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PFF Picks Every Team’s Most Underrated Player

Pro Football Focus highlights Marcedes Lewis, who is the oldest tight end in the NFL but an invaluable contributor.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers boast a star-studded roster.

They’ve got a four-time MVP quarterback, tremendous tandems at running back and outside linebacker, and current/former All-Pros/Pro Bowlers on the offensive line, defensive line and cornerback.

Looking beyond the big names, Pro Football Focus selected every team’s most underrated player. For Green Bay, that’s tight end Marcedes Lewis.

“The grand old man of the tight end position in the NFL, Lewis will be 38 this season,” PFF’s Sam Monson wrote. “Though he was a former first-round pick, he has developed into a blocking specialist during his career. He did flash the ability to still make some plays as a receiver last year. It didn’t happen often, but Lewis ended the season with the most yards per route run he has recorded since 2016. As a second tight end, he is more than capable of contributing when teams aren’t fully accounting for a player they consider to be just part of the protection or blocking scheme.”

Lewis turned 38 on Thursday. He was the oldest tight end in the NFL last season – Darren Fells and Jimmy Graham were 35 – and was the only tight end older than 31 to play in every game. Moreover, he owns the longest starts streak in the NFL among tight ends – regardless of age – at 29 games and counting.

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With Robert Tonyan missing the second half of last season with a torn ACL, “Big Dog” became top dog at the position last season. He generally delivered, too. Lewis caught 23-of-28 passes (82.1 percent) for 214 yards (9.3 average). While he did not score any touchdowns, his catch percentage was the highest of his career and his catch count was his second-highest since 2013.

According to PFF, of the 53 tight ends who were targeted at least 25 times, Lewis ranked third in catch percentage and eighth in yards after the catch per catch (6.5). This will be the most amazing stat you’ll see this week: Lewis forced nine missed tackles – as many as Baltimore’s Mark Andrews, who caught 107 passes, and more than Arizona’s Zach Ertz (74 catches), Miami’s Mike Gesicki (73) and six others who caught 60-plus passes.

The only knock on Lewis was his killer fumble in the playoff loss to San Francisco, which permanently turned the momentum.

Lewis will have a key role again as a blocker, underrated receiver and leader for new tight ends coach John Dunn, who replaced new Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Justin Outten.

“It’s hard to replace experience, right?” Dunn said recently. "Phenomenal guy, obviously. The experience, the leadership, I mean, it just oozes out of him. It’s hard not to go by him and just feel his energy, feel his presence. So, a guy that’s played that much football, who has that much experience — one, for himself, when he’s on the field, but the other part is to pass that along to the other guys, and he does a great job of that. Obviously, we’re extremely glad we’ve got him. Great guy, great player, love his experience.”

Click here for the full story, which includes two ex-Packers defensive backs and a former Wisconsin linebacker.