Fitzgerald has played on some lackluster offenses. If ever a geezer was meant to play with George Allens Over The Hill Gang, he was the one. Teams: Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Super Bowl championships: Three (1991, 1997, 1998). In Super Bowl IX, Edwards killed a drive and darn near Vikings intended receiver John Gilliam on a hellacious hit near the goal line. He also scored 35 touchdowns on the ground in that span. Some of the most-talented individuals to ever play particular positions have, at some point or another, gone unappreciated by fans and even by supposed NFL experts. Anderson was named to four Pro Bowl squads during his career, ad he led the Cincinnati Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance that did not go Cincinnati's way because of Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers. It takes more than mere greatness to be considered one of the most underrated players in pro football history. Actually, theres a simple explanation. But his Hall of Fame candidacy has been stuck in semifinalist limbo. A Hall of Fame voter once warned me that "every town has its linebacker.". Perhaps it has something to do with the era during which Tomlinson played, but that L.T. In an ideal world, every NFL playoff game is won or lost strictly by the players. Randall Cunningham is one of the most polarizing individuals regarding these types of discussions. List the men you believe to be the greatest running backs in NFL history. An ever-growing backlog of outstanding safeties is queuing up outside Canton, as Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed will soon joinJohn Lynch and Brian Dawkins. A Colts defender delivered some payback in the all-star game. But a double whammyplaying center and playing for the Broncoshas kept him miles from Hall of Fame consideration. Unless you live in Cleveland or are over 50, you probably have never heard of him. Now, underrated can mean a couple of things. For me donovan mcnabb marques colston darren McFadden steven Jackson shaun Alexander brian Westbrook .. Who are some more. Slot specialists such as Julian Edelman and Victor Cruz are now considered valuable components to the modern passing game. If the soft-spoken scatback had been in the right place at the right time, he would have filled his one nagging void a Super Bowl title and the exposure that accompanied it. Cunningham is widely regarded as one of the best running QBs in the history of the NFL, but his ability to make plays with his arm should not be ignored. Robinson is a staple of Hall of Fame Snubs lists, and he certainly has his case. The Colts accused Ryan of running up the score in the 27-0 championship rout of 1964. The unfunny joke that has been Isaac Bruce not being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is one that is going to end soon. WebMost Underappreciated WRs of the 2000s June 11, 2020 Koby83 Derrick Mason, Football, Joey Galloway, Marques Colston, This is a Top 10 list that I love. 30. The latest in the sports world, emailed daily. He was an iron man for a powerhouse franchise that reached four Super Bowls while playing many of their home games in arctic conditions. Those accomplishments may soon finally land Kenn in the Hall of Fame. 3. Despite his incredibly high waist seriously, check out his build Kelvin Beachum has been one of the most underrated tackles in the NFL. Anderson became a footnote to the Ditka era, but fans who saw him play know he was far more than that. Krieg was a career overachiever who survived 19 seasons on modest talent with defense-driven teams. Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Super Bowl championships: Two (1979, 1990). Brett Favre may be the player most responsible for bringing spectacle and success back to Titletown, but Butler brought back celebration. Wright earned a second-team All-1970s nod from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, even though several of his signature years were in the 1980s. It was the era of great defensive lines with catchy namesthe Rams had the Fearsome Foursome, the Cowboys the Doomsday Defense, the Steelers later added the Steel Curtain, and so forthand Marshall was the Ringo Starr of the Purple People Eaters, the guy who once ran the wrong way for a touchdown and was happy just to be in the band. Fletcher followed Gregg Williams from coaching stop to coaching stop, serving as the sometimes controversial, always effective defensive mastermind's field marshal. Here on the All-Time Underrated List, it counts for a lot. Why retain an expensive vestige of the last regime, or really the last three regimes? One of the greatest defenders in the history of a storied franchise, Young is just another victim of bad timing when it comes to getting the reputation he deserves. Only a dozen players have more career interception return yards (961), and seven of them are in the Hall of Fame. In an era when 50 percent completion rates and 20-interception seasons were common for Pro Bowl quarterbacks, Anderson's 64.9 percent completion rate and quarterback ratings above 90 look like temporal anomalies. If McCree doesn't cough up that fourth-quarter pick, the Chargers beat the Patriots, and perhaps Philip Rivers leads a team that went 14-2 in the regular season to the Super Bowl. But what peak years they were: 14- and 13-win seasons, annual playoff appearances, routine 4,000-yard, 30-touchdown seasons. Ryan threw five touchdown passes and ran for a sixth to beat the Giants and lead the Browns to the NFL championship in 1964. Don Hutson played multiple positions during his time, including defense and on special teams. You know the type. Tomlinson is fifth all-time in rushing yards, and he is third all-time in regular season touchdowns scored for all players and not just for running backs. Terry Porter. A mauler of a right guard, Timmerman also was agile enough to escort Marshall Faulk on screens and sweeps. WebMen such as Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor, Those who have knowledge of National Football League history are well aware of the more famous individuals who made their Steve Wisniewski played guard on a Raiders team that moved in the middle of his career and was just good enough to remind you it was not in the same class as the great Raiders teams that preceded it. Were talking about the most unsung, underappreciated players in NFL history here. Hull never lived to see himself make a Hall of Fame semifinalist list, as he died of liver failure at age 50 in 2011. Teams: Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Houston Texans. Ground rules: A max of three Pro Bowl invitations. Lofton could stretch the field with his speed, and he also had some of the best hands of his time. Jerry Rice and John Taylor may have been the greatest receiving tandem of that era, but Ellard and Flipper Anderson were the most explosive pair of deep threats. Player B was a one-time MVP who played in two Pro Bowl games. In their two Super Bowl seasons that followed, Young was a virtual nonfactor in the matchup. On the final play a year later, he picked off a Roger Staubach pass in the end zone that put the Cowboys to rest. Bottom line: After eight seasons in Buffalo, where he had been a mainstay with the best defense in AFL history, Ron McDole took his two-bar helmet to Washington. Karl Mecklenburg. Derrick Mason recorded four 1,000-yard seasons for Jeff Fisher teams and four more for the Baltimore Ravens. Henry Ellard spent the first five seasons of his NFL career returning punts and putting up humdrum receiving stats. Overall, the total still ranks ninth at the position. WebAll-Time Most Underrated NFL Players by Position. "When I was there, the thing we were missing was that explosive type of offense, and the new coach brought that in.". Player A passed for 27,928 yards and 194 touchdowns and ran for four touchdowns with mostly very good teams and one great one. Marshall cant get his name even on the preliminary Hall of Fame ballot. Butler was the NFL's most dangerous all-purpose safety for much of the 1990s. C'mon, who doesn't love Darren Sproles and Mike Tolbert? He is one of the best receivers in history, and he has the stats to back up such claims. Fewer yet realize that he made a crucial play in each victory. Rivers lacks several quarterback prerequisites for enshrinement: playoff glory, all-time records and, most importantly, momentum from a regional fanbase and media. McDole is not known for much of anything anymore, as his AFL stardom came before the Super Bowl era and his Redskins heroics predated the era of Joe Gibbs and the Hogs. By being overshadowed by Brown, achieving his greatest success just before the dawn of the Super Bowl era and getting stuck behind the Tom Brady and Peyton Manning of your grandfather's generation, Ryan earned the title of the NFL's All-Time Most Underrated Player. Passing wasn't really their thing. Web#shorts #viral #dunk #edit #fyp #nfl #sports #sportsedits His 42-yarder in the 1990 NFC championship game rates as one of the greatest clutch kicks in league history. Through the 2018 season, Vinatieri checked in at 81 (56 of 69) and 99 (70 of 71), respectively. The Bills were among the first teams to frequently operate without a huddle. Were going to wrap up the chants for the best players who didnt get their just dues over the years. Young started his career as the NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year and ended it as a four-time winner of the Len Eshmont Award, the 49ers' team award for character and leadership. He had 44 career sacks and as many as eight in a season on two occasions. Who knows what the NFL might have looked like then? If Mel Blount, Mike Haynes and teammate Lemar Parrish hadnt been in the same conference, Riley would have made more a few more Pro Bowl trips. The Rams acquired him from the Chargers in 1973 in exchange for defensive end Coy Bacon. He was drafted by the Falcons with the eighth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, and he was an instant Hes on the short list of running back leaders in yards per rush (4.6, 17th), touches (2,824, 25th) and yards from scrimmage (14,079, 35th) in NFL history. Men such as Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor, Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice and so many others have all had their days in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and they are revered as being some of the greatest players to ever wear NFL uniforms. The old adage says that there is no such thing as a wrong opinion. Since Week 13, when he became the starter due to Jimmy Garoppolos broken foot, Purdy has the NFLs best passer rating (112.0), completing 68.3% of his passes for 8.1 yards per attempt, 13 touchdown passes, and just three interceptions. Is Jerry Rice not the greatest wide receiver in history because he played alongside Joe Montana and Steve Young? The correct answer is Player A (Ken Stabler), and if youre Player B (Brodie), you have to wonder if one Super Bowl should make that much difference. But Brown was a unique and underappreciated player for over a decade on a team that nearly revolutionized the way football is played. Bottom line: The Greatest Show On Turf boasted so much star power you couldnt tell the other Rams without a program. He's also among the top 100 in games started (83rd), interception return yardage (89th) and interception return touchdowns (31st). They would rank first in the NFL in yardage four other times while Evans was a starter. Bahr converted 84 percent of his field-goal attempts (21 of 25), and 98 percent of his extra-point tries (40 of 41) when it counted most. Still, even his long resume undersells his Take a quick look at the long list of quarterbacks who have played for teams that host home contests indoors, and you will see how many of them failed to have careers anything close to that enjoyed by Brees over the years. In the nine seasons that Aaron Smith had double-digit starts, their D ranked among the top nine in yards allowed every time, but his consistent play went over the heads of many. He blitzed (20.5 sacks). A Super Bowl ring and two AFL championships. As much as there are people who would say that Cunningham remains an underrated quarterback, there are also some out there who would say that people have oversold how great he was during his career. He is, however, most remembered, for being a wide receiver who was decades ahead of his time. He finished his career by doing something almost impossible: signing with the Patriots as a veteran role player during one of the few years they didn't reach the Super Bowl. Butler's defensive accomplishments might have brought him to the cusp of immortality, but don't underestimate the power of that Lambeau Leap. Young checks in at No. WebThe 2023 wide receiver class is one of the worst in recent memory, but there are some solid options on Day 2 for teams searching for complementary players. Young was a devastating interior pass-rusher who recorded 30 sacks in the three-year span from 1998 through 2000. Teammates Alan Page and Carl Ellar were held in higher regard. He had the speed to get to the edge and beat defenders down the sideline, the power to plow through tackles, the elusiveness to make things happen in the open field and receiving chops to rival contemporaries Roger Craig or Thurman Thomas. He was an All-Pro for the Orange Crush defenses of the 1970s, and then he stuck around to play for the 1986 Broncos Super Bowl team. For a few years, he was not only the best guard in the NFL, but the most important. Then it was off to Carolina, where he earned an All-Pro selection for leading the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game as a second-year expansion team during his age-37 season. These are the most unsung NFL quarterbacks of all time. Get this: Ten of those seasons were spent with either the Vince Lombardi Packers or Don Shula Dolphins. When Da Bears bean counters refused to pay up two years later, Marshall was the odd man out again. Super Bowl championships: 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979. He headed to Washington and moved from the weak to strong side. Know who created those wide-open spaces? Arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles, Cunningham rightfully so makes it into this list. That is untrue for a variety of reasons. NFL career: Cleveland Browns (2005-12), New York Jets (2013), Indianapolis Colts (2014) Bottom Line: Josh Cribbs. WebMost Underrated NFL Players of All Time These men did so much but received so little credit in return. Bottom line: Never mind guys such as Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson. Football experts know of the Hutson's accomplishments, but too many casual fans are unaware of all that the man credited with birthing pass routes that are used today achieved during his legendary career. He should be remembered as more than a throwback to the era when Lawrence Welk references were topical. Mills was a USFL All-Star in all three seasons of the league's existence, and he led the Philadelphia and Baltimore Stars' Doghouse Defense (coached by Jim Mora) to a pair of league titles. There will never be another player like Marshall. WebIts weird to say that a player as celebrated as Jonathan Taylor could be one of the most underrated college football players of all time. He began his career at the tail end of Jim Harbaugh's great defensive teams, but he has since battled both injuries and the incompetence of the Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly experiments. "It was tough, but I was happy for those guys," Dunn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mills and Reggie White were the USFL's two greatest defenders ever. Defensive Player of the Year awards? Or as astute NBC broadcaster Dick Enberg scored it, "KO for Ken Norton.". Brown did one thing terribly wrong in 18 NFL seasons, but for his teams to win as often as they did, he must have done an awful lot more right. He then led three fourth-quarter comebacks to bring them back to the playoffs in 1965. Bruce found the end zone over 90 times in regular season play during his career, and he is one of five players in the history of the NFL to go for over 15,000 total receiving yards. Bowman doesn't get the recognition he's due, and he may have to get used to it. But the former NFL Man of the Year award winner and two-time All-Pro should not have had to wait so long. Jacksonville's all-time leading receiver is now beginning what he calls the "second chapter in his life." Evans, the best pass-protecting guard of his era, was charged with making sure pass-rushers didn't get close enough to Brees to bat his passes down, let alone sack him. His teams averaged 392.0 yards and 34.0 points in those games. Bottom line: One of the premier long-ball threats of any era, Stanley Morgan ranks 10th in yards per reception (19.2) and 39th in touchdown catches (72) on the all-time list. Poor Louis Wright has a hard time even making the Broncos' overcrowded All-Snub Team. It was rival 49ers tackle Bryant Young who the Rams were most concerned about before the 1999 season, when they signed Timmerman as a free agent. He once sacked Dan Marino twice on the first two plays of a gamea remarkable achievement, as Marino was one of the least sacked quarterbacks in NFL history. For years, the team couldn't even harken back to its glory days properly, as Smith's Pride of the Jaguars induction was delayed until he was sober and no longer under house arrest. Marshall reached just two Pro Bowls. That may tick him off. Rookie QB Brock Purdy led the 49ers with his impressive stat line, completing 18 of 30 passing attempts for 332 yards and three touchdowns, along with four carries for 16 yards and a touchdown. He lacked the straight-line speed to be a game-breaker. It is easy to understand why he would come up when the topic is being addressed, but that he is not respected as one of the best to play the position is difficult to understand. There are no official sack statistics before 1982, but the Minnesota Vikings credit Jim Marshall with 127 career sacks. Since the NFL has turned "That was my territory," Edwards recalled in The Palm Beach Post. Those who have knowledge of National Football League history are well aware of the more famous individuals who made their names and fame playing pro football. Steve Atwater. Mason also caught 49 postseason passes and was one of the game's best return men for a few years. Bottom line: Adam Vinatieri was money in the postseason, but Matt Bahr was even better. You will find some familiar Hall of Fame snubs on this list (like Jim Marshall, pictured above), but also plenty of players who were even snubbed from the Hall of Fame snubs, plus some current players who aren't getting their due. Arizona Cardinals: WR Andy Isabella. Where did Davis score the game-winner late in Super Bowl XXXII? Only kicker in NFL history to hit at least one FG Arizona Cardinals: Kelvin Beachum, OT. Nothing screams underappreciated like rumors you're about to be traded to make room for a late first-round pick. Perhaps it's time we look back on how much of an impact he and his Jaguars had on the NFL two decades ago. His stardom was spread among three teams, robbing him of local hero status (or Hall of Fame momentum) in any one city. 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Wouldnt you know it? Freelancer for multiple websites. Teams: Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins. Smith produced nine 1,000-yard seasons in 10 years, including two 100-plus-catch seasons in an era when they were still relatively uncommon. Nope, not Charles Haley. Along with the legendary Johnny Unitas, Rote probably did more to change the quarterback position than anyone in the pre-merger era even if so few know it. Maybe there is still an NFL team in San Diego. But Hadl had to do something to make the Packers think he was worth two armfuls of draft picks. Watch more top videos, highlights, and B/R original content, acquired the 34-year-old Rams quarterback by, Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images, Pro Football Reference Similar Players tool, Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. Neal Anderson replaced Walter Payton. Truth is, Norton should have been Super Bowl XXVII Most Valuable Player, not Troy Aikman, who was the obligatory quarterback pick. After the Bills failed to score, he knocked quarterback Jim Kelly out of the game in the next series. The rumors themselves were not surprising. Quick: Name the 49ers' all-time sack leader. Super Bowl championships: Two (1996, 1999). While you may not put him in your top-tier of all-time great running backs, Anderson deserves more than a mention for a spot in the next tier of that imaginary list. It made the Bills of the early 1990s the greatest team to never win a Super Bowl. 10. It is difficult to rank Ken Anderson in this list if only because he is constantly referenced as being an underrated player. From a couple of fairly well-known quarterbacks to the linemen who make a quarterback's job easier, we argue these 32 players deserve more recognition. So Kenn basically had three careers. does not get the love that is handed to other running backs is something that could make you scratch your head. Ryan needed surgery and was in constant pain for the rest of his career. Harrison's numbers should speak for themselves, and those who would say otherwise are either trying to make a point or are simply ignoring how great Harrison was during his career. WebWhile every fan base is sure to have two or three names they feel are undervalued and worthy of this list, here are my current top ten underrated players in the NFL. Do people not recognize Rob Gronkowski as a great tight end just because he has had Tom Brady as his quarterback? Drew Brees endured an average of just 24 sacks per season in Evans' All-Pro seasons, despite typically dropping back to pass over 650 times per year. Hull was not just a great lineman but a groundbreaking one. Norton made the key play of the game in the second period, when he stood up Buffalo Bills back Kenneth Davis mere inches from the goal line. 1. He led the Bengals to a pair of playoff appearances in 1973 and 1975, Joe Montana's high school senior and Notre Dame sophomore seasons. Both of those seasons came, ironically enough, after Allen and Buddy were separated. During that time, he led the league in passer rating four times and passing yards twice. At its core, PFF is a player evaluation system play-by-play grading of every player in the NFL and access to some of the same stats, grades and info that all 32 NFL The lack of respect that Larry Fitzgerald has received from supposed football experts throughout his career boggles the mind. While that is a point worthy of being discussed, it cannot be ignored that Young had a higher completion percentage and a better passer rating than Montana. Numbers better than majority of RBs in history. Landeta is widely viewed by experts and fans as one of the best punters in the history of pro football, and the two-time Super Bowl champion was an All-Pro on six occasions. 3. Success came early for Fletcher, recognition late. When London Fletcher retired after the 2014 season, Robert Klemko of The MMQBasked him if he was motivated by feeling underappreciated for most of his career.
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