NFL’s 5 Brightest Futures (TEAMS)

 

 

1. Indianapolis Colts – With a Franchise QB in Andrew Luck and basically an offense that really hasn’t missed a beat since Peyton Manning left for the Denver Broncos.

Brightest Players– T.Y. Hilton a complete steal in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft. Small in size, big in plays. Colby Fleener Luck’s college teammate is going to be a very affective TE in this offense. DeWayne Allen maybe an even better TE than Fleener. Colts TE situation is set for some time. On defense the Colts have some nice pieces as well. Vontae Davis was a big upgrade at cornerback. Bjoern Werner is expected to be a quality DE. Veterans Cory Redding and Robert Mathis really fill out the defense nice.

The Biggest Questions– Was last year’s playoff team a product of emotion for coach Chuck Pagano who was fighting cancer? How much of last year’s success was because of Bruce Arians? Will all the free agent additions really improve the team?

 

2. Washington Redskins – Vastly improved team that has a lot of good to very good young core of players.

Brightest PlayersRobert Griffin III showed last season how dynamic he can be. RG3 has a very good arm which because of his elite running speed is often overlooked. Alfred Morris burst onto the scene last year and really tore it up running for 1,613 yards as a rookie. Fred Davis, Pierre Garcon, and Leonard Hankerson all are productive players. All Pro left Tackle Trent Williams is very underrated and is very athletic for his position. Kirk Cousins adds a great dimension to this  team. A backup quarterback who could probably start for at least 10 teams right now. On defense they got younger in their secondary in the draft this year and have the always reliable Fletcher London holding down the middle of that defense.

The Biggest Questions– Can RG3 comeback and be the same player he was? Will Pierre Garcon be healthy? How much longer can Santana Moss be a productive player still? Can Mike Shanahan show the ability to replace Griffin if he isn’t healthy?

 

 

3. Detroit Lions– While last season was a massive step back from their 2011 playoff appearance this team still has all the talent it needs to be good for a long time.

Brightest Players– Calvin Johnson. Without a doubt the best wide receiver in the game, dominant. Matthew Stafford. Stafford’s critics came out in full force last season about his mechanics and every other thing but the truth of the matter is he had no running game and was throwing to receivers by the names of Kris Durham, Brian Robiske, Stefan Logan, ect. Nick Fairley, Ndamukong Suh, Reggie Bush, and Ezekiel Ansah are all players who should be around to make this team good for some time.

The Biggest Questions– Which Matthew Stafford will we see the 2011 or 2012 version? Is Jim Schwartz really the man to lead this team? Will Reggie Bush be the X-factor the Lions believe he will be? Is Ezekiel Ansah the real deal or a workout wonder? Can Nick Fairley play a full season?

 

4. New York Giants– While they failed to make the post season last year. This team is built for winning and winning long term. Playing in the NFC East is always a hard thing with all the teams in the division pretty even but the Giants experience and Head Coach set them apart from the rest of the division.

Brightest Players- Eli Manning guy just keeps getting better and has an uncanny ability to bond with his receivers pretty fast. Resigning Victor Cruz was a big deal and now they can turn their focus to Hakeem Nicks and get him locked up. With David Wilson, Stevie Brown, Jason Pierre Paul, Justin Tuck are all very key to this team.

The Biggest Questions- Is David Wilson ready to be the premiere running back? Can they get into the playoffs? That’s really their only question. Once this team gets in, they get rolling until their Champions.

5. Seattle Seahawks- While some may argue they didn’t belong after the interception that was called a touchdown. They made the playoffs and showed they belonged in them. This team is young and fun to watch. The future of the Seahawks is at it’s brightest it has ever been. Even the Super Bowl team of 2004 wasn’t as talented as this squad,

Brightest PlayersRussell Wilson is just a winner, from his days at Wisconsin all he does is win. Russell Okung, Percy Harvin, Marshawn Lynch. The defense is like an All Star team the brightest guys here are Bruce Irvin and Earl Thomas are the 2 players that stick out the most to me. Thomas is a special player at his safety position.

The Biggest Questions- Will Russell Wilson take a step back? Can this defense play up to its numbers on paper? Will Percy Harvin be a distraction or a key player?

Honorable Mentions- Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals

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2013 NFL All Underrated Team-NFC

Arizona Cardinals- While Darnell Dockett gets all the press, Calais Campbell is most definitely the underrated player of this team.

Atlanta Falcons- While the offense gets all the attention and the defense has names like Osi Umenyiora and Asante Samuel, William Moore is the guy who is the difference maker.

Carolina Panthers-  Jonathan Stewart while he and DeAngelo Williams splits reps and basically are about equal in talent and production, Stewart gives them a great two back backfield.

Chicago Bears- Amongst NFL fans this guy is known but he should be known much more. Charles Tillman is the best player and has been on the Bears for years. His ability to play coverage and the run is at a rare level. His ability to force fumbles is incredibly underrated by mainstream fans.

Dallas Cowboys- This was a hard one because they have young up and coming guys but they’re coming off injuries and you never know the value of a guy until he plays again. That said, Dwayne Harris is an underrated kid. Solid in both kick and punt returns and on coverage. Not to mention he is a good 3rd or 4th WR.

Detroit Lions- Without a shadow of a doubt Detroit’s most underrated player is Cornerback Chris Houston. Houston has been a very good player since his arrival to Detroit and deserves more recognition around the league.

Green Bay Packers– Among all the weapons in Green Bay’s arsenal the most underrated and undervalued player by far is John Kuhn. He plays a dying position, fullback, and is very versatile. Blocks well, catches and runs at critical times for first downs and has had his share of TD’s as well.

Minnesota Vikings- With Jared Allen on one end, on the other is Minnesota’s most underrated player. Brian Robison in the past two seasons Robison has 16 and a half sacks and 6 forced fumbles. Very much the benefits from Allen and Kevin Williams on that line.

New York Giants- Many good candidates on this team but the one who stands out to me is Safety  Stevie Brown. He has really stepped up and filled a hole in the back-end of that defense.

New Orleans Saints- Drew Brees and Darren Sproles get all the publicity but the underrated player on this team is Pierre Thomas. Thomas has been so good that he has made Mark Ingram virtually expendable.

Philadelphia Eagles- While the offensive line gets a lot of heat one guy stands out. Todd Herremans he has played every position except Center and while he’s not a great player that kind of versatility has helped Philadelphia immensely with all the injuries along that line in recent years.

San Francisco 49ers- While Colin Kaepernick and the defense get most of the credit and press coverage the glue and fiber of this team is Vernon Davis. Yes the same guy who was told to leave the field, game in progress, by former Head Coach Mike Singletary. Not only has he grown up as a player but he puts the team first even if that means sacrifice in his own statistics.

Seattle Seahawks- By far the most underrated player on this team is Red Bryant. He plays a 2 gap technique and can play both Defensive End and Defensive Tackle. He has been the rock of their defense and allows the rushers and coverage players to make plays.

St. Louis Rams- Without question this was the hardest team to find an underrated player on. They either have good established guys like Courtland Finnegan, Chris Long, or a bunch of bad players but I did find one guy who was very good for them last year and helped them win games. Kicker Greg Zuerlein. The kid had a league best 13 fields goals past 50 yards in his rookie campaign. While his overall field goal percentage wasn’t spectacular it was not bad either. I think, they found themselves a nice contributor for years to come.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers– Not a lot to work with on this roster either but Mason Foster seems to be the best candidate for the Bucs. A solid tackler and hard worker this 3rd round pick in 2011, has earned the starting spot at middle linebacker and now we’ll see if he is the player most draftniks thought coming out of the University of Washington.

Washington Redskins- Quick, who was the best rookie running back last year? Alfred Morris that’s who. Once again Mike Shanahan found himself a stud running back at the bottom of the draft in 2012. Morris never had a fair shot at Rookie of the Year with Luck, Wilson and RGIII but he was by far the most consistent and best player for the Redskins last season. RGIII got the media coverage, Morris stole the show.

I’ll be posting my AFC All Underrated Team soon.

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