Underrated: Calvin Pryor
Pryor came out of Louisville in 2014 and it took him a little bit of time to operate under Rex Ryan’s defense at the time—it was a lot of checks, a lot of calls, a lot of different shifts when the offense moved. But in his second year he showed up and was a positive piece for them. Now he’s being counted on as a leader, and has the ability to communicate all the different calls of a now Todd Bowles-led defense. He has really given that defense—which already has a lot of strength down the middle—some backbone in the secondary. He can really execute that defense, the blitzes and coverage and all the different types of things. For the casual fan sitting at home watching the game, it’s hard to measure the impact of a safety. They don’t realize the safety anticipated the deep route, got the QB to hold it in the pocket, and that in turn enabled a defensive end to get a sack. These are the things you see Calvin Pryor do when you sit there and study the tape. He is the glue of that defense.
Overrated: Nick Mangold
He’s been to the Pro Bowl for however many years now, and at one time he was, if not the league’s best center, then certainly among the top two or three. But hey, in our game Father Time is undefeated. He’s in his 30’s now and not quite the dominant player that he was. He is still a positive piece and can contribute, but he is no longer the best center in the league.