Detroit Lions' Louis Delmas: The Most Underrated Player in the NFL

Ryan CampbellContributor IIIOctober 7, 2011

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 12:  Louis Delmas #26 of the Detroit Lions leaves the field celebrating a 7-3 victory over the Green Bay Packers on December 12, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Brash.  Flamboyant.  Aggressive.  A "heat seeking missile" according to his teammates.  What else can be said about Louis Delmas; underrated?

It's difficult to label a player underrated coming off a year when he made the Pro Bowl as an alternate, but Delmas is indeed undervalued.

His rookie year, 2009, Delmas became the only rookie in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown, take a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and record a safety in the same season.  How's that for a first impression?

Delmas has led the team in tackles the past two seasons, recording 94 in 2009 and 84 during the 2010 campaign.  That is likely to change in 2011 with the additions of Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant (not as many ball carriers getting to the second level of defense).

Still, Delmas deserves recognition for being the difference maker that he is.  Is he in the elite company of Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu?  No.  However he could still become more of a playmaker as his career progresses.  He's undoubtedly in that second tier of safeties currently in the NFL.

Detroit's "heat seeking missile" is a sure tackler, a constant threat to cause a fumble, and above average at defending passes.  So why isn't he a household name?

Ask any of the Lions' divisional opponents if they're aware of Delmas' presence, and they'll reply with a resounding "yes."  His on field play is full of statements, but for good measure, the kid talks with the best of them too.  Delmas may be the league's most talented trash talker.  Please NFL films, mic' him up this season!

By the year's conclusion, Louis and his dread locks may finally gain the notoriety they so clearly deserve. 

For now, Delmas will have to settle for being one of Motown's greatest hits.  Excuse me, hitters.