Monday, June 27, 2011

6 comments Hey! It's a List of Overrated Players for 2011!

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has gathered together a list of overrated players for 2011. Matt founded New Era Scouting and has been published in several publications according to his bio. So the question remains, why the hell is he writing for Bleacher Report? There has to be a better forum for him to get his sports-related thoughts out into the world. It is incredibly difficult to get a list of truly overrated players together, simply since the term overrated is dependent on a person's point of view of that player. Each person has a different point of view on a player, so opinions can widely vary. Nevertheless, Matt Miller gives it a shot.

Joe Namath was overrated by the media—definitely not his fault, but nevertheless his entire career has the footnote of "overrated" attached to it.

Matt and I are getting off on the right foot it seems. I have somewhat agreed with this opinion in the past. I know some would disagree, but that's the nature of the "overrated" argument I guess.

We place the label of overrated on players who are overpaid, over-hyped and over-covered by the ESPNs of the world.

I don't know if I would recommend or agree with using ESPN as the main source of opinion on whether a player is overrated by the amount of coverage they give. So these players are going to be over-hyped and over-covered players and that's why they are overrated?

I may agree with Miller that some of these players are overrated, but sometimes his reasoning is a bit odd. Those are the parts I will highlight.

Which players in the NFL rank as the most overrated for 2011?

I know you were concerned about this, so don't worry...there is a list with each entry on a separate page. Bleacher Report is concerned about pageviews and a separate entry on each page serves this purpose. So we don't get just a list, but we also have to click over to a new page to find the next overrated player.

Also, I apologize for calling it a "list." As Bleacher Report points out, it is a "slideshow," so get your ViewMaster ready.

25. Plaxico Burress

Since word of his June 6 release was announced, Plaxico Burress' name has been all over the national football news wires.

This really doesn't have much to do with him being overrated, especially since he hasn't signed a contract yet. Is he overrated if he gets paid $1 million for 2011? Likely not.

Burress was an average NFL receiver before his incarceration.

I think Burress may be a bit overrated by those covering his return to the NFL, but there is no way he was an average receiver before his incarceration. He was having a down year before he went to jail, but he had 1,000 yard seasons two out of the three previous seasons (missing by 12 yards the one season he missed the mark) and 63+ catches in those seasons as well. If that was average, a lot of teams would like more average receivers like him.

24. Dez Bryant

Bryant does have the physical skills and talent to become a top-five wide receiver, but to date he has not shown the ability to stay healthy nor the work ethic to become the best.

He has been in the NFL one entire season. He missed four games in his rookie year and this is "not showing an ability to stay healthy?" Let's not reach in order to call a player overrated.

23. Michael Crabtree

Notice how the first three players are wide receivers. It doesn't appear Matt Miller is a fan of wide receivers in the NFL.

Crabtree, much like Dez Bryant, is insanely talented but has not shown the maturity or work ethic to succeed at a rate that matches his ability.

Crabtree has also not shown the ability to throw the football to himself, which would have helped him become a better receiver had he learned to do this. I am sure it is his lack of maturity rather than the unsettled quarterback position that is his biggest problem.

21. Kyle Orton

Career passer rating: 79.6

Career record when starting: 32-29

Career completion percentage: 58.1

Career passer rating: 84.3

Career record when starting: 34-34

Career completion percentage: 61.6%

Those are Jay Cutler's numbers. Is Jay Cutler overrated? He's a hell of a lot more popular and well-thought of as compared to Orton. Hell, Orton had people calling for Tim Tebow to start over him. I agree Orton isn't a great quarterback, but who the hell thinks or said he was? The fact he was a starter for the second-worst team in the NFL doesn't make him overrated.

There is this belief that Orton is better than his numbers.

Orton is an average to slightly above average NFL quarterback. No one I know thinks differently. There is a belief Orton is a high-quality backup quarterback who isn't going to win games for you by himself.

19. Mike Jenkins

Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins is living off his one good season in 2009 when he had five interceptions and 19 passes defensed.

The real Jenkins was on display in 2010 with one interception and four passes defensed.

I don't know where Matt Miller is getting his numbers from but I have nine passes defensed for Jenkins here, here, and here. The funny part is in his response to a commenter on this post, Miller accuses a person of making up statistics to make Eli Manning look better when the same could be said for Miller getting the stats wrong in judging Mike Jenkins.

Miller seems like a smart guy so he should know judging a cornerback purely on passes defensed and interceptions is a faulty way to judge a corner. Part of the reason Jenkins may not have as many passes defensed or interceptions is because quarterbacks may not have thrown at him often. It is entirely possible Jenkins just didn't have as many passes thrown in his direction in 2010 as he did in 2009, which would result in a drop in his statistics.

I don't think Jenkins is that highly rated, again I feel like Bleacher Report requests their writers do lists that are overly long in order to increase pageviews, but maybe one good year and then one "bad" year makes him overrated in the mind of Mat Miller. He sure doesn't require a large sample size before making judgments.

18. Brian Cushing

Performance-enhancing drugs are amazing, aren't they?

And then, in March of 2010, Cushing was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for failing a drug test and violating the NFL's anti-steroid policy.

I'm not saying Cushing was juicing, but it sure does look that way.

Of course you aren't saying Brian Cushing was juicing. You are just commenting that PEDs are awesome and then detailing how Cushing failed a drug test and his performance got worse. You aren't saying, but just strongly hinting to the point you may as well say it. This coy bullshit where a writer beats around the bush while accusing-but-not-really of using PEDs and that exonerates himself because he didn't actually say it has grown old.

Stating Fact A and then stating Fact B while attempting to draw a connection between the two facts doesn't mean you can then state you aren't trying to draw a connection. If you weren't trying to draw a connection you wouldn't have written the two statements the way you did.

With a full season on the horizon in 2011, we would not be surprised to see Cushing's name start to flash as a Pro Bowl-caliber player,

And yet he is the 18th most overrated player for the 2011 season. This seems like quite a contradiction.

but the fact of the matter is that he hasn't been the same since coming back after suspension.

So Cushing has had a great year in the NFL and an average year in the NFL. Matt Miller wouldn't be shocked if Cushing had a great year this year, but he is still overrated?

17. Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin has never posted a 1,000-yard season. He's never had more than eight touchdowns in a year.

He's 23 years old and has been in the NFL for two entire seasons. Let's go easy on the guy.

And yet he's been voted to a Pro Bowl and named the 2009 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

He was the best offensive rookie of 2009, which is a small pool of players to choose from as it is, and he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns that same year so he made the Pro Bowl as a return specialist. He was named to the Pro Bowl only when Desean Jackson made it as a receiver and a returner. After having a great rookie year, especially for a receiver, Harvin went out in 2010 and had more receptions and yards than his rookie year in 1 fewer game. So he IMPROVED upon his 2009 season, yet for some reason he is overrated. I don't get it.

But the thing is, he didn't. Harvin can have one or two big plays but is largely controllable.

He can have one or two big plays? Is that per game? If so, that's pretty fucking great.

As a receiver he's never been great, despite accolades and attention that would suggest otherwise.

He's "never" been a great receiver? He has been in the NFL for two years and is 23 years old. It's not like he is a highly paid receiver who hasn't produced in the five years he's been in the league. He's still just a kid. The accolades he received were for being a great offensive rookie and he made the Pro Bowl as a kick returner, which doesn't have much to do with his skill as a receiver.

16. DeAngelo Williams

When looking at the NFL free agency landscape you will notice that running back DeAngelo Williams largely ranks as the best available running back, even on my own personal list.

In retrospect, that may have been ambitious.

He wrote the article about the best free agents available on May 31, 2011 and he wrote this column on June 7, 2011. I guess a lot changes in seven days.

Williams peaked in 2008 with an amazing 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns. The following season he posted 1,117 yards

Let's leave out facts to help prove a point! Sound good? Great! Consider it done!

Williams posted 1,117 yards in 13 games. That comes out to 1,375 yards over a 16 game schedule. That's still not bad, especially with a 5.2 ypc average.

and then in 2010 he was only able to get to 361 yards before being injured.

Injuries are a recent problem for Williams. Still not sure this makes him overrated. I have knowledge Matt Miller doesn't have, so I don't blame him for not knowing this, but if the Panthers had a better record or there were another severe running back injury Williams would most likely have played this year because he could have played.

And there is the problem: Williams may not be able to hold up as a one-man backfield.

At 5'8" and 210 lbs, Williams is on the small side for a featured back, and hits could be catching up to him.

The amount of hits he has taken could be catching up to him, but he hasn't had a problem being the feature back in the past and most NFL teams use two running backs these days anyway. Let's get some perspective on whether this point of view has merit or not. Let's see how many carries other running backs have had in their NFL career:

DeAngelo Williams: 5 seasons, 841 carries
Adrian Peterson: 4 seasons, 1148 carries
Chris Johnson: 3 seasons, 925 carries
Michael Turner: 7 seasons, 1116 carries
Maurice Jones-Drew: 5 seasons, 1141 carries
Ray Rice: 3 seasons, 668 carries

So even compared to two players his size, Jones-Drew and Rice, Williams doesn't seem to have much mileage on his tires. Compared to other "bigger" running backs, Williams has much less mileage. Of course Williams has been hurt (though, again, I know for a fact he could have played) and I guess that's the reason behind the theory of why he may have future injuries and why he is overrated.

13. Bob Sanders

Drafted in 2004, Bob Sanders has never played all 16 games in a single season.

And he's still called "one of the best safeties in the NFL, when healthy."

The fact is, Sanders is never healthy. The Colts gave up on him after he played in just nine games over the last three seasons.

Let's get into a little semantics talk. Sanders can be one of the best safeties in the NFL when healthy, but he is never healthy. So saying he is still called one of the best safeties in the NFL when healthy, isn't a contradiction or an indication this statement is wrong. It could very well be correct, it is just Sanders is never healthy.

So Matt Miller is disputing that Sanders is called one of the best safeties in the NFL when he is healthy, says Sanders has played in 9 games over the last three years (out of a total of 7 seasons), and said he was amazing early in his career. So in the four early years of his career when he was healthier he was he is one of the best safeties in the NFL when he is healthy?

12. Darnell Dockett

As an NFL player, he's just average. Despite what he may tell you.

Dockett has never posted 50 tackles in a season.

This is true unless you don't want to count the combined 50+ tackles he had in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. If you don't count those, then this statement is absolutely correct. Also, what's up with the arbitrary tackles standard for Dockett? Why is 50 tackles for a defensive tackle the threshold that Dockett must reach?

There were two defensive tackles in the NFL that had 50+ solo tackles last year. So holding Dockett to this standard seems rather arbitrary to me.

He has never had 10 sacks.

Again, he is a defensive tackle so getting sacks isn't always their first priority. No doubt, it is a priority, but sacks isn't always the best way to judge a defensive tackle.

Compared to other defensive tackles, his passes-defensed numbers are also painfully low.

So we are using passes defensed now? This can be completely dependent on the defensive scheme that is being run. Some defensive tackles drop back into coverage more often and if you look at the defensive line leaders in passes defensed, most of them (and nearly all of the leaders) are defensive ends, not defensive tackles.

Is that being picky? Perhaps, but that is our job here.

No, it is not your job. If you state a player is overrated then you shouldn't have to be picky about it. Having to be picky to prove a player is overrated probably means that player isn't overrated since you have to work hard to prove it.

9. Tim Tebow

A quarterback with a 1-2 record as a starter and a laughable 50 percent completion percentage in his rookie year was somehow lauded as one of the next great NFL players this summer.

Seriously, you are going to make me defend Tim Tebow? It's not going to happen. I will say this...he overhauled his throwing motion and anyone who seemed to think he could play well immediately in the NFL was fooling themselves. So judging him after one year isn't fair. Still, he shouldn't be the Broncos starter this year either.

Notice how Matt Miller says both of the Broncos quarterbacks are overrated. Somebody is not a Broncos fan, or at least a fan of the Broncos quarterbacks. Wonder what his thoughts on Brady Quinn are?

9. Jason Babin

Really? Other than the NFL poll among players that had him the 85th best player in the league where has ESPN or any other organization hyped him up? That's the only instance of him being overrated really.

That track record, and label as a draft bust, somehow added up to Babin being named the 85th-best player in the NFL by his peers.

Babin has the rare misfortune of being overrated by his coworkers.

That's really the only instance of him being overrated, yet while making $1 million dollars and getting very little coverage for how well he played last year he is overrated? Not sure about that.

7. Donovan McNabb

I don't disagree completely with this. Let's see part of the reasoning though.

Some food for thought:

McNabb is No. 4 among active quarterbacks in fumbles.

#1 on that list? Brett Favre
#6 on that list? Tom Brady
#8 on that list? Drew Brees
#12 on that list? Peyton Manning

On the all-time list, let's see which terrible quarterback is #4 in fumbles...oh, it's John Elway.

Oh, and he's second among active quarterbacks in yards lost to sacks and times sacked.

Somebody is cherry-picking the hell out of some statistics. Yards lost to sacks? Brett Favre is ahead of McNabb on this list in both spots, so that's some other food for thought.

4. Mario Williams

Williams has been the best of the three, but he is still not worthy of being the No. 1 pick nor a two-time Pro Bowl player.

Before saying Williams wasn't worthy of being taken No. 1 overall, let's figure out who was worthy of being the No. 1 pick in 2006.

D'Brickashaw Ferguson? Probably not.
Vernon Davis? No.
Jay Cutler? Arguable.
Haloti Ngata? How would he have played in a 4-3 defense is a question, but I say no.
Nick Mangold? No.
DeAngelo Williams? He's overrated too remember.
DeMeco Ryans? No.
Greg Jennings? Probably not.
Maurice Jones-Drew? Most likely no.
Brandon Marshall? Arguable.

So if Williams wasn't worth the No. 1 overall pick I would like to know who was worth the choice. He's been pretty durable, only missing three games in his career, and he has produced well on a generally poor defensive team.

Williams was very good in 2007 and 2008, but he has also declined dramatically since then.

Yeah, he didn't even have 10 sacks or 50 tackles over the last two years. I am sure his decline has nothing to do with the quality of defensive tackles on his team or how other teams have been able to double-team him with impunity. The Texans had 30 sacks in 2010 with Williams getting 8.5 of those and they had 29 sacks in 2009 and Williams had 9.0 of those.

Sure, Williams performed well during other years when the Texans didn't have great defensive line pressure from other players. This doesn't mean teams haven't paid more attention to him over the past couple of years in response to the lack of overall defensive line talent on the Texans.

3. Terrell Owens

Owens has been a great receiver at times in his career, but he has also been known for his inability to take a hit to catch the ball in traffic (this is where the term "alligator arms" comes from) and his me-first attitude.

I understand the "alligator arms" part, but Owens was 37 years old this past season and he caught 72 balls for 983 yards. That's still pretty great production.

Owens has produced at a Hall of Fame level, especially early in his career, but his attitude and tendency to question his quarterbacks keep Owens on both the players list and this one.

So he's overrated for a reason that has little to do with his performance? Nice.

Then he puts Eli Manning as the 2nd most overrated player in the NFL based on the fact he got lucky in the Super Bowl. I am not sure how I feel about this. Sure, Manning gets publicity and endorsements partly because of his name, but I am not sure who considers him to be more than an above average quarterback.

1. Kevin Williams

Kevin Williams ranks as our most overrated player in the NFL. And not until I started looking at his stats in ranking my top 100 players in the NFL did I realize it.

Kevin Williams is a defensive tackle...are his passes defensed or interceptions not high enough. What about his yards per carry average, is that a bit low too?

Year Tackles Sacks PD FF Awards
2004 52 11.5 8 2 Pro Bowl, 1st team All-Pro
2005 31 4 7 0 None
2006 28 5 6 0 Pro Bowl, 1st team All-Pro
2007 29 3 6 1 Pro Bowl, 1st team All-Pro
2008 46 8 4 1 Pro Bowl, 1st team All-Pro
2009 22 6 7 1 Pro Bowl, 1st team All-Pro
2010 27 1 10 1 Pro Bowl

Kevin Williams has been living off his stellar 2004 season for six years.

Yeah, but he defensed 10 passes this past year, isn't that great? Otherwise, Kevin Williams didn't have a great year in 2010, that's for sure. Even in a 4-3 defense Williams should be getting more tackles and sacks than he got this year. So it would seem like he is a bit overrated. This was a good catch.

Still, there are too many poorly-reasoned and reaches on this list. Maybe the list would seem to have more merit if it was the Top 10 overrated players in the NFL for 2011.


jacktotherack said...

When a writer is citing passes defensed as a way to evaluate the worth of a defensive tackle it is pretty apparent that said writer doesn't know diddly shit about football.

Bengoodfella said...

No freaking kidding. I won't say Dockett is the greatest defensive tackle in the NFC, but at least discredit him using a statistic other than passes defensed. I think it is so hard to evaluate a defensive line player based on tackles and sacks. I know it sounds stupid, but it doesn't talk about how many times that player faced double teams or if teams ran away from that player. There's just a lot to go on...but passes defensed? Especially in a 3-4. Reaching a bit maybe?

Rich said...

Peyton Manning should have been first, his yards per carry was pathetic!

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, when compared to players like Mike Vick or another quarterback who can move around in the pocket those yards per carry really hold the Colts back.

How about Asomugha and the fact he doesn't have a lot of sacks? He's so overrated.

Murray said...

Vince Wilfork only had 2 PD's. Why the hell did the Pats re-sign him last year!

Bengoodfella said...

Murray, because the Patriots overpaid! That's why. No defensive tackle with 2 PDs is worth anything. He's overrated!