Yesterday we shared CBS writer Pete Prisco’s thoughts on the most overrated member of the New England Patriots- tight end Martellus Bennett. I disagreed with the evaluation, but mostly because Prisco and I have differing opinions of the root of Bennett’s poor production in 2015.
Prisco thinks Bennett is aging and is coming off a down year. I think the change of scenery will boost his stock.
Those in our comments section had a different thought and put forth names that they considered more overrated than Bennett.
User Jamesdevlin (no relation to the fullback, as far as I know) offered edge defender Chris Long or defensive backs Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon. Jack’s Axe named running back LeGarrette Blount. Ckarnold suggested offensive tackle Nate Solder. Youngchauncey, b1adesofcha0s, and Wait For It... also named cornerback Ryan.
And so Prisco’s selection for the most underrated player on the Patriots will make people laugh: cornerback Logan Ryan.
“He started 14 games last season and led the team in interceptions with four,” Prisco wrote. “He isn't a top-level corner, but he is a good, solid cover player. Entering his fourth season, he has improved each of the past few seasons. He will be tough to get out of the lineup now.”
Personally, I agree with Prisco’s assessment. Ryan “is a good, solid cover player,” despite not being a “top-level corner.” He’s not a gamechanger like Malcolm Butler, or Darrelle Revis, or Patrick Peterson, but he’s not someone that can be easily replaced with a player off the street.
I think Patriots fans are tough on Ryan because he gave up that touchdown prior to halftime in Super Bowl XLIX, but he’s proven that he can play at a starter-level when he’s given consistent snaps. Ryan showed promise in 2013, but stalled his growth in 2014 when Revis and Brandon Browner joined the ranks.
I think Ryan’s battles with Demaryius Thomas- where Ryan won handily- shows that he can be a valuable member of any secondary.
Ryan will be a free agent after this season and will likely receive a good contract outside of the Patriots price range from another team. He won’t be a #1 corner, but he will be a long time starter in the NFL.
I believe that 2nd round pick Cyrus Jones can be the eventual replacement for Ryan, but I just look back to the cornerback play from 2008 through 2011 where head coach Bill Belichick struggled to find two viable cornerbacks to put on the field.
Don’t take Ryan for granted. He’s was an excellent player in 2015 and he’s looking to earn a lot of money as a key starter in 2016.