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Top 10 Most Overrated NFL Players

Top 10 Most Overrated NFL Players

Published Feb. 21, 2012
Follow me @walterfootball

I've been really frustrated lately. Ever since Randy Moss announced that he was "coming back from retirement" - otherwise known as the "no one wanted me last year, so let me try a gimmick so front offices remember that I still exist" strategy - I've been bombarded with questions about Moss' possible destination.

Moss is completely finished, and most sensible people know this, so all the media coverage surrounding his supposed return to the NFL has been unbearable. I asked myself, "Is there anyone more overrated than Moss right now?" And thus, I created this article.

Keep in mind that I don't think most of the players on this list suck. They're just not nearly as good as the general consensus thinks they are.

10. Stanford Routt, CB, Chiefs
Stanford Routt tied DeAngelo Hall for most touchdowns allowed (13) in the past two years. That's not his only problem.

Routt was whistled for a whopping 17 penalties in 2011 alone. As a comparison, Champ Bailey had seven penalties - dating back to 2008! In case you're wondering, Darrelle Revis has had 11 infractions in that same 4-year span. And the man he's replacing, Brandon Carr, had eight penalties the past two seasons.

I have no idea why Routt is considered to be one of the elite cornerbacks in the NFL, but he is anything but. Check out what sort of grade I gave the Chiefs for signing Routt.

9. Antrel Rolle, S, Giants
I criticized the Giants for signing Antrel Rolle to a 5-year, $37 million deal two springs ago. New York fans yelled at me, while Arizona supporters laughed at the Giants' decision. Seriously, I've never seen a fan base so thrilled to see a Pro Bowler leave. People who cheered for the Cardinals were thrilled that he would no longer be blowing coverages in their secondary.

I think Giant fans understand now. Rolle gets terribly lost in coverage, and the numbers back it up. When targeting Rolle in 2011, opposing quarterbacks completed a whopping 81.6 percent of their passes and maintained a sterling quarterback rating of 126.1. On top of that, Rolle committed four penalties, which tied for sixth in the NFL (safeties only).

8. DeAngelo Hall, CB, Redskins
DeAngelo Hall is fortunate that the Redskins are more than $30 million under the cap; otherwise, he could have been a salary casualty at his $6 million price tag.

I mentioned that Hall has surrendered 13 touchdowns in the past two seasons, which ties Stanford Routt for most by any cornerback in that span. Quarterbacks have completed 70.5 percent of their passes while targeting Hall since 2010, maintaining a passer rating of about 103.

In addition to his overrated performance on the field, Hall is also a problem in the locker room. He's gotten into verbal fights with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett on several occasions, and also made light of DeSean Jackson's concussion problems prior to one of his lazy performances against the Eagles in 2010.

7. Michael Turner, RB, Falcons
The Falcons were among the league's worst in first-down runs and negative plays in the running game for a reason. Michael Turner is done.

You may tilt your head and ask, "Didn't Turner rush for more than 1,300 yards and average 4.5 YPC last year?" While that's true, Turner looked very sluggish and really slow down the stretch. He had a 3.6 YPC or worse in six of his final seven contests, with the lone exception being against a Buccaneer team that quit on Raheem Morris.

Turner also offers nothing in the passing game, so he's a non-factor if the Falcons happen to be trailing.

6. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Buccaneers
When most people talk about LeGarrette Blount, his unbelievable, hurdling run against the Packers is the first thing brought up in the conversation.

Here are two things that should trump that: his extreme lethargy and inability to learn protection schemes. Charlie Campbell reported a couple of weeks ago that both Blount and Mike Williams didn't work out or put any effort in the weight room. Blount also frustrated his coaches by not being able to learn the nuances in the passing game, rendering him useless when Tampa fell behind because he wouldn't be able to get on the field.

Blount has great talent, but he's an incredibly overrated player because the mental aspect of his game is severely lacking. And based on his history, it's doubtful that he'll ever be able to put it all together.

5. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins
Brandon Marshall has elite talent, but that doesn't mean that he's an elite player. An elite player wouldn't lead the NFL in drops the past two years (27). An elite player would be able to help his team finish with a winning record at least once in his career. It's remarkable, but Marshall has never been a part of a winning squad. How does that happen?

Marshall also kills his team by doing stupid things on the field, whether that's committing unsportsmanlike penalties or mindlessly running out of the bounds on a play that should have been a touchdown.

If Marshall could strengthen the mental part of his game, he would be an elite player. He'll be turning 28 soon, so that may never happen.

4. Randy Moss, WR, Free Agent
When Randy Moss announced that he was unretiring, I tweeted (@walterfootball), "Randy Moss unretires. Hooray. In the next hour, I will post all of the teams that will be interested in signing him. Stay tuned."

An hour later: "I hope everyone enjoyed my list of teams that are interested in Randy Moss. It'll be quite the bidding war."

Some people didn't get the joke. The joke is Moss because no one wants him. Why would any team want to sign him? He couldn't even get on the field when he was with the Titans. The Vikings jettisoned him because he was a locker-room nuisance on top of being a receiver who can no longer get open.

Moss was always one-trick pony who destroyed secondaries because of his unbelievable talent. Now at 35, that talent is all gone, so Moss can't do his one trick anymore.

I'll be shocked if any team signs Moss. Any front office that acquires him will only humiliate itself.

3. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
DeSean Jackson made a huge impact when on the field for the Eagles last year because opposing defensive coordinators were scared to death of his speed and downfield ability.

But here's the thing - they shouldn't have been so afraid. Jackson's bark is way worse than his bite; after suffering concussions last year and taking a vicious hit against the Texans in an early December battle, Jackson apparently decided that he would run nothing but go routes. His teammates have criticized him, even calling him a "candy a**." But that apparently didn't matter to the speedy wideout, who has had just two 100-yard performances since the middle of December 2010.

If that's not enough, Jackson's frequent drops and poor attitude make him undesirable in my book. But some team will trade for him. After all, if some defensive coordinators haven't caught on yet, then there must be general managers out there who covet Jackson's playmaking ability despite all of the ugly warts.

2. QB Eagles No. 7, QB, Eagles
The quarterback who has lost his name would have been No. 1 on this list a year ago, back when everyone was singing his praises and Matthew Berry was telling his followers to pick him first overall in fantasy drafts. I'll never forget the look on a bank security guard's face when we were discussing football and I told him that QB Dog Killer was the most overrated player in the NFL. I thought he was going to handcuff me.

People are now somewhat more familiar with QB Dog Killer's warts. He's very exciting to watch and he has great physical talent. There's no doubt about that. However, he struggles to read defenses and he can't recognize blitzes. Any smart defensive coordinator can simply out-game plan him, so I can't see Philadelphia ever advancing deep into the playoffs with him under center.

So, if more fans are familiar with QB Dog Killer's liabilities, why is he on this list? Is it because I hate his guts? Hardly. It's because he's not much of a runner anymore. I don't know if it's age (32 in June) or financial security after signing a huge contract, but QB Dog Killer's rushing attempts were down from 100 in 12 games in 2010 to just 76 in 13 games in 2011. His 76 scampers marked a career low in which he's started a dozen or more games.

And speaking of which, QB Dog Killer is unreliable. He always gets hurt, so the Eagles can't count on him to stay in the lineup.

1. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots
This is not a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in the Super Bowl. I've always believed that Wes Welker has been incredibly overrated. When the average fan puts together a list of the top receivers in the NFL, Welker is usually included. He shouldn't be.

Welker is just a slot receiver. He's a really, really good slot receiver, but a slot receiver nonetheless. Because of the monstrous stats he has posted the past five years, some football fans argue that he's on the level of Larry Fitzgerald and other wideouts of that ilk.

There's no denying that Welker is tremendous in New England's system, but I highly doubt he would be half as effective in a normal offense with an average quarterback. Welker just doesn't have the talent to be a No. 1 wideout. He's very smart and crafty, and he's a great guy to have on a team, despite what hot supermodels may think, but his ability to be as effective in another scheme is very debatable. Forum mod Injured Reserve once told me, "The difference between Wes Welker and Davone Bess is Tom Brady." Like Welker, Bess is just a slot receiver. Who's to say Bess wouldn't post 100-plus receptions playing in Welker's spot with Brady?

This stat may surprise you: Aside from Brandon Marshall, no receiver has more drops in the past two years than Welker (26). Sure, Welker has many more targets than the average wideout, but most of the passes that go his way are of the short variety.

So, perhaps that decisive play in the Super Bowl wasn't a fluke. Maybe Tom Brady's supermodel wife knows what she's talking about after all.

Overrated NFL Players Also Considered:

John Abraham, DE, Falcons - Racks up sacks versus awful opponents; disappears often in big games.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders - Hasn't proven he can handle the load; wore down at the end of the season despite not playing much in first half.

Jermon Bushrod, OT, Saints - Doesn't surrender many sacks because Drew Brees gets rid of the ball quickly, but allows Brees to be pressured often.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers - Will he ever live up to his potential?

Dashon Goldson, S, 49ers - I slotted him pretty low in my 2012 NFL Free Agent Rankings, prompting dozens of 49er fans to send me hate mail for it. By that reaction, you'd think I insulted the Pope, spat on Mother Teresa's grave or said that Jeremy Lin has some sort of hole in his armor.

Matt Hasselbeck, QB - I'm listing him because Chris Berman constantly harps that Hasselbeck was the best free agency signing last year. But Jake Locker outplayed him.

A.J. Hawk, ILB, Packers - He has nothing left in the tank.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromarite, CB, Eagles - Could be good if he actually cared.

Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys - Will he ever step up in a big game?

Jonathan Vilma, ILB, Saints - Constantly gets washed away in the run. To be fair though, the defensive tackles in front of him suck.

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ClevelandsRocks 02-21-2012 02:29 pm (total posts: 1)
22     20

thank god you mentioned Bushrod. Every time i get to watch him my roommate and i just laugh seeing him get driven back 7-8 yards or whiffing on blocks every play. He is on the same level as Alex Barron.

Not sure I can agree with Moss being overrated though. Not too many people see him coming in and making a huge splash this year...
Mondo 02-21-2012 02:24 pm (total posts: 1)
11     19

As a Giants fan I understand that Rolle played safety, nickel corner and linebacker, you didn't factor that in though.
Kyle 02-21-2012 02:23 pm (total posts: 1)
31     139

Guys, read the commentary. Walt very clearly acknowledges Welker's phenomenal production and his perfect fit within the Patriot system. System players simply can't be elite, so it's wrong to put him in the same category as Fitz, Andre Johnson, or Megatron. Those three would be elite no matter who they played with--Fitz with John Skelton? Megatron with Shaun Hill? C'mon. Welker was a B-grade, chain-moving receiver in Miami, and that's what he is in New England, Tom Brady and that offense utilize him more and he flourishes because of it.

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning (pre-injury, of course), Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, those three receivers, Patrick Willis, Revis, Jared Allen--all some of the elite players at their positions, all of who would have the same impact on the game no matter the system or cast. The same can't be said for Welker, no matter how good he is in the system. System players aren't elite.
lionsfan88 02-21-2012 02:16 pm (total posts: 1)
19     18

Also Jeff Bacus, everyone at espn sees him as a number two free agent for the lions to retain, and in a poll, only 5% of lions fans wanted him.
D Sooner 02-21-2012 01:38 pm (total posts: 1)
19     23

You forgot Dez Bryant! Tony has to tell him which route to run each play. The guy has huge talent and a little bitty brain. He's a world class bumba%$!!!
Doctor Monkey 02-21-2012 01:18 pm (total posts: 2)
68     439

The adventures of QB Eagles No. 7

- financing an illegal interstate gambling ring
- running an illegal interstate gambling ring for six years
- fighting dogs
- killing dogs
- killing dogs in especially fun ways, like electricution and drowning
- knowingly giving a woman herpes
- sneaking marijuana on a plane
- owning a waterbottle that has a marijuana smuggling compartment
- providing a vehicle for drug dealing
- giving the double bird to kids after a Falcons game
- blew off Eagles off-season workouts
- stealing money from a pension fund
- having someone shot at his birthday party
- lied about leaving "hours" before someone was shot at his party
- being a coach killer
- being a big jerk
- hiring an agent while still in college
- Marcus Vick
- not paying back his creditors because he needs two houses (one of which was built while he was in prison)
- lying about dog fighting
- screwing over that sweet old man Arthur Blank
- missing 14 games with a 4-6 week injury - the same injury that forced him to miss only one game at Virginia Tech
- Ron Mexico
- providing a house for drug dealing (the original reason Bad Newz Kennels was raided)
- failing a drug test
- being accused of using steroids
- can't read the blitz
- can't hold onto the ball
- can't throw accuratly
- can't put touch on the ball
- can't complete the short pass
- can't audible
- children out of wedlock
- last one in the building for practice
- first one to leave the building after practice
- cheated on his girlfriend (re: Ron Mexico incident)
- fragile as Bob Sanders
- promoting 'pump and dump' stock scheme via twitter
- kicking a football at a Washington Redskins cheerleader
Lance 02-21-2012 01:14 pm (total posts: 1)
92     17

Of course Turner slowed down late in the season; He had a groin injury and Mularkey refused to cut down his carries to give him a rest. And Wes Welker is the most overrated player? He's a chain moving slot receiver. That is his role and he does it extremely well. The only people who I've ever heard say he is on the level of Megatron or Fitzgerald are Patriots fans.

Where is Tebow in this?
Lunny 02-21-2012 01:08 pm (total posts: 1)
171     145

No surprise Tebow didn't make your list. Anybody with Welker's production cant' be overrated, I'm sorry.

Walt jokes all the time about Jerry Jones marrying Miles Austin but really Walt is marrying Tebow.
Falconidae from TATF 02-21-2012 01:08 pm (total posts: 1)
164     18

As a Falcon fan, gotta disagree with Turner. Turner ran behind an Oline that couldn't open holes, lost his pro-bowl FB midway through the season, and was overused by Mularkey to the point he was injured again during the last part of the year. Mularkey's offense was horribly predictable as well- much easier to stop the run if you know it's coming.

Improve the Oline,run more creative plays and cut his carries down, he can still be an extremely effective back.
Matt 02-21-2012 01:08 pm (total posts: 7)
25     21

Wow. Of all the overpaid bums in the NFL you choose Wes Welker as the most overrated guy?? Terrible dude, just terrible.

And nobody overrates Welker. If anything, they underrate him. When Cris Carter infamously left out Megatron from his list of the top 6 NFL WRs, everyone went bonkers because of it. But nobody even raised on eyebrow that Welker wasn't on the list even though his stats are among the best in the NFL.

Epic Fail Walt.
Defending Walter 02-21-2012 12:48 pm (total posts: 1)
147     116

"He's a really, really good slot receiver." Calling someone overrated isn't saying he that he's not good. Clearly Walter recognizes that Welker is very good and puts up incredible numbers. He lists Welker as overrated, though, because people consider him "elite."

To me, a guy who is "elite" is the best of the best and would thrive in any situation. Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson ... those guys would be great on any team with any QB. Keep in mind that Welker was pretty much trash for San Diego and Miami.
Shaun 02-21-2012 12:41 pm (total posts: 1)
20     20

Wes Welker huh? Isn't he the same guy with more catches than any other player over the past 5 years (by a wide margin)? The same guy who came back from a shredded knee less than 9 months later? And your dropped passes stat is an aberration, his total spiked last year, probably related to his knee, this year he had what, 5?
Thomas 02-21-2012 11:53 am (total posts: 1)
96     10

If a player is good in his role on a team how does that make him overrated? You can say that about a lot of different players in the league. You can says the only reason Kurt Warner was good was because he was in two offenses with the best receivers in the NFL but not every QB could make it work like he did. Wes Welker is in a very good situation but hes making the most out of it. It ridiculous to say that hes the most overrated player in the league. He compliments other players and other players compliment him thats how football works. I agree with you on most things but this is not one of them.
Joe 02-21-2012 11:26 am (total posts: 1)
14     19

Please stop saying DRC doesn't care. If you actually took time to evaluate him, you would see a very nice hard working man who hasn't had the right coaching to fit his needs. Expect a big year from him. That is all
Kyle 02-21-2012 11:26 am (total posts: 1)
46     22

As much as I hate to say it, you really can't fault Welker for doing what he does best in the system and finding his niche. Welker doesn't decide what his team runs, who his team throws to, or what routes he runs every game.

Welker just capitalizes on the opportunities he gets. If his job is to catch the short 9 yard curls and outs, then he's not going to argue, he's just doing his job.

In the last 5 seasons, while only missing 3 games (2 in 2009, 1 in 2010), he's caught 554 passes for 6105 yards and 31 TDs.

So on average for the past FIVE seasons, he's got 111 catches, 1221 yards and 6 scores every year.

You can trash a guy for having one great year (a la Eddie Royal) but to be consistently at the top of every season with elite numbers for half a decade, you can't be overrated.

If you put Welker on here because of scheme, you have to put Nnamdi Asomugha on the list because in the Eagles scheme he was more exposed than the man to man press that he ran in Oakland.

But I'd put neither on the list, because they both do what they are asked to do in a scheme and they do it very very well. Welker is asked to catch 100+ passes every year to set up the offense, and he does it. No reason to punish the guy for doing his job year in and year out.

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