Football is a team sport. Because of this, there are plenty of guys that play at a very good level but never get the credit they deserve. On the flip side, there are a whole bunch of NFL players that get much more credit than they really deserve. Whether this is from the team helping them win, luck, personality, or various other reasons; here is my list for fifteen of the most overrated players in the game today.
- *15 = Least Overrated*
- *1 = Most Overrated*
Honorable Mention: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Brady is the GOAT. Or is he? Yes, he’s accomplished insane things. He has the most regular season wins by a starting QB, division titles, playoff wins, playoff TD passes and playoff passing yards, Super Bowl appearances, wins, and MVPs, and most Super Bowl TDs and passing yards in NFL history as well. Something to note, however: football is a team sport. I can’t sit here and say Brady isn’t one of the absolutely greatest sports players of all time. That would be a blatant lie. Despite this, I don’t know if I can ever give him the GOAT title. He is clutch, certainly. But football is ultimately a sport lost and won by many different pieces working together. Brady has been gifted with the greatest coach/GM hybrid of all time, along with a top 10 defense every time he has made it to a Super Bowl. The Pats have proved they can win without him. Regardless, I think if you put him on another team, he could still collect a couple of rings. That’s why he’s only an honorable mention.
Honorable Mention: Josh Norman, CB, Redskins
Norman’s 2015 campaign is the one he is known for. He broke out that year with a career-high 4 INTs to go along with 19 PDefs and 2 TDs. 2016 was arguably better for Norman despite seeing much higher man coverage percentages than he was used to. Unfortunately, Norman fell off in 2017. Be it age or the rib issues, Norman took a noticeable step back last season, especially with making just 9 plays on the ball (0 INTs). Norman is only an honorable mention because his coverage snaps/target was 3.3 higher than the NFL average and he may be able to peanut punch better than Tillman himself.
15: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
Alvin Kamara put up video game numbers in his rookie campaign. History tells us that that kind of production can’t be consistently done, so that’s why he’s here. Those video game numbers also happen to be the reason why he’s only number 15 on this list. He didn’t really get a proper workload until week 6 and he still put up nearly 1,600 all-purpose yards and 13 TDs. Kamara likely can’t repeat the same insanity as last year, but he should post similarly great numbers this season (even if he struggles without Ingram).
14: Tyron Smith, OT, Cowboys
There’s not much to say about an offensive tackle on this list, but I will ask this: What has he really done other than be a Top 10 LT on a team that’s always under the spotlight? Not too much. The Cowboys are better with Smith, but that doesn’t necessarily make him elite. PFF doesn’t think so, as they gave him a 79.7 for his 2017 campaign (#20 OT).
13: LaGarrette Blount, RB, Lions
I could easily have moved Blount to the top 10 of this list, but he’ll stay here for the simple fact that I don’t think he gets that much hype or attention. But for those few that do overrate Blount, just know this: Blount hasn’t had 4.5+ YPC in a season since 2013 and Blount has only about 5,900 career rushing yards in 9 seasons as well. Don’t let the rings fool you.
12: Eli Manning, QB, Giants
Three of four years ago, Eli could’ve easily been number one on this list. In recent years, however, his declining play has been noticed and he doesn’t seem to get as much credit and attention as he once did. It looks like it’s now only a select number of Giants fans who overrate him. Manning’s career TD/INT ration is sub 1.5. He also only won two rings because of his defense. Those are the facts.
11) Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
Cooper has two 1k yardage seasons in his three-year career. He also is notorious for dropped passes (Most in NFL since his rookie year). Last season, he had a career-high 7 touchdowns, but only put up 680 yards (14 games). Cooper was a first-round selection (4th overall) that hasn’t lived up to the hype. The last two #4 overall picks have already cemented stronger careers than Cooper in substantially less time. He needs to turn around quickly and become that true number one guy.
10) Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders
Back to back Raiders. That’s rough. I used a picture of Lynch in Seattle during the 2012 season because that’s one of the only years he was actually what people see him as. Beastmode. In the stretch of 2011-2014, Lynch had 1,200+ every season with an average of 4.5 YPC and 48 TDs on the ground. He also had over 900 combined receiving yards and 8 TDs in that span. His numbers not in that span? 2 1k yard seasons (7 years) and no season with over 8 TDs on the ground. Marshawn is good. But he was only ever elite for a little bit, and that time is not now.
9) Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings
Minneapolis Miracle. That is why he’s overrated. Plain and simple. Diggs is probably too high on this list, but it is what it is. He is a very solid number two receiver that does exactly what he is supposed to. Just try not to view him as this Michael Thomas caliber guy because of one insane and lucky play.
8) Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
Just a heads up: Mariota is also on this list. Winston and Mariota were numbers one and two in the 2015 draft. QBs in those spots are usually supposed to become generational, franchise players. I don’t think either of them are, or at least they haven’t shown that they’re capable of being those things. Winston is less overrated on this list than Mariota because he’s had more passing yards and touchdowns that Mariota (more interceptions though). He also doesn’t seem to know how to stay out of trouble. If Fitzpatrick somehow wins in weeks 1-3 or wins at least two of those games, then I don’t think Winston should get the starting job back. It doesn’t matter when he was drafted.
7) Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans
Now it’s the guy drafted right after Winston’s turn. Mariota in 2016 was what that second overall pick was used on. Nearly 3,800 total yards, almost a 3:1 TD:INT ratio, and 2 more TDs on the ground (7 fumbles too, but that’s beside the point). 2017 on the other hand, was what Blake Bortles does. More interceptions than touchdowns (less than 1 touchdown/game) and a 79.3 QBR. I just mentioned Bortles, and the reason isn’t good. Bortles third year in the league saw a QB just 0.5 less than Mariota’s in 2017. Not saying Mariota will reach Bortles’ mediocrity level, but he needs something to change quickly or he’s in danger of being someone not much better than Bortles in Joe Flacco.
6) Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
NFL MVP winner and he’s been to a Superbowl. That doesn’t mean he’s this elite God. Sure, I am absolutely positive I would cower in fear if I saw this giant running at me full speed; but does that mean he’s a top ten quarterback? No. In his MVP year, he had 45 total touchdowns, nearly 4,700 total yards, and a 3.5 TD:INT ratio. Those are MVP numbers. Other than that season, he has averaged a 1.46 TD:INT ratio, only passed for over 4k once, never passed for 25 or more TDs, and only surpassed 60% completions once (61.7% in 2013). People make too many excuses for Cam. “He’s really accurate though” the numbers disagree. “He runs a lot” If Wilson can do it, why can’t he? “He has no ground game” Okay? Kirk, Russell, and Stafford have equal or lesser run games behind them historically and produced under those circumstances. Cam is not a number one overall pick. Cam being so high on this year’s Top 100 list when someone like Alex Smith didn’t even crack it (lead the NFL in QBR, 24 higher than Newton’s QBR, and outperformed Newton in every single passing stat) is just a joke. His ceiling is probably 1 SB at best, and that isn’t elite caliber.
5) Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Took me about an hour to find an image of Luck on the field, wow. That was a joke (kinda, the first 6 images are all non-game images). Andrew Luck was the best college QB prospect since Peyton Manning. He was also probably the best lock for the #1 overall pick in the last 2 decades or more. 2014 was why. He completed nearly 62% of his passes for 4,700 yards and 40 touchdowns. The 16 INTs needed to be cut back though, as he has seemed to struggle with them his whole career. Luck can absolutely pass and he is very athletic with his running ability too. Sadly, he’s only had two very good seasons. Health and a lackluster surrounding cast certainly haven’t helped, but only two very good seasons nonetheless. Until he gets back onto the field healthy and consistently plays above average, he doesn’t deserve to be treated like he’s the second coming of Peyton Manning.
4) Josh Gordon, WR, Browns
I see most of his overrating being done on social media by casual fans more than anything else. I’m a bitter guy, so I see that good enough to be number four. Gordon is probably an above average receiver. He has missed time due to behavioral problems, but that seems to be behind him. That doesn’t mean people can act like he has consistently posted 1,400 yard seasons with double-digit touchdowns. His career high TDs is 9 and his career high yards is 1,600 (that is elite). But it should be noted those were both in the same season (14 games though, even more impressive) and in the other 26 games of his career, he has just 92 catches, 1,443 yards, and 6 TDs. Gordon has great potential. But he is not a Top 10 or even 15 receiver in this league until he deserves that honor.
3) Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
Sorry, Dak. I like you as a person, but the media and your fans have given me nightmares involving you. Dak’s rookie year was very very good, but it wasn’t really him. I think he maxed out his potential right off the bat. Without Zeke, Dak absolutely struggled last year. He threw 9 more INTs and 1 less TD, while his completion percentage dropped off 5% and his yardage 300 yards. Without Zeke especially, Dak struggled in year two. Dak is an average QB. That insane offensive line and elite running back make him look better.
2) Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
Sometimes people forget about him, so it doesn’t seem like he should be so high up here. Until people remember him and then go on about how this guy is a top 5 receiver or something insane like that. Robinson had 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 TDs in 2015. Those are elite numbers. Sadly he got hurt on his first catch the next season. Wait. What’s that? He played in 2016? Oh. Robinson tallied 7 fewer catches for nearly 600 fewer yards and 8 fewer touchdowns in 2016. People seem to ignore that very average season after the elite one when talking about Robinson. They also seem to ignore his rookie year. Maybe it was Bortles’ fault. But he does have 18 career drops in three seasons and only one really good year. Don’t call him one of the better receivers in the league until he plays like it, please. Also, if he ever hits FA again, PLEASE don’t look at him as a bigger FA name than someone like Richardson, Amendola, Wilson, Wright, or Wallace.
1) Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
Yes, officer. This man right here. Jimmy G isn’t Tom Brady! Why are people acting like it? Like with TB12, it’s the wins that have everyone drooling over Jimmy (that, and his sharp looks of course). Let me say this one final time: Football is a team sport. It is very likely Garoppolo just caught a wave of momentum at the right time. It’s either that or this man has a hex bag in his helmet to help him win every week. Let’s play a game really quickly. Door 1: 9 TDs, 5 INTs, 1,443 Yards, 64.3% completions, 29.6 PPG
Door 2: 6 TDs, 5 INTs, 1,542 yards, 66.7% completions, 28.8 PPG These are the stats for two different players in the last 5 games of the 2017 season (Jimmy only started the last 5). One of these players is obviously Garoppolo. The other? Blake Bortles (sorry I keep using Blakey boy). Can you guess which one is which? Door number 1 hides a Jaguar behind it. Bortles’ numbers are all similar, and overall, his play was better (Bortles’ QBR was 5.7 higher in this stretch). The Jaguars defense allowed more PPG in this stretch than the 49ers defense. The point is that Garoppolo was, on paper, outplayed by Blake Bortles in the same stretch of time. One last time to bring this all home: Football is a team sport. I refuse to buy into the Jimmy G hype until he actually shows that he’s deserving of it.