I recently read through Pete Prisco’s article on CBSSports.com that spells out his picks and names his most overrated and underrated players on each NFL roster. (It’s a great read. Click here. You’ll thank me.) Naturally, being a Bronco fan since birth, I was most interested in his thoughts on the home team.
I’ll start with the least objectionable choice. Pete’s most underrated: linebacker Danny Trevathan. This is a good pick. He wasn’t a big-name draft pick, he wasn’t expected to get the playing time he ended up getting and he made the most of it to be a solid member of the defense.
I won’t argue with his inclusion on the list, but I will offer another name for consideration as the most underrated player. Chris. Harris. Junior. He came into the league undrafted out of football powerhouse Kansas (yes, that Kansas), so clearly no one expected too much from him. All he did last season was perform as a true lockdown corner. He finished with 65 tackles, 14 passes defensed and three interceptions. He also started all 16 regular season games. His worth was further proven when he wasn’t able to play in the Super Bowl due to a torn ACL.
But, again, I don’t take issue with Trevathan being called the most underrated; I’m just throwing another name in the ring.
The real problem is Wes Welker being named the most overrated Bronco. Really? Welker? He’s one of the smallest guys on the team, but he plays with no fear (an attribute that may have been a liability when he was knocked a bit loopy and missed a few games). And to suggest he’s slowing down is just silly. He finished with 10 touchdowns a year ago on a team with the Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas dominating the end zone.
The most important reason I disagree with Welker’s inclusion as the most overrated player is the simple fact that he still has Peyton Manning throwing to him. As long as that is the case, he’ll catch five to 10 passes a game, he’ll put up 1,000-plus yards, and he’ll score. A lot.
I do have an alternate choice for the most overrated player on the Broncos 2014 roster.
I give you… Montee Ball.
Look, I like running backs. I like Broncos running backs. Sammy Winder was one of the players I emulated playing front-yard football with my brother growing up. (Remember his “Mississippi Mud” end zone dance? Classic.) But this offense doesn’t need, or want, a running back. They want a guy who doesn’t fumble and a guy who can punch it in from a couple of yards out. Montee Ball should be able to do both of these things, but so can any number of other serviceable backs.
That doesn’t make them great, and that doesn’t make Ball the tailback of the future for the Broncos. I don’t like to do it, but I’d rather have a guy with a history of catching TDs from PFM than a guy who you don’t really notice unless he gives the game away.
So Montee is my most overrated Bronco. Or, more specifically, the running back position is the most overrated spot on the field, as long as 18 is under center.