Troy Polamalu and the 15 Most Overrated NFL Players

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Top 15 Most Overrated NFL Players

tim tebow
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a certain NFL player (or list of players) that absolutely drive you nuts because they get so much praise even though they don't deserve it? Don't worry, you're not alone.

The list of overrated NFL players is often a heavily-debated topic and that list fluctuates constantly from year to year. For example, some players on this version of the list (for the upcoming 2013 season) wouldn't have been there a few years ago or even one year ago. But what a difference a year -- or a half-decade -- makes.

Now if there's a player on this list who's on your favorite team, don't get your feelings hurt. I won't mention who, but the player who is often heralded as one of the best in the league at his position is one of the most overrated in my opinion and he plays on my favorite team, so I know that awkward feeling.

Of course, everyone's opinion of which players are and aren't overrated vary as widely as the names on each version of the list and vary from year to year as well. What's funny is a lot of players overlap on the overrated/underrated list (anyone else see Eli Manning's name on both lists for a long time before everyone finally just left him alone?). So you're likely to see a name on this list that's on another for underrated players, but don't buy it because those guys are clueless. Kidding! This is our opinion!

So let's get to it, shall we? Here are the most overrated players in the NFL for the 2013 season, excluding Tim Tebow, who we figure is no longer considered overrated by anyone's standards.

2 of 21

Antonio Gates

Antonio Gates
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Gates was once the most dominant tight end in the NFL, but since he's no longer getting 49 targets each game, that has changed. Gates can't get open anymore and when he does, he seems to stumble over his own feet too often to haul in the pass. You can definitely blame injuries here, but Gates is still overrated until he bounces back or his hype is gone completely.

3 of 21

Michael Vick

Michael Vick
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

He had a pretty good rookie year and then a pretty good year when he came back from prison, but that was just because of the shock factor. Michael Vick can't throw, he has no pocket presence and it takes him half a day to read a defense, which is why he gets sacked so much these days. Sure, Philly's dreadful o-line is partially to blame, but Vick does his teammates no favors by holding on to the ball too long and panicking too quickly in the pocket.

4 of 21

Jermichael Finley

Jermichael Finley
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

My, how the mighty have fallen. Jermichael Finley missed the Packers' magical Super Bowl run a couple of years ago and now he's a bust. He can't get open and when he does, there's a 50-50 chance he'll catch the ball -- and that's if the ball hits his hands. Seriously, this guy just hasn't been the same, yet he's always hyped because of his name. It's time for that to end.

5 of 21

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Worlds of talent, no work ethic whatsoever. This guy could be really good if he cared, but until then, he's overrated because Heaven knows he won't live up to the hype. Hopefully his new team will change that, but even the Broncos have their work cut out for them with DRC.

6 of 21

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since he became CJ2K, Chris Johnson has gotten way too big for his britches. A couple of holdouts really did him in and now he's just a speedster who can't get past defenders. A less-than-stellar o-line certainly hasn't helped, but Johnson is not the back he was once, yet he's still hyped because of his name and that one 2,000-yard season. That will change in 2013.

7 of 21

Reggie Bush

Reggie Bush
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

If you're a running back in the NFL and you can't run between the tackles, you're overrated. Bush was only good in college because he was the fastest player on the field and when he got the NFL, that was no longer the case. He's an average kick returner and had one good year in Miami, so now he's apparently going to set the woods on fire in Detroit. I ain't buyin' it.

8 of 21

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, he's played in five Super Bowls in a decade. Yes, he's one of four 5,000-yard passers in NFL history. But tom Brady is also a system quarterback. If he played for any other team, he would be average, at best. Bill Belichick knows how to play to Brady's strengths, which include 50 passes per game. With that o-line, the receivers Brady's had over the course of his career and a million passes each year, half the quarterbacks in the league could throw for 5,000 yards. Oh, and he hasn't won a Super Bowl since Spygate.

9 of 21

Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers' crybaby quarterback spends way too much time whining about things he can't control than trying to get better and that's why his team is always a huge disappointment each season. Heck, Rivers isn't even a good fantasy quarterback anymore! No one wants a passer who has as many turnovers as touchdowns in a single season, both in reality and fantasy land.

10 of 21

Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

If not for his annual Thanksgiving Day stomp, the world would have forgotten about Suh by now because he's terrible. He was pretty solid as a rookie, but fell off in his sophomore season and has been nothing but a big, distracting disappointment ever since.

11 of 21

Sidney Rice

Sidney Rice
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This guy had one good season. One. And that was with one of the greatest quarterbacks in history throwing him the ball in statically his best season. Since that lone magical year with Brett Favre, Sidney Rice has been average, at best, and he's about to become irrelevant in Seattle with Percy Harvin in town.

12 of 21

Jonathan Vilma

Jonathan Vilma
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

His name is a big one, especially because of Bountygate, but he's not nearly the player the media makes him out to be. If I had a dime for every time I saw Vilma get pushed around by an opposing blocker (regardless of position), I'd be paying someone to write this while enjoying a pina colada in Hawaii.

13 of 21

DeAngelo Hall

DeAngelo Hall
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason, all the hype surrounding DeAngelo Hall coming out of college back in 2004 has stuck around and no matter how badly he disappoints each season, we keep thinking he'll bounce back the next year. Not anymore. Stamp: overrated.

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DeSean Jackson

DeSean Jackson
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Butterfingers and a half! DeSean Jackson is lightning quick and he can make some big plays here and there, but his inconsistency and moronic behavior make him overrated. He's expected to be "explosive" and whatnot each season, but he hasn't done much the past two years other than a couple of nice kick returns. As a receiver, no one is going to make it in the NFL if he can't run routes correctly and catch the ball.

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Clay Matthews

Clay Matthews
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes he makes great plays and sometimes he gets manhandled by opposing blockers. Sometimes he goes on streaks of greatness through several games and sometimes you wonder if he's even been on the field for the Packers for the last few weeks. Clay Matthews can be a stud, but at other times, he's absolutely pathetic, and that lands him a spot on the overrated list. Consistency is the key and put simply, he is not.

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Darren McFadden

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

After recording a 1,000-yard season in 2010, people were beginning to sing McFadden's praises on the field. However, he followed that up with a 600-yard season and a 700-yard season. In 2013, he's on pace to finish with half of the 700 he finished with in 2012. One 1,000-yard season got him far too much respect.

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Trent Richardson

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Richardson has yet to prove anything in the NFL, yet "experts" have dubbed him an elite-level running back. How's that working out for him with the Indianapolis Colts? How about 495 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in 14 weeks? Yeah, not living up to all the hype.

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Colin Kaepernick

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the 2013 season, Kaepernick had played in just 16 career games -- not started, but played in -- and he was already being called one of the best quarterbacks in the league. So far in 2013, he has passed for 2,690 yards and 18 touchdowns while leading the worst passing offense in the NFL. Not so good, Colin.

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Joe Flacco

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, we get it, he has one of the strongest arms in the NFL -- if not the strongest -- but he can't capitalize on that if he's not passing very much. He has yet to gain over 4,000 yards through the air in a single season and no more than 25 touchdown passes in a year. However, he got paid far too much money for winning a Super Bowl that was backed up by one of the best defenses in the NFL.

20 of 21

Mike Wallace

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Wallace was a talented receiver with great route running abilities when he played in Pittsburgh, but he struggled in 2012, leading to just 836 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. What did that earn him? Oh, just a $60 million deal that will keep him in Miami for a while.

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Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

How many times have we seen Polamalu lower his head for a huge hit only to go flying right past the ballcarrier and sometimes into something like a water cooler? If this guy would focus on just making the tackle instead of trying to make every play a highlight reel, he might be more effective, like he was in the late 2000s. Today? He's as overrated as they come.

Around the Web

  • JustThisOnce

    So Tom Brady is in your top 50 best players of all time but he is also in your top 15 most overrated… okay, that makes a lot of sense

  • Bogus_Bill

    Where is Matthew Stafford? Talk about an overrated bust.


    this list is pathetic . a few valid points, but it makes no sense ,how Brady is on any over rated list bc of the system, the line and so on.thats the luck of the draft, the coaches and the players/team.

    I guess Aikman is over rated as well , with Emmitt, Irvin and 5 all pros blocking for them.

    Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports, you are a tool, a fool and know very little about football.
    go back to writing for good house keeping.

    • Montira Warran

      It seems that Debby Wong only took the photo of Tebow. The person who actually compiled this list calls himself/herself RanterX, as indicated above.

  • Ishkabibble

    Not a Pats fan at all but Brady’s one of the most overrated? Not against my Steelers he’s not; he’s been lighting them up for a decade. Five SB’s and 3 rings…who doing more? Peyton? Ask Tracy Porter about his “big game moments.”
    Bottom line; you’re clearly unqualified to assess anything, much less football. An embarrassing clown and pretty much a textbook example of why the internet sucks nowadays.

  • chronovisor

    FINALLY someone calls brady what she is OVER RATED! ZERO super bowls since they were CAUGHT cheating

    • Nagg05

      At least he took his team to two more super bowls.

    • Michael Daly

      There was no cheating.

      The Truth About Spygate Punishing Success And Promoting Parity – google it and you’ll see the facts about Spygate -

      Sideline videotaping is allowed in the rulebook.
      The NFL sent out memos about sideline videotaping that falsified what the rule says.
      Roger Goodell was shown up by Belichick as completely ignorant of his own rulebook.

      See also the blog of sports law professor Jeffrey Standen as he shows what kind of thin-skinned bureaucratic bully Roger Goodell is.

      • chronovisor

        right right, do NOT show me FACTS my mind is made up….FACT ALL tapes relevant to the CHEATING destroyed by league office, FACT 3 super bowl WINS before he got caught CHEATING….. FACT ZERO super bowl wins since getting caught cheating… explain to me IF he wasn’t cheating WHY no super bowl wins???????

        • Michael Daly

          Here are the facts -

          The tapes that were destroyed were the SAME tapes Matt Walsh showed – and they were exactly what Belichick said they were.

          They were destroyed because they’d been leaked from the league office.

          Sideline videotaping IS ALLOWED IN THE RULEBOOK.

          There was no cheating, period.

          Spygate was 100% about a thin-skinned bureaucratic bully of a commissioner reacting violently to being shown up about his complete ignorance of his own rulebook by a coach.

          Those are the facts.

  • joe dokes

    fuck you rant sports

  • Truth

    Great post on Tom Brady… feel exactly the same way!

  • Emmanz_On_Point

    who the hell made this bullshit list

  • hdevo

    This is one of the worst pieces of garbage written so far this week.The writer must be a gambler and has lost a ton of money betting and now he is taking out his revenge.Find a new bookie.

  • Nagg05

    Really/?. Looks like you are overrated and disqualified to write an article like this.

  • Pitt Lord

    Anyone who had the misfortune of having Chris Johnson on their fantasy time at any point after his 2000 yard season knows he should be at the top of this list. I will never understand how that season happened as watching him reveals there is absolutely nothing remarkable about the way he runs the football. He doesn’t do anything that other backs can’t either do at a similar or better level. He’s not bad, he’s just not good….if he was regarded as an average player that would be one thing, but because of the years of people putting him in the top 5 backs, he has more than earned his place on this list.

    As for the rest of your list, I’m not sure I agree with most of it, but at least you got Johnson, Rivers, and Rice correct…what ever happened to Rice anyway, I hadn’t even thought about him at all this season in fantasy or otherwise until I saw the name on the list. I guess without Favre he’s nothing. Say what you will about Favre, but he was able to elevate the play of those around him, but I suppose that’s why he’s heading for first ballot hall of famer.

  • Jake Redmond

    A totally ridiculous column. An embarrassment to even be written.

  • Ian Chin

    Horrible list. Just horrible.

  • Emerson

    What a bunch of crap! Give me 5 minutes and i will give you a better list, Not a fan of any of these guys but Brady, really,,,,, I am a Bears fan and Reggie Bush won this weeks game for them. Not the first time I have browsed one of these rant lists but it might be the last.

  • hdevo

    Who ever wrote this article has no real football knowledge on rating players abilities or even knowledge of the sport. Who is hiring all these dim wits out of college to be so called reporters.Pathetic

    • FL

      Wow you hit the nail on the head. This “reporter” who wrote this article isn’t bright enough to be called a “dimwit.”

    • Tova Feinman

      He wrote this article to get people to yell and scream, thus giving him attention. I’m just shrugging. It’s a tactic of the mediocre.

  • southsidetom

    The Brady choice barely deserves any reaction because as eveyone seems to agree that pick is just football stupid.
    A guy who I also wanted to point out to say how misguided this little list is Troy Polomalu. Yes, he does make mistakes (juts like every other player in the NFL), but according to PFF it was as recent as 2011 that Troy had the 5th best season by a safety since 2006. Those of you not aware of what PFF is, it is a site that ranks all players. They arrive at their rankings by dissecting EVERY single play and grading each player on that specific play based on their assignments and how they perform those assignments. You get positive points for doing something you are supposed to do or making positive plays (tackle, pass break-up, int, etc, etc) and you receive negative points for missing your assignment and making negative plas (missed tackles, passes caught aginst you,etc, etc). Check the site out if you are really into football and like the X’s and O’s of the game and like finding out who the actual best players are in the league at each position.

  • dwightmlee

    This zero-football-knowledge
    pseudo-reporter is wrong with over half of his picks for overrated – the truth
    is that the ONLY thing overrated about this article is that the author has an
    overrated view of his opinion and of whether anyone cares or should care. He
    knows nothing – and I am being kind when I say that.

    RanterX represents the worst
    of what’s wrong with sports writing in 2013 – the mediocre sports writer with a
    big ego who doesn’t even bother to do a little investigating, check a few
    facts, makes his comments without the benefit of real statistics and medical
    updates – basically throws a few darts to produce his opinions, and writes to
    provoke comments in response to his blog. Blogs get more credit the more
    responses show up in comments. He doesn’t care what he says or how likely or
    accurate they are. He just wants credit for provoking comments to his article.
    Web comments are like fantasy football participants – for or against someone
    for all the wrong reasons. The purity of sport has been dead a long time now –
    this just makes the corpse smell that much worse.

  • Jeremy

    Troy P, come on…he’s one of the tackling greats. This author is just looking to stir the pot and has no real knowledge.

    • Thomas Ranieri

      yep troy is amazing…no matter what they say!

    • Tova Feinman

      I like Troy, on and off the field. He doesn’t play for my team but I cringe when my team plays against him. He’s one big ouch to the opposing team.

  • The Truth

    How about Cam Newton?

  • Naja Madison

    It is clear that Tom Brady is on this bogus list, because Ranter has a personal dislike for him. Jealous much, Ranter?! LOL!

    • Tova Feinman

      He’s sad he won’t get an invite to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

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  • Jimmy Fartpants

    I like this list. He really turned up the troll level to 11 with Tom Brady.

  • Bryan Greeley

    Tom Brady over-rated..all coaches coach to the strength of the QB you idiot
    You know nothing about football..he has only had 1 great receiver his entire career the others are average at best…Welker could not play until Brady taught him how to catch the ball (and even then dinosaur arms still dropped the most important pass of the decade)
    He has played outside 90 percent of his career..his stats are not padded due to DOME play…he never had a great running back (if so name them ) and only Randy Moss…the rest have been adequate and got the job done..but no names….like someone in INDY

    • Rick King

      So Chad Johnson was “Mediocre”? Wes Welker was Mediocre? Keep showing your lack of knowledge. If not for the Illegal taping, the Patsies would not have the three tainted trophies.

  • smedrano0206

    Reggie Bush did really good

    • smedrano0206

      So did Desean Jackson

  • FL

    Wow what a low-class cheap shot at Tim Tebow who isn’t even playing in the NFL right now! I mean could the article writer be any more arrogant and offensive? I don’t think so! What an ass!

  • Jeff Wilson

    Wow I can’t believe this stupid “article” keeps popping up with Troy’s picture even. He has proven his haters wrong this season. Anyone that spends any time watching pro ball knows this kind of list is stupid. No one will even put their name on it it’s so bad. GO back to your high school paper, idiots.

  • commonsense1

    Whoever wrote this should be beaten with a bag full of soap bars.

    System QB!!! Brady could make a bunch of stoned subway employees
    look like 10 yr nfl veterans . Any other QB in NFL history and they
    have 6 wins this year and no playoffs.

    He was ahead in his two Superbowl losses and crazy stuff happened
    that I completely get goes both ways

    They are 92-29 since Spygate – best record in NFL

    I don’t think it was Debbie Wong who wrote this but I will figure it out

    Worst internet list I have ever seen

  • commonsense1

    debbie wong must be eliminated

  • Spade

    Someting Wong! Troy at most over rated,Please. Cant even get a current pic of bush.
    The only one I would agree with is Kaepernick.
    This list cant be serious.

  • terpmaniac

    The writer is not only uninformed but clueless. Flacco got his money for 5 straight appearances in the playoffs, 5! The Superbowl win was based on the Ravens OFFENSE, NOT DEFENSE. Baltimore’s defense its Superbowl winning year was the worst it had been in almost a decade. It was the offense, and Joe Flacco’s arm that got them that trophy! Do some fu*king research.

  • Tova Feinman

    Brady will laugh at this guy all the way into the Hall of Fame. I am amused myself. I guess the best way to rile discussion is to state something really really absurd. I’m not riled, I’m laughing as are most students of the NFL. See you at the induction ceremony.

  • Usfus Dufus


  • ivdad

    BS from a sportsblogger that can’t use his real name. Just another wannabe sports star that spent his entire football career from youth sports on playing end, guard and tackle. Sits ant the end of the bench, guards the torade and tries to tackle anyone getting too close to the table.

  • patteeofurniture

    Troy is the best!

  • Alexander T. Syriac

    This dope calls Tom Brady “average” but Brett Favre “one of the greatest quarterbacks in history”?

    Oh yeah, Favre holds the record for the most career touchdowns.

    But he also holds the record for the most career interceptions.

    He holds the record for the most games with at least 5 TDs.

    But he also holds the record for the most games with at least 5 interceptions.

    On any given Sunday, Favre could be the best QB in the NFL, or the worst QB in the NFL.

    At the current pace, Brady will end his career with as many TDs as “one of the greatest quarterbacks in history”, but with 140 fewer interceptions. So, yeah, Tom, SOOOOOO overrated.

  • Michael Daly

    The claim about Tom Brady is ignorance at its worst. Where would Brady struggle in another “system?” Where has the offensive line done Brady any favors? Brady BUILDS rosters, this as opposed to guys like Peyton Manniing who merely go to the highest bidder and then fail in the playoffs.

    • Charlie Baker

      brady is obviously UNDERRATED but aside from that an interesting point is that in college the best he could do was backup to Drew Henson who eventually played pro baseball.

  • Me

    Troy Polamalu? Really? When quarterbacks play the Steelers, the first thing they are told by their coaches is, “Don’t throw near Troy!” I know journalists are taught to be objective but this isn’t journalism…It’s trolling!!!

  • CapitalistPig

    I;ll go along with a few of these but most of the older guys he cites are just—well, older guys. Antonio Gates didn’t look that good but only because he spoiled you most of his career. Nobody thinks he’s as good as he was–that doesn’t mean he can’t play. “Overrated” means a player isn’t as good as most fans think he is–& most people don’t think that about the older guys on the list. Who really thinks Jonathan Vilma is as good as was when he played for the Jets or even New Orleans?

  • CapitalistPig

    If the Patriots cut Brady he would be a starter for at least 25 NFL teams next year. That’s “overrated”? The guy is rock steady, almost never makes a bad decision & almost always delivers a catchable pass. In the NFL that’s hard to find.

  • Psych Ward

    Wow to think this moron found some place to put up his idiotic rant on who he likes and dislikes in the NFL…. Come on, some of the people on this list are constant pro bowlers!!! You cant claim to know anything about football and put 10 out of these 15 on a list of over rated players…. Seems obvious the writer is “BUTTHURT”

  • AJP

    horrible……… You have some of the people on your greatest of all time list a while back and your most overrated list? I guess overrated is a subjective term. According to this hack, you can be one of the best in the league, or best of all time and still be overrated.

  • Jack Raven

    You can’t call Joe Flacco overrated. He just won a SB a little over a year ago.

    • evilcircusmonkey

      yeah more ints than td this year lmao ,hes not overated lol

  • Robert Sanchez III

    Dude your list sucks. Over half these guys had like one bad season and you shit all over them. I hope you weren’t paid for this bullshit.

  • Rizzy

    You must be an intern

  • Skip

    Uh, Troy Polamalu? Film doesn’t lie; Suggest whoever makes/agrees with the list watch some tape. Better yet, ask the players he plays/played against. Obviously, these people have never worn a jockstrap before.

  • Skip

    Uh, Troy Polamalu? Film doesn’t lie. Watch some tape. Obviously, whoever agrees/made this list never wore a jockstrap. Ask the players he’s played with/against.

  • SuperV

    Brady, Suh, Kapernick, Mathews? Is this a joke…?! And now I see “The 10 dumbest players in the NFL” with Rothlisburger’s picture…… Super-bowl winner that is. This may be the most ignorant article of all-time. That’s the list of 10 we need to see, or rather why bother, here’s the winner!!!

  • Charles J Kelly

    Tom Brady Are you kidding??? Did you watch any film last year and see the receiving core he had, especially in the beginning of the year? According to your logic, the 17-0 Miami Dolphins would be overrated because of the system. Maybe you should write about something you are familiar with like picking your nose.

  • Clint Andreasen

    add this page to the list

  • evilcircusmonkey

    this list is a joke ,give back your laptop ,you should be banned from all media…. lmao

  • Norm DeSha

    Tebow won almost as many games for Denver as did Peyton Manning, who incidentally, played like a deer in the headlights in the Suprebowl.