receiving, but that's the preseason. Most of his production came against guys that will never see the field.

    He has his hands full just beating out Jerrel Jernigan now.

    Most Underrated: Mario Manningham

    Manningham took a lot of heat in 2009 for all the dropped balls, so when he became a go-to guy for Eli Manning last year—I remember at one point about halfway through the season he had more third down catches than Steve Smith—he wasn't given his due.

    He is an incredible weapon and the Giants will have to shell out the cash to keep around next year—he's a free agent in 2012.

Offensive Line

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    Most Overrated: Shaun O'Hara

    I didn't want to put anyone in this category. I almost went N/A on you guys, but given that Shaun O'Hara made the Pro Bowl last year after having played in just six games, I'd say he is a bit overrated.

    When healthy he is one of the best centers in the league. I just hope he gets back to 100 percent before the season starts.

    Most Underrated: Kareem McKenzie

    According to an article by Pro Football Focus, Kareem McKenzie was the best right tackle in the league in 2010. This is coming from a website that uses complicated statistics to make their argument. In fact, they even called McKenzie the third best tackle overall.

    For a guy that takes a lot of heat, that's high praise.

Defensive Line

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    Most Overrated: Rocky Bernard

    Rocky Bernard is an average player that plays well in a backup role, but he is not worth the contract the Giants paid for him. He was brought in to be a starter and it just never panned out. According to Big Blue Interactive, he is scheduled to make $2.95 million in 2011 and $3.45 million in 2012.

    Most Underrated: Chris Canty

    It's hard to underrate a guy who signed a six year, $42 million contract, but every Giants fan seems to be guilty of this at one point. I remember being very frustrated with Canty during the 2009 season. However, despite the fact that it doesn't show up on the stat sheet, Canty turned his 2010 season around.

    He was very good at bringing pressure up the middle and forcing quarterbacks to the outside. Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck can thank Canty for many of their combined 23 sacks.

Linebacker

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    Most Overrated: Keith Bulluck

    I don't want people to get the notion that I think the term "overrated" is necessarily a bad thing; it certainly has taken on a negative connotation. Bulluck had a good year in 2010 as the team's strong outside linebacker, but basically meets this criteria because of what he thinks of himself.

    He believes he should be given a full time starting role and not the part time role he had last year. He was often taken off the field for passing downs. I'm not sure he can be that guy as he's in the latter part of his career.

    Most Underrated: Michael Boley

    The Giants group of linebackers have taken the most heat this off season with many people saying they are the weakest unit on the team. While that is probably true, it doesn't necessarily mean they are a bad group.

    Michael Boley had a good year as the weak side linebacker. He finished third on the team in tackles and had one sack and two forced fumbles. He spent most of his time playing pass coverage and did a great job guarding running backs and tight ends.

Defensive Back

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    Most Overrated: Aaron Ross

    Aaron Ross looked like he was on his way to becoming a great corner in 2008. He was the Giants first round pick in 2007 and had a fine rookie season, helping the Giants win the Super Bowl.

    However, he has since been replaced by Terrell Thomas, drafted in the second round in 2008, due to his poor play and inability to avoid the injury bug. A hamstring injury kept him out of most of the 2009 season, and in 2010 he rarely saw the field.

    A free agent after this season, we could see the last of Aaron Ross in 2011.

    Most Underrated: Deon Grant

    Deon Grant didn't get much recognition outside of New York simply because he wasn't in the starting lineup. However he was an integral part of Perry Fewell's defense. Fewell liked to go to his three safety set very often and Grant was the X-factor in his ability to do that.

    Grant was terrific in run support and usually replaced a linebacker. He is a free agent now and will likely depart for a starting role; he will be missed by Fewell to say the least.

Special Teams

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    Most Overrated: Derek Hagan

    Hagan didn't even make the 53-man roster at the beginning of the year and was only re-signed when Giants wide receivers started dropping like flies. So why am I hearing the Giants need to bring him back because of how good he is on special teams?

    He lost interest in special teams and that's why he was cut in the first place. Let's not make the mistake of filling a roster spot with someone who only wants to play wide receiver.

    Most Underrated: Sage Rosenfels.

    There were many candidates to consider here, but I can't help but think about how much Lawrence Tynes improved after Rosenfels took over the holding duties from Matt Dodge.

    After the Chicago game in Week 4, the Giants called on Rosenfels to be the holder with Tynes having struggled the previous two games. He missed three field goals in those two games and would go on to miss only one the rest of the season.

    Obviously Rosenfels made a difference and it was a brilliant move by the coaching staff.