Rank 'Em: NFL Most Overrated players

Created: June 17, 2009, 2:31 PM

Is Reggie Bush overrated?

What better way to spice up the summer doldrums while waiting for the start of the NFL season than to rev up the debate about the league's most overrated players? Our friends at Football Outsiders have provided the list, and now you can spin it the way only SportsNation can.

The 25 players you see below have all had respectable careers that any future draft pick should envy, but have they received more credit that they deserve? Are some of them hanging onto accolades that were once true but no longer apply? Reggie Bush was the "can't-miss" pick coming out of the 2006 NFL draft, and we've been waiting for his potential to explode into multiple Pro Bowl appearances and playoff highlights. Should we stop waiting? And how can Adam Vinatieri be overrated with four Super Bowl rings? That's for you to decide.

Simply click on the photos below to create your rankings.

Scroll over a player's image to find out what the ESPN.com Football Outsiders had to say.

  • Dallas Cowboys DT
    The massive Cowboys left tackle is a good run blocker and has to go up against a steady stream of excellent pass rushers in the NFC East. He's also among the league leaders in false starts every year, finishing second to Kwame Harris in 2008.
  • Denver Broncos TE
    A receiving-first tight end who couldn't catch the ball. From 2001-06, Alexander caught only 52 percent of intended passes (the average for tight ends is 64 percent), yet teams kept putting him in the starting lineup.
  • Dallas Cowboys LB
    A good outside linebacker whose skills don't fit well as a 4-3 middle linebacker, but year after year he was forced back into the middle by injuries to the other Falcons linebackers. His biggest problems come in pass coverage, one reason the Falcons have ranked among the worst defenses against opposing tight ends for the entire decade.
  • New Orleans Saints OT
    For a player who made it to the Pro Bowl like Brown did last year, you expect better than seven holding penalties in 15 games. It could be a one-year aberration, as Brown had eight holds over his first three seasons, but no way can you say an offensive lineman is superb at his craft when he's forced to employ his weapon of last resort once every other game.
  • Chicago Bears G
    Certainly a good player, but nine Pro Bowls? Playing for the Bills in the early part of the decade, Brown was basically making the Pro Bowl by default every year because the best guards were over in the NFC.
  • New Orleans Saints RB
    The USC star has made precious little progress as a runner since entering the league -- he's averaged less than four yards per carry for three straight seasons.
  • San Diego Chargers WR
    Chambers struggles to consistently catch the ball and run the consistent short-and-medium routes that No. 1 wideouts have to do. In 2006, Chambers caught only 59 of the 153 passes thrown to him.
  • San Fransisco 49ers DB
    Is he an above-average cornerback? Yes. Is he worth the roughly $7.25 million per year the 49ers agreed to pay him during the 2007 offseason, the largest contract ever given to a defensive player up to that point? Um, no.
  • Denver Broncos:
    Since 2000, Denver has finished 24th or lower in punting value seven times out of nine years. The other two years, they finished 14th and 16th. Yet Denver punters are never at the bottom of the league rankings -- because of the effects of altitude. The average punter looks very good when the thin air gives him extra yardage and extra hang time, which means terrible punters look average.
  • Denver Broncos RB
    Foster is the typical boom-and-bust running back who breaks one or two highlight runs a game and then spends the rest of the time leaving his unfortunate quarterback in second-and-9 after second-and-9.
  • Saint Louis Rams WR
    Hall is very inconsistent as a kickoff returner, and he's an average slot receiver at best.
  • Redskins DB
    There is a difference between an athlete and a football player, and Hall is a prime example. He looks amazing thanks to his athletic skills (primarily speed), so you don't notice when guys catch 100 yards' worth of hooks and slants on him.
  • Travis Henry:
    Henry had 4.1 yards per carry or less in five of his seven seasons (exceptions: 2002 and 2006), and his numbers would look even worse except that he had the advantage of playing a below-average schedule of run defenses in five of his seven seasons. He's never finished higher than 23rd among running backs in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings.
  • Arizona Cardinals TE
    Jedi master of the three-catch, eight-yard stat line. From 2000-04, the Football Outsiders DYAR ratings rank him -- in chronological order -- 38th, 17th, 43rd, 36th and then 36th again.
  • Chicago Bears C
    Kreutz is a fine player who made the Pro Bowl six straight years because the only other consistently good center in the NFC was Matt Birk. It isn't like the Bears are known as one of the league's best pound-up-the-gut running teams.
  • New York Jets CB
    Law's signing by the Jets last year was a far bigger story than a player at Law's level should merit; at this point in his career, Law's a fourth corner on a good team. He had 10 picks for the Jets in 2005, allowed a mediocre 7.2 yards per attempt and was 80th among corners in stopping players from gaining first downs.
  • Cleveland Browns RB Lewis is remarkably inconsistent for a guy who is supposed to be a big, bruising back. He has never finished in the top 10 in running back DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).
  • Baltimore Ravens RB
    He thinks of himself as a superstar back, but so far he's nowhere close. In five seasons, McGahee has never ranked higher than eighth in the NFL in rushing yardage or 14th in DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement).
  • Houston Texans WR
    Moulds was the best receiver in the league in 1998 and one of the best in 1999 and 2000. He then spent most of this decade riding that reputation. He finally accepted that he had become an older, slower possession receiver when he went to Houston in 2006 and then had his best season in years, catching 74 percent of passes.
  • Oakland Raiders CB
    Teams don't avoid him like Nnamdi Asomugha, nor does he pick up the large totals of passes defended or intercepted to match players such as Asante Samuel or Charles Woodson. He's a useful cornerback who's usually effective at keeping plays in front of him, but he's paid like an elite guy without having established a history of playing like one.
  • Simeon Rice:
    Playing defensive end requires you to be able to both rush the passer and stop the run. Rice was able to do the former, but he simply wasn't a run defender of the caliber of guys like Michael Strahan.
  • Michael Vick:
    Vick was a disappointing first overall pick. He has career averages of 6.7 yards per pass attempt, 1.4 touchdowns for every interception, and a 52.8 completion percentage.
  • Indianapolis Colts K
    Yes, he hit two Super Bowl-winning field goals, but the main reason Adam Vinatieri has the most clutch field goals of any recent history is that nobody else comes close in clutch field goal attempts. Since 1995, he's had 30 chances to tie or win a game in the final two minutes or overtime.
  • Dallas Cowboys S
    Because conventional wisdom now says Roy Williams is overrated, he really is no longer overrated -- but you might be so used to thinking of him as overrated that you forget when he actually was overrated -- from 2003-07, when he somehow made five straight Pro Bowls.
  • New York Jets C
    Woody was the starting center when the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. By 2003, he had moved to guard. He was going to go back to center when Detroit signed him to a big free-agent contract, but he was mediocre and troubles snapping the ball forced him to go back to guard.