As far as team units go, fantasy football has allowed us more insight into the NFL offense. That being said, it makes it easier to underrate defenses as a unit. When you factor in current rules and policies, it’s harder to stand out playing defense. That doesn’t mean, like the offense, we don’t overrate and underrate players all the time.
Here’s part 2 of my “rating” series: The Tennessee Titans most overrated/underrated player on defense.
If you haven’t seen part 1, covering the most underrated and overrated player on the Titans offense, check it out.
The fact that Alterraun Verner went to the Pro Bowl last season and Jurrell Casey did not is stone cold proof that one of the AFC’s elite defensive tackles is underrated. Casey had 10.5 sacks in 2013 – second among defensive tackles in the NFL.
He generates pressure, he eats up double teams – he is pound-for-pound one of the best defensive linemen in the game. He was voted second-team All-Pro in 2013, so you know the national media loves him, right? How can he be overrated?
It’s easy – the fans don’t really buzz about Casey. Maybe that’s a result of fans not typically buzzing about defensive tackles to begin with, but he deserves the credit of the Average Joe! He deserves to have people talking about his games on Monday mornings, and maybe this is a sore subject for Nashvillians, but he deserves the national media to ask:
“How popular would this guy be in a larger market?”
Ouch – but true! A season like or better than 2013 might just do the trick for Casey.
The reason I had to include Jason McCourty in this category is because he’s underrated by his own fans. We all know how good Jurrell Casey is, but I don’t think the average Titans fan truly appreciates the job that the former Scarlet Knight from Rutgers does.
He is forced with the task of matching up against the opponent’s number one receiver week in and week out. While he’s not flashy or feisty, he keeps big plays from developing on his side of the field.
His work is definitely worthy of being talked up a bit.
OVERRATED: Moise Fokou
Easy – What had Moise Fokou done to warrant being on the field ahead of Colin McCarthy as much as he was last season?
He recorded 78 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 forced fumbles in 2013. Yet, that was enough to keep him cemented as a starter?
I can hear it now, “Just do what you can and you’ll put the starting job on lockdown.”
7 different Titans had more sacks than he did. He was 4th on the team in tackles (behind both starting safeties mind you). The real kicker is that Fokou’s production wasn’t that far ahead of McCarthy’s, and he saw a much more limited role!
Let’s just say there’s a reason Wesley Woodyard and Shaun Phillips were brought to Nashville, and there’s a reason Avery Williamson was drafted this past April. This team needs linebacker help, and putting Moise Fokou further down the depth chart may just prove to be addition by subtraction.