The NFL's Most Under-Appreciated Players

Rod SmartContributor IJanuary 31, 2008

After reading a recent article about Kurt Warner that challenged the reader to name a few under-appreciated players, I decided to give the subject momentary front page glory...mostly because I'm curious as to what players you'll come up with.

My choices? 


Kevin Faulk, RB

The Falcon's new GM had it right when discussing the need for role players in Atlanta.
"Look at Kevin Faulk.... there's a guy who could be starting on any other team, but instead he's a third down back, a blocking back, in New England."

And he earns his paycheck.

Not flashy, and doesn't get the TD's. But he lays some monster blocks when ends slip outside the Patriots' tackles, catches balls out of the backfield and over the middle, and is a first down machine.

Don't believe me?

Watching the Superbowl, see if you can find a more important player on that offense, aside from Tom Brady.


Chad Pennington, QB

Gets no love from Jets fans.

They remind me of Leafs fans: The only thing they hate more than a loser, is a winner. He is the most accurate QB in NFL history, and gets zero respect. It's not his fault he plays for the Jets—a mediocre offensive line, with mediocre weapons on offense.

Sure, Coles is a pretty good receiver, but he is far past his prime, and easy to double up on.

Cotchery doesn't have the focus to be a number one WR in the NFL just yet.  And as for the halfback took how many carries before that first TD this year?

Put Pennington behind the O-line of the Patriots, the Colts, the Cowboys, or even the Ravens (yes, the Ravens, more on that in a second) and you have a sure winner.

What the Jets really need for success is a good check down option for Pennington. Brady has Kevin Faulk and Wes Welker, Romo has Jason Witten, Peyton has Addai and Dallas Clark.

If they cut him, I hope he plays behind the exceptional offensive line in Baltimore and tears up the league.


Mike Furrey, WR

Yeah, you haven't heard of him.

Waived by the Colts in Preseason, he went and played in the XFL. Slept in and lived out of his car during Broncos tryouts, and Rams tryouts. Made it to the Rams.

His first year he didn't catch a TD, but he did rush two in. 2005, he made the switch to FS, starting after week five. Led the team in INTs, including a game winning 60+ yard return and a fourth quarter drive killer in another game.

Cut by the Rams, he was picked up by the Lions in '06.

After having had zero receptions the previous year, he led the NFC in receptions, and was second in the NFL with 98.

Somehow Furrey is playing the fourth spot behind Shaun "volleyball set for INT instead of catch" MacDonald in Detroit...though hopefully not for long.


An honorable mention: I'm also a big fan of Troy Brown, WR. 12 year Pats vet. Holds the Patriots record for all-time receptions. Plays KR and all manner of special teams, has played CB and safety, and even played QB for the Pats in the preseason this year.
Gets the job done.

So let's hear it.