NFL

NFL’s All Underrated Team: Offense

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For one reason or another, there is a ton of players who don’t get the credit that they deserve as football players. These players are great talents who help their team win on Sunday’s; however, for one reason or another they fly under the radar.

Some of these players are young guys on the rise and some are proven veterans who just don’t get their due. Whatever the case may be, these players deserve more credit and acclimation for what they do on the football field.

Without further ado, let’s take a look which player’s make up this writer’s all underrated team.

Quarterback: Joe Flacco

It isn’t often that a Super Bowl winning quarterback is underrated, but that is exactly what Joe Flacco is. He has never had a plethora of weapons on offense and there aren’t many better quarterbacks when it matters most. Flacco is oblivious to pressure and he routinely makes big plays with pressure in his face.

Furthermore, Flacco has one of the best arms in the entire NFL. He can make every throw on the football field and he makes throws into tight windows that not many humans can make. This is a big reason why Flacco is one of the best deep passers in the NFL. Flacco had a 50 percent completion percentage on passes over 20 yards, which was good for third in the NFL.

Overall, Flacco may not be in the same class as Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck, but he is still a damn good quarterback that deserves his due.

Running Back: Arian Foster, Anthony Sherman

Arian Foster should be in the conversation for one of the best running backs in the entire NFL. He is extremely fluid and patient with his runs that he makes it look easy. Foster excels in a zone running system where his patience, vision and one-cut ability are able to shine. He isn’t the most athletic or powerful running back, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one that has better than him over the last five years.

Fullbacks don’t receive much credit, so it was easy to choose Anthony Sherman onto this team because he is the best fullback in the league. He routinely opens up holes for Jamaal Charles in Kansas City as he leaves linebackers in his wake.

Foster and Sherman are both fantastic players who deserve more recognition for what they do on the football as they are both huge reasons why their teams have some of the best rushing attacks in football.

Wide Receiver: Jarvis Landry, DeAndre Hopkins

Jarvis Landry gets no national attention, but you’d be hard pressed to find a receiver who runs better routes and has better hands than he does. At a position where flash gets all the publicity, Landry just goes about his business and does all the little things well. His quarterback always knows that he can count on Landry and his role should only increase because of that.

The other underrated wide receiver plays with a great deal of flash. DeAndre Hopkins consistently makes fantastic catches on gameday. Hopkins is improving as a receiver and he looks prime to break out this year. He’s an above average route runner and he has the ability to dominate defensive backs at the catch point. Don’t be surprised if Hopkins is talked about as a top-eight receiver after this season is over.

Tight End: Travis Kelce

Outside of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce may be the most well-rounded tight end in the NFL. A lot of people forget that half of a tight end’s responsibility is to be a competent blocker, which is exactly what Kelce is. Take a look at a lot of Jamaal Charles’ biggest runs and you’ll see Kelce’s block spring him for some of his gains.

As a receiver, Kelce is one of the best in the NFL too. He is incredibly athletic for his size and he uses his body to shield defenders extremely well. he was underutilized for much of the year, but he made the most of all of the opportunities that he got.

Offensive Tackle: Andrew Whitworth, Duane Brown

The offensive line as a whole is extremely underrated, but Andrew Whitworth and Duane Brown are just plan overlooked. Last year, Whitworth may have been the best offensive tackle in football. He didn’t allow a single sack last year and he allowed one quarterback hit and eight quarterback hurries, which is mind boggling. Furthermore, he is one of the best run blockers as well as he continuously opens holes for the Bengals’ running backs.

Duane Brown isn’t the caliber of player as Whitworth, but he is really good in his own right. Brown does a fantastic job of moving laterally and making extremely difficult blocks look easy. Moreover, he is one of the better pass protectors on the edge as well. He only allowed two sacks, nine quarterback hits and 14 quarterback hurries, which is great.

The main job for offensive tackles is to keep the quarterback off the ground, which Whitworth and Brown both do extremely well.

Offensive Guard: Brandon Linder, Kelechi Osemele

If offensive tackles are underrated, offensive guards are just forgotten. Outside of Zack Martin and Marshal Yanda, you rarely hear about how well a guard played in a game. Last year, Brandon Linder and Kelechi Osemele played about as well as any guard who wasn’t Martin or Yanda.

Linder was a pleasant surprise on an abysmal Jacksonville Jaguars roster. He was one of the only players who played consistently well throughout the season. When the rest of the offense and defense were struggling, Linder was doing his job every single game. The thing about Linder is that he should only get better from here, don’t be surprised if he isn’t a perennial Pro-Bowler.

Osemele’s problem is that he plays with the best offensive linemen in all of football in Yanda. However, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that he is one of the best interior offensive linemen in football. Osemele moves effortlessly from block to block and he gets to the second level extremely well.

Center: Corey Linsley

The center is one of the most difficult positions in football to play. Not only do they have to make the line calls before a play, but they also have to snap the ball and block a 300 plus pounds defensive linemen are almost every play. Green Bay’s Corey Linsley was only a rookie last year, but he was one of the best centers in football.

Most centers struggle mightily in pass protection, but Linsley actually held up well. He used his footwork and ability to anchor to keep most defensive linemen at bay. As a run blocker, Linsley was about to utilize great angles to cut off and deter defenders as the Packers’ rushing attack chewed up yardage.

Linsley may not be one of the five best players on his own offense, but that doesn’t mean he is one of the best centers in the league.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com