Overrated would imply most think he's a stud when in fact, he's not really. It would imply some serious playmaking but he doesn't. Underrated would imply just the opposite. So, here's my list:
Lawson - on par with two of the most overrated players of all time (Ahmed Plummer and Eric Davis)
Franklin - besides being WAY overpaid too, the fact is, he's another one-dimensional player who only plays well in a one-gap system and RJF proved that just about anybody can play that role
Willis - this should get you fired up! LOL. But going by the definition of overrated he is considered as having a God-like status around the league and plays in a defense that is designed around him. That said, he's not a leader or a game changer. He's a tremendous tackler and will malke the occasional play but lets be real here - he's 100% freed to run to the ball carrier and play down hill. Aside from him not wanting the dot on his helmet he's also very soft in coverage and that had been a big problem for this team. In NT, he IS a God. He is not a game-changer but a very good LB that plays in a perfect system (sort of like Ben Rothlisberger who also was very overrated his first few years in the league). Will Willis become that Ray Lewis-type of leader? Probably not b/c that's not his temperment. Will he get better in coverage? Hopefully. I love Willis but he is overrated some.
Runner up - Staley, hands down
Brooks - every time this guy gets on the field good things happen for us whether that's a dominating performance against the Cards, tackles for losses, knocking down a pass, breaking Reggie Bush's leg or publically stating he was pissed he didn't lead the team in sacks last year. Yet, again, going by the definitions, MS thinks it's going to be tough trying to figure out how he'll fit him in. Seriously? The guy gets about 10 snaps last night coming off a lacerated kidney and gets a sack, hurry and is the first one down on ST's and breaks Bush's leg. That alone is more then both of our starting OLB's have done collectively taking 90% of every snap the past two games. That, my friends, is the definition of overrated (and a retarded coaching staff with no eye for pass rushers on a 3-4 defense; see also, D. Briggs)
Baas - the guy was the only o-line player last year to consistently clear the way for various long Gore TD runs. He was playing stellar as a RG and then suddenly is moved to LG for Rachal? Ummm...his rookie year he was dominant esp. towards the year at RG for an injured Smiley but Smiley is given his job back and then bails for another team. Baas takes a paycut to stay with us and is now switched to center and doing a stellar job there. Of all the OL so far this season, he would probably grade out the highest right now. Not bad eh?
Sopoaga - this guy constantly gets no love but right now, he may be our best DL and that's no joke. Manny gets many of the glory for his dirty work but now Sopoaga is not only occupying two guys often (on the "strong side") but he's allowing Franklin to shoot his single A-gap AND sealing the edge forcing RB's far outside where Manny lines up, standing up at the LOS ready to feast. The only one breaking his back these days are our fans! Who was that 1st rounder who was supposed to take his job again?
Runner up - Alex Smith (this guy has been more hamstrung by piss poor coaching then any player I have ever seen; give this man the complete freedom to call his own game and he'll play to his #1 overall status). You'e got the wristband now, Alex...rip out the headset and treat every game like you did in the 2-minute drill where you called all the plays on your own! Just act like the headset isn't working, squint a lot to the sideline and then in the huddle, call your own plays! I'd also like to mention Reggie Smith here. So far this year, the kid just makes plays with his limited snaps!
Have at it folks...
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 21, 2010 at 19:42:48 ]