Underrated: Gary Barnidge
Barnidge broke out last year, and had a hell of a season that nobody expected. His soft hands make him a very natural catcher of the football. Tight ends are not uniquely fast, but he can make catches when there’s a lot of clutter around him. In the middle of the field, with linebackers grabbing on him and safeties pulling on him, he figures out a way to whip his head around, find the quarterback, track the football, and reel it in. The other area of his game is running after the catch—he’ll turn upfield and won’t go down without a fight.
Overrated: Joe Thomas
He has been a really good player for a really long time, but the common opinion is that he is the best left tackle in football, and that’s not the case. He was at one time, but that honor now goes to Tyron Smith in Dallas. Thomas is still a great player, but there are a bunch of guys who are tougher matchups for the top edge rushers in this league.