2011 Packers Yearbook: Most Underrated Player
(Be sure to place your vote in the poll below.)
Adam: Scott Wells. I think readers of this site understand how good Wells was last season, but I doubt the average fan sees it. Yeah, he’s not the greatest run blocker, but he’s superb in pass protection and excels as the quarterback of the offensive line.
Al: Brad Jones. Jones is not Mr. Dynamic. He’s not going to give you a huge pass rush boost from ROLB, but of all the knuckleheads the Packers trotted out at that position last season, he is easily the most consistent and reliable. He became a forgotten man last year, as the Packers tried desperately to catch pass rush lightning in a bottle with Walden, Zombo, Latttimore and So ‘oto, but in the end, they came back to Jones as the Packers realized what they had given up. Now the Packers’ coaches are talking up Jones as an important player for next season
Chad: Though not a superstar player, I contend that Jarrett Bush is the most underrated player on the team (at least to fans). True, he has some issues with man-to-man coverage and finding the ball as a defensive back, but his contributions on special teams has gone largely unacknowledged. Bush is set to become a free agent this year, and if he leaves, there is a serious question about who will be able to take over the gunner spot. He was always quick to the punt returner and the ball, forcing a number of downs and fair catches.
Kris: I’m going to combine underrated with underappreciated here and say Tim Masthay. Punters never get the credit they deserve and after an insane search by Mike McCarthy to find a punter that lasted from the time he got here in 2006 until 2010, the Packers finally have their guy. Masthay has almost singlehandedly neutered Devin Hester especially with the Packers punt coverage being famously suspect. Masthay is one of the best in the game and here’s hoping he gets his due in 2012.
Michael: I agree with Adam and think that it is Scott Wells. With his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2011, Wells was rewarded for his contributions to the Packers offense, but many seem to have no issue with Wells leaving via free agency. I completely understand not wanting to over-pay for Wells, and would agree with that notion, but I think the Packers would be better off with Wells back under center.
Thomas: Underrated equals offensive line in my books, so I’ll go with T.J. Lang. Does anyone else remember Daryn Colledge? That guy was inconsistent at best but when he was beat, he got beat really bad. I felt Lang had a fantastic season; he started every game, didn’t commit a lot of penalties (except for a lot of false starts during the beginning of the season, which I think he gets a pass for needing time to get settled) and overall didn’t garner much attention. And for a offensive linemen, that mean’s you’re doing something right, I mean look how many times Colledge’s name came up in the comments while he was a Packer.
Zach: Cullen Jenkins? All jokes aside, I’ll go with center Scott Wells–a player who could have a similar-type impact next season if he leaves free agency. He’s been rock-solid for two straight seasons and makes all the offensive line calls. If Wells finds more money on the open market, he’ll leave a gaping hole on the Packers’ offensive line.
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.