In an article published this morning, CBS Sports Senior NFL Analyst Pete Prisco recently picked an "overrated" and "underrated" player for each NFL team.
For the Patriots, Prisco chose guard Logan Mankins as the teams overrated player:
G Logan Mankins. I know he has some injury issues that he played through last season but he wasn't close to being as good as his reputation. Let's see if he can bounce back.
As for the team's underrated player, Prisco chose cornerback Kyle Arrington:
CB Kyle Arrington. He did a nice job on the corner last season, outplaying more-heralded Devin McCourty. Arrington had seven picks to lead the team.
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of either of Prisco's selections for the Patriots. While Arrington had a great season for the team, making seven interceptions, I think that the high interception statistic tends to overrate Arrington. While no one will doubt his ball skills, the majority of his interceptions came off tipped passes, rather than blanket coverage. Heading into 2011, I thought Arrington was one of the team's most underrated players. However, with the big statistical 2011 campaign, I think it would be difficult to still place him in that category.
As for Mankins, I don't think it's fair to place him in the overrated category. While I think it was his reputation than performance that allowed him to be named to his fourth Pro Bowl and 2nd team All-Pro honors, as Prisco notes, Mankins was hobbled by injury near the end of the year. While he did have a down 2011 campaign, there still isn't a guard in football I'd rather have if I were running an NFL team. I'd wait another year before lumping him into the "overrated" category.