Kevin Kolb and the NFL's 10 Most Overrated Players
It is natural for NFL fans to speculate who will be busts and who will be breakout stars every single year.
Then there are some guys who have BUST written all over them. This list is to be sure that those guys are known.
Last year, Brett Favre may have been the ultimate disappointment, failing to recover from their NFC Championship loss to the Saints in the 2010 playoffs.
Now, we have 10 new names to make this dreaded list. I could call this a list of biggest busts (which I suppose it is, just with a different name), most overpaid players, or the even the best of the worst.
No, I'm going with "overrated," a term I have fallen in love with. It doesn't seem to matter what sport it is, the list of overrated players is longer than the list of players who may actually reach their potential.
It's time to reveal those players who need to stamp the word "overrated" on their foreheads.
10. Eli Manning, New York Giants Quarterback
What's tough about putting Eli Manning on this list is that I feel like I'm doing it only because he's still partly in Peyton's shadow. He has a title, yes, but Peyton carries the talent.
In reality, Eli's career numbers aren't all that bad—in fact, they're pretty good. The issue with him is that he gets his stat line stacked up and looking good through the first eight or nine games every season.
Then, those last seven or eight games are nose dives for him. Not just for him, but the entire Giants' team hasn't looked nearly as good since winning the Super Bowl.
Eli has a history of making poor passes in the worst situations, but is still considered by some to be an "elite" quarterback.
He was elite in the Super Bowl against an unbeaten New England Patriots' team.
Since then, there are flashes of brilliance, and flashes of plain bad. Manning will throw just as many interceptions as touchdowns this season.
9. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers Quarterback
Newton is a rookie, so Panther fans may as well go ahead and start criticizing me.
He hasn't appeared in the NFL yet in a regular season game, but immediately following his championship performance against Oregon in January, Newton was a third- or fourth-round projection.
That projection actually existed for a reason.
Newton looks a lot like Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell. Some will argue that Young is a decent quarterback, but let's be honest—both of those quarterbacks had a bad mind for the game.
Young had a decent squad to work with, but Russell never did (not to excuse how awful he was). Newton looks very similar to both of them when he works out, and experts question his effectiveness in the NFL.
One season of elite college ball doesn't make you a first overall pick.
Newton will throw for fewer than 15 touchdowns and more than 15 interceptions.
8. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks Running Back
I realize that Lynch's run against the Saints in the playoffs last year was one of the greatest scenes that the sports world has ever seen.
Past that, Lynch's career has been riddled with personal trouble and mediocrity.
Lynch entered the league in 2007, which has been his best season to date. How did those numbers look?
280 carries for 1,115 yards and seven touchdowns.
If that's your best year, and you've still been ranked among the top 10 running backs in football, then you're bound to be stamped with the dreaded "overrated" mark.
What I will give to Lynch is that he's got good hands—he's never been one to fumble the ball very much, having done it 11 times in 57 games.
Lynch will reach 1,000 yards, but not 1,100.
7. Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals Running Back
Wells' career has simply not panned out at this point. He doesn't have many excuses, given that he's split time with Tim Hightower the last couple seasons, and that's becoming a trend in the NFL.
Over two seasons and between 29 games played, Wells has carried the ball 292 times for 1,190 yards. That's mediocre for even a single season, let alone two combined.
A lot of the problem Wells has is injuries. Not so much that he's missed time because of them, but he was afraid to break into the gaps for fear of leaving himself vulnerable to an unprotected hit.
No matter what the reason, Wells finally has his chance to break out, having essentially no one to split time with except for LaRod Stephens-Howling. Unfortunately, Wells will continue to show fear and be ineffective out of the backfield.
Look for him to run for 800 yards and four touchdowns.
6. Shonn Greene, New York Jets Running Back
Greene has showed remarkable skills at times, especially in the 2010 AFC Divisional game against the Cincinnati Bengals. In that game, Greene ran for 135 yards and a touchdown on 21 touches.
Last year was supposed to be Greene's breakout season, and he wound up disappointing many fans and fantasy owners (myself included). In 15 games, Greene ran 185 times for 766 yards and only two touchdowns.
LaDainian Tomlinson had a much better season than Greene, and yet Greene is still listed above him on the updated depth charts. Many experts continue to say Greene will be Rex Ryan's go-to guy in 2011.
Tomlinson will remain the guy to run the ball in the red zone, which brings down Green's value.
Greene will improve on last season's numbers, just cracking 1,000 yards, but coming nowhere near his projected 1,300-1,500.
5. Arian Foster, Houston Texans Running Back
Allow me to explain why last season's rushing champion is on this list before I get overloaded with criticism.
Foster had an amazing 2010 campaign, no questions asked. The problem with that is Steve Slaton had much of the same success during his first year as the starter. Foster is now Slaton's replacement.
Still, between running styles and build, there are many similarities between the two men.
I foresee two things bringing down Foster this season—the dreaded sophomore slump, or injuries.
Foster's dirty little secret is that he's not the most durable guy in the league. With a weak offensive line, Foster is vulnerable to taking a lot of hits.
He'll have a decent 1,300 yard year, but don't look for Foster to match his 1,600-yard performance from last season.
4. Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver
Anyone could have duplicated Rice's 2009 campaign with Brett Favre throwing the ball the way he did that season. Tarvaris Jackson is his quarterback now—it's not the first time they've worked together.
Jackson was Rice's quarterback in Minnesota during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. By that, I mean Jackson was his quarterback when he wasn't hurt. More to the point, Rice's combined stats from '07 and '08 consisted of 46 catches for 537 yards and eight touchdowns.
In 2009, Rice broke out with an astounding 83 catches for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.
Rice's 2010 season was basically lost, as he struggled with injury.
I have no doubt about Rice's potential and abilities as a receiver, but it seems that he can't perform without a reliable quarterback. That holds true for most receivers—ask Randy Moss about his Oakland years.
Still, Rice may be Jackson's main guy in Seattle, but Rice will catch no more than 50 passes and go for under 900 yards.
3. Donovan McNabb, Minnesota Vikings Quarterback
McNabb's proven that he can be great in some situations.
Unfortunately for the Redskins and now the Vikings, those situations seemed to come in the green and white uniforms.
In terms of passer rating, McNabb had his worst season in 2010 since his rookie year in 1999. Most of the issues he had stemmed from a bad receiving game and a sub-par offensive line.
I've got news for McNabb—he's in an identical situation in 2011.
Minnesota's top receiver is the fragile Percy Harvin, who's already injured, and an offensive line that's not worth much after Steve Hutchinson and Phil Loadholt.
Looks like Adrian Peterson will be the work horse in 2011 again for the Vikings.
McNabb will manage to have a better year than last season, but in saying that, I'm claiming he won't have the worst season of his career—that by no means implies he'll have a good 2011 run in purple.
2. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos Quarterback
There has never been so much hype and disdain for one single man.
Tebow is an idol citizen—that much I will give him.
Let's take a reality check: Kyle Orton gives the Broncos their best chance at a playoff run this season.
Tebow was scouted from the beginning to be a third-round draft pick in 2010 at best. Yet the Broncos took him in the first round.
Orton is no Elway, but he's been amazing at leading a mediocre Denver offense over the last two seasons.
How can anyone justify starting Tebow? He's a man that focused on running the option at the University of Florida and who was widely renown in the art of jump passes.
Merrill Hodge has received criticism for his critique of Tebow, but I agree with him.
Tebow SHOULD NOT see a down in the NFL until Orton proves he's unworthy.
1. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals Quarterback
If I had made this list last season, Kolb would have headed that list too. However, I understood the hype in Philadelphia—he was surrounded by LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. That's not even mentioning a decent O-line in the City of Brotherly Love.
This year, experts and fans alike are selecting the Cardinals to win the NFC West and even win 10 games.
I understand how weak the NFC West is, but I'm here to tell you, Seattle had Matt Hasselbeck as its quarterback last season, and he's a far better player than Kolb.
Kolb's career player rating is 73.2. He's thrown 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.
What in the world about these stats make him the key to a Cardinals' division title? Congratulations on your one receiver in Larry Fitzgerald—that won't win a championship.
My stat line for Kolb this season: 13 GP, 180-370, 1,900 yards, 13 touchdowns, 21 interceptions.
The Cards need help everywhere, and that still remains at the quarterback position. Kevin Kolb is the most overrated player going into the 2011 NFL season.