Since all NFL.com can seem to do is make lists, it was just a matter of time before they did one like this. They are going through all 32 teams and listing 5 underrated and 5 overrated players per team. The Patriots' turn finally came up. Interestingly, Wes Welker showed up on the overrated list ... for the Dolphins. He was absent from either Patriots' list.
Here are the underrated players:
- Stanley Morgan -- WR, 1977-1989
- Troy Brown -- WR, 1993-2007
- Antowain Smith -- RB, 2001-03
- Roman Phifer -- LB, 2001-04
- Leon Gray -- OT, 1973-78
Morgan is here because he put up numbers comparable to his contemporaries Lynn Swann and John Stallworth who both earned rings and both ended up in the Hall of Fame. Brown makes the list for doing a bit of everything, doing it very well, and yet only seeing one Pro-Bowl nod, despite having three of those rings Morgan was missing. Smith and Phifer were others that were overlooked on the Super Bowl champs according to NFL.com. Gray stood in the rather large shadow of John Hannah, yet played at an All-Pro level even after leaving the team.
On to the overrated players:
- Brandon Meriweather -- S, 2007-2010
- Brian Holloway -- OT, 1981-86
- Adalius Thomas -- OLB, 2007-09
- Chris Slade -- OLB, 1993-2000
- Steve Grogan -- QB, 1975-1990
Meriweather makes the list for making back to back Pro-Bowls while dropping a sure fire interception on Black Sunday (he usually gets a pass over Samuel because Meriweather dropped everything that year), taking out McCourty - TWICE!, and generally worrying more about the big hit than worrying about playing actual coverage. Holloway is the opposite of Gray; Holloway looked better playing next to John Hannah than he ever did playing away from him, and went to three straight Pro-Bowls by Hannah's side. Thomas' biggest moment for me was sacking Favre AND the running back that was trying to block him about twenty yards behind the line of scrimmage. Past that, he copped an attitude and failed to produce - even after he left Foxboro. Slade probably looked better with McGinest lined up across from him (the Suggs effect, as it is now known due to Adalius Thomas). Grogan is tough to see on this list. He was more of a fan favorite who never really earned any accolades. Can you really be overrated if you were never rated to begin with? They cite the adoration he receives in New England as the reason.
You can find the article here and can also vote for the most overrated and underrated players.