What does it mean to be overrated in the NFL? By the very nature of the word, if you are to be overrated, you were probably at one point or another considered a premier athlete. Perhaps you have lost a step as you got older, but people still remember you for your glory days.
Other players are not overrated when they step on the field, but their health concerns or awful contracts can help make them some of the most overrated players in the NFL. There is no value in having a pro bowl running back, if you cannot expect them to take the field more often then not.
You can be considered overrated, but still be a talented player in the NFL. Is Russell Wilson an awful NFL quarterback? Absolutely not. Does Wilson deserve all of the praise that has been thrown his way? Perhaps not, and for those who hate him, they will quickly turn to the talk of how he is overrated because of the system he plays in.
Some players may find their entire career is spent trying to live up to expectations that they will never be able to achieve. It is great to explode onto the scene as a rookie, but the league is riddled with people that turned it on for one season and then faded into obscurity
There is no shortage of work that goes into being a professional football player. There are countless elements of your game to tighten up and even though they work as hard as they do, there are still at least 15 NFL players that garner praise when they should instead be looked at through a different lens.
Here are 15 of the most overrated players in the NFL.
15 T.Y. Hilton
T.Y. Hilton needs to be better then he has been this year if the Colts are expected to move the ball on offense. While Hilton has found the end zone three times, two of those were against a shaky Saints defense. While we should still believe in Hilton, he needs to also hope he can eliminate the nagging injuries that are hampering his production. There' still time this year and all eyes on Hilton in Indy as he tries to lead the offensive surge, regardless of if it is Hasselbeck or Luck throwing the ball.
14 Russell Wilson
Things are not looking up for Russell Wilson right now. While his stats are still impressive in certain areas, he is being looked at as the source of trouble by some critics for his team's failings. Doug Baldwin has recently come out and said that too many plays are being left out on the field, a shielded dagger thrown in the direction of Wilson, who needs to become more decisive with the ball. While a talented runner, Wilson's failed to live up to his contract extension that received so much attention this past offseason. As a player known for playing at his best when the pressure is on (outside of one play in the Super Bowl...), it'll be interesting to see how Wilson responds the rest of the year.
13 Eddie Lacy
What is going on with Eddie Lacy? A former second round pick by the Green Bay Packers, Lacy has every chance to succeed when you consider his quarterback is Aaron Rodgers. Unfortunately, a promising start to his career has quickly halted with a pitiful performance this past year (much to the chagrin of his fantasy owners). While he was once considered one of the top young running backs in the league, he has amassed only 408 yards and 2 TDs through nine games. Until Lacy gets back to his old style, sheds some pounds and starts running through contact, he’ll perpetually be one of those players that people think is really good, but unfortunately isn’t.
12 Dwayne Bowe
Part of what makes a player overrated is how much he is getting paid. Sure, nobody thought Dwayne Bowe was going to light the world on fire when he signed with Cleveland, but they sure as heck thought he’d do something. Bowe has been a healthy scratch for stretches and ineffective when on the field, amassing only three catches through the first 10 weeks. This is hardly what Cleveland had in mind when they offered him a contract that had $9 million in guaranteed money. When you consider all the areas on the field that Cleveland needs to improve, it makes it all the more sad that they have sunk money into a receiver that does not seem to have what it takes anymore.
11 Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch's best days may be behind him. While he was considered one of the top running backs coming into the year, Lynch hasn't had many games where he kicked it into "Beast Mode." As he now battles a possible sports hernia, it is questionable just how effective Lynch will be going forward as the games become all the more important for Seattle. There is belief in his backup, undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls, but the production is not want Seahawk fans wanted out of their $12 million running back. Nobody in the league runs quite like Lynch when he is on his game and let's hope he can get his rhythm back.
10 Arian Foster
Arian Foster is an incredibly talented running back. As a former undrafted free agent, he’s even a great story in today's NFL. Unfortunately, Foster will never meet his full potential because he cannot stay on the football field. After battling a nagging groin injury this year, Foster returned only to tear his Achilles a few weeks later. It’s hard to not feel bad for the guy when you know how hard he works. Despite his level of talent, it's hard to depend on a guy who continually finds himself on the sideline.
9 Kam Chancellor
Kam Chancellor has failed to impress the Seattle fanbase for much of the 2015 season. It is hard to say what their record would be had he not held out, but he did and as a result missed two critical games to open up the season. Kam's a talented player, but has missed tackles the year in key spots and has demonstrated poor communication on several big pass plays throughout the season. If he wanted to make a statement by holding out, he should have made sure he was going to come back and help add to the cohesion of the brotherhood that he spoke so highly of.
8 Percy Harvin
Percy Harvin will always be one of the most athletically gifted players to play in the NFL. When he debuted for Minnesota, the league was captivated by his speed and skill. Unfortunately for Harvin, he’s also been a bit of a locker room cancer and injury prone. So, in total, Harvin has brought more negatives then positives for any team that he has played for. Now considering retirement, it's unfortunate to see that sad downturn that Percy Harvin's career has taken since he exploded on the scene for the Vikes.
7 Julius Thomas
Julius Thomas came out of nowhere in 2013 when he exploded for 12 TDs as a member of the Denver Broncos. He followed that season with a similar performance in 2014. Unfortunately for the Jags, who offered Thomas a $46 million contract, his success may have been a product of Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. It’s too early to tell if Thomas will settle into Jacksonville, but so far he has been injured and unable to be a dynamic playmaker when on the field. He did recently get into the endzone against the Titans and Jags fans will continue to hope for more going forward from their premier tight end.
6 Vernon Davis
Does Vernon Davis count as being overrated anymore? It's hard to tell if anyone still considers him a good football player. While Davis is still a well known name in the NFL, his time as an elite tight end is likely over. He may have just been traded to the Broncos but he's also getting older and battling nagging injuries. While he is only a few years removed from being one of the top tight ends in football, Vernon may find himself out of a job sooner then later if he is unable to produce under Gary Kubiak, who is known to favor tight ends in his offense.
5 Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck has not had a great year. Despite entering the season as perhaps the most promising young quarterback in football, Luck has failed to gain any positive momentum and has constantly been battling injury. Chuck Pagano, his coach, has also been vocal of Luck's inability to protect himself. Luck is going to sit out the next few weeks as he deals with a lacerated kidney (yikes) but the team needs to see better decision making from the young superstar if they want to take the next step in their progression. Luck had 12 interceptions in seven games this season. In contrast, Luck had nine in all of 2013 when he started all 16 games.
4 DeMarco Murray
When thinking of overrated players, one of the first things that come to mind is: "is this a player that’s a product of his system." It still takes talent to succeed, but did this player succeed more because of the players around him than his own personal ability? This was likely the case with DeMarco Murray in Dallas last year. Surrounded by a top receiver in Bryant and the best offensive line in the league, Murray had a fantastic season. After signing a big contract with Philly this summer, he has failed to live up to expectations. While there have been flashes of brilliance, it's nowhere near what the Eagles were hoping for.
3 Jimmy Graham
Now to be fair, not many people are overrating Jimmy Graham anymore. While he was considered the answer to Seattle's red zone problems, Graham has had some issues adjusting to the pace of the Seahawks offense. While, there have been flashes of brilliance and moments where it looked like he and Russell Wilson were developing some great chemistry, he's also combined that with drops in key situations and entire stretches of the game where he becomes completely invisible. Many believed Graham was a star in New Orleans, but he's looked pedestrian in Seattle so far.
2 Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace is failing to live up to his large contract in Minnesota. While he is a premier athlete when you consider his speed, that really is the only attribute about Wallace that jumps off the page. His 318 yards and 1 TD on the year were quickly elapsed by their upcoming rookie superstar Stefon Diggs, leaving the Vikings to wonder why they are paying Wallace so much. They're paying him $9.9 million this year and that number goes up to over $11 million for next season, so it would not be shocking to see Wallace cut before then.
1 Peyton Manning
It's hard not to feel bad for Peyton Manning. He's one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but he is far from that player today. In fact, he may have played his final game after he was sent to the bench in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was then revealed that Peyton was playing with a foot injury that has him sidelined. While many thought a decline was possible this year, no one could've expected Peyton to fall this far in a year. Peyton lacks the strength to move the ball downfield consistently and the accuracy that made him elite. It remains to be seen if he will get another significant chance to lead a team on a Super Bowl run.