A list of performers operating league-wide under the radar was recently released by Bleacher Report and they named wide receiver Anthony Miller as their top choice on the Bears.
Miller is a fine choice as a possible breakthrough type, but if he is underrated it's because no one has looked hard enough. With 52 receptions last year after making 30 as a rookie, he's already made the big leap and shouldn't be underrated anywhere. He has nine touchdown catches, the fourth most of any wide receiver drafted in 2018.
The real Bear operating under the radar is the same guy it has been ever since 2015, Eddie Goldman. He operates where there is no radar.
Of course the nose tackle is underrated. They all are. It's like calling the garbage man underrated. If no one picks it up, there's going to be an awful big stench affecting everyone.
But Goldman really is underrated and always has been. When a player of Goldman's stature and ability never has been in a Pro Bowl, it's a sign of how meaningless that annual "all-star" game really is.
Chuck Pagano's description of Goldman late last year was appropriately understated.
"As you (media) guys know you know Eddie's a man of few words and he's just one pf those guys that comes in and does his job," Pagano said. "It's a tough job.
"You know when you sit inside and you play the interior defensive line whether you're an end in our system or a nose like Eddie, in our system, down after down after down whether it's a single block or double block, you know you get double teams, you've got 350, up to 700 pounds weighing on you down after down after down. But Eddie does a great job, he comes to work every single day."
Goldman did attain Pro Bowl alternate status last year. He's been right there beside Akiem Hicks through the defensive line's rise, starting a year before Hicks came to Chicago.
Before Goldman, during the two years Mel Tucker was defensive coordinator the Bears suffered one defensive line cave in after another. Goldman helped stop this with stout two-technique play, holding up blockers to help others while even occasionally making plays himself.
Making 153 tackles and 12 1/2 sacks with 20 quarterback hits in five seasons are good numbers for a player whose main duty is simply occupying as many blockers as possible and driving back the pocket.
It's still difficult to take numbers and assign them to what Goldman has done. The Bears' team rushing defensive totals are nice indicators, first in 2018 and ninth last year when Hicks wasn't around to help.
Pro Football Focus' grading system for players can be off on some positions because they can't know what a scheme always demands of a player. At nose tackle it's pretty self-explanatory in a two-gap system like the Bears operate.
And Goldman's grades here have always been exemplary. The only so-so year he had was 2017 at 65.2, when the Bears fired John Fox. Goldman has been in the 70s or higher every year outside of that one, including a ridiculous 88.6 grade in 2018.
Goldman doesn't quietly go about his business. He's like a church mouse. Last year he never addressed media members until after the Pro Bowl vote, and even then just a few reporters who kind of took him by surprise.
"You know he's big and he's strong and he's talented and all that stuff and again he doesn't say much but you don't see stat-wise—it isn't always going to show up for those guys," Pagano said.
It's the very definition of underrated.