Underrated: Marcus Peters
It is unusual to call a guy who led the league in interceptions as a rookie and was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year underrated, but it just doesn’t seem like his talent is appreciated as much as what it should be on a national scale. Marcus is amongst the best cornerbacks in the league. You have your Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis—that’s rare air—and then when you go down a notch and start talking about Richard Sherman and Josh Norman, Marcus Peters is right there in that bunch. He should be mentioned there, but he’s not. Over time he will prove to be one of the upper-echelon lockdown corners in the NFL. They say most cornerbacks are playing corner and not receiver because they can’t catch. Not the case here. This guy makes the most out of his opportunities to not only disrupt the ball, but to catch it and get it back to the offense, and that is a rare commodity. It’s hard to find a cornerback who will catch the football when the opportunity comes his way.
Overrated: Alex Smith
Quarterbacks always get too much praise when things go right and too much blame when they don’t go right. Alex Smith is a game manager. He’s going to take care of the football. He’s going to deliver the ball when there are opportunities to do so. But he is downright cautious with the ball, and will leave some meat on the bone, as Joseph Randle would say, in terms of some of the plays that could be made down the field. If they had a better quarterback, they would be the class of the division. It’s almost like he is holding them back more than he is helping them. They really have a quality roster, good running backs and a really high quality defense. Alex gets a bunch of credit for winning with the 49ers and also here, but is he really the one who is responsible for that?