When it comes to the quarterback position, it is looked at as the most important, most known position in all of American sports. You can't find too many quarterbacks that are great and don't get the respect that they deserve. That's what being underrated is about.
While guys like Mark Sanchez and Eli Manning are getting more respect than they deserve, and Tony Romo is already getting his yearly premature Pro Bowl push, there are five quarterbacks that are severely underrated.
Kyle Orton has been getting a lot more publicity with the quarterback battle going down in Denver. Why is he on here? While he's clearly getting put over Tim Tebow, he's still not getting the respect he deserves. He works hard, and he's a leader, yet everyone states that he doesn't have what it takes; that he's only an average quarterback.
He is no Aaron Rodgers or Philip Rivers, but who is? His quarterback rating has risen each year he's been in the league. He went up against Rex Grossman in Chicago, then he comes to Denver to deal with two head coaching regimes in two years. His favorite target in 2009, Brandon Marshall left for the Miami Dolphins and he has had no running game.
John Fox will hopefully give Orton, in coming years, the weapons he needs to prove himself to the team and the rest of the league that he can be a really good, if not an elite quarterback.
Since leaving the tutelage of Bill Belichick, Matt Cassel has blossomed into a great quarterback for Todd Haley and the Kansas City Chiefs. His first year he struggled a bit with almost no help around him, only having 16 touchdowns against 16 interceptions.
Cassel's 2010 season was much improved, doing even better than the year he took over for Tom Brady and had a passer rating of 89.4 (this past season, he had a 93 passer rating). Some will try and say that it was because the lack of talent that many of the Chiefs opponents had. Maybe so, but with Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston joining the team, having a star wide receiver in Dwayne Bowe return, and Jamaal Charles returning, they are looking to have another good year.
Hopefully, Cassel and the Chiefs as a whole can prove to the NFL that they aren't just another team. Their offense has only gotten better, as well as their defense.
The Buccaneers as a whole have been talked about many times by the media. They constantly rave about how they're a good team and how they are going in the right direction. Yet, we never hear them talk about the individual players. Why, maybe they have little star power or divas.
Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams all had break out seasons last year, and none of them are talked about by the media outlets.
Freeman is, according to ESPN's Total Quarterback Rating, a top 10 QB. He had over 3,800 yards last season and 25 touchdowns, with only nine turnovers (fumbles included).
What will it take for the media to start talking about how good he is? Only time will tell and in the mean time, he can just continue lighting up the scoreboard with his young teammates in Tampa Bay.
Being underrated is what happens when your team is mostly silent, as noticed with the No. 3 quarterback on this list.
Joe Flacco hasn't had a consistent group of receivers since he was drafted in 2008. Anquan Boldin is the only returning receiver or tight end to return from last year (of players with more than 12 receptions). Yet he continues to get better and continues to prove his worth. He's just entering the prime of his career (26 years old) and the Ravens look to be in good hands for the next decade.
Both Flacco and the next quarterback on this list are, in my opinion, both top 10 quarterbacks.
Matt Schaub has the stats that should make him be considered as a top five quarterback. All he needs is to get to the playoffs.
The defense has much improved since last year, and as they say (for the offense), "another year older, another year wiser." With Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub both hitting the 30-years-old, they will be looking to succeed in the near future, and go somewhere in the playoffs. Possibly, they could even try and win a Superbowl. Arian Foster and Owen Daniels can help them do just that.
The Texans have fared pretty well under Schaub too; only his first year (which he started 11 games) is the year they ranked under 4th in offensive yards.
While he is the most underrated quarterback in the NFL, maybe he doesn't deserve to be in the top 5. However he will if he finally leads his team into the playoffs this year.
Let's just hope he can pull out wins for the team when they really need it.