Sometimes in the NFL, players are overrated and considered to be among the best at their respective positions in all of football. Though it’s not always a fault of their own, fans and others consider them to be better than the numbers would suggest. These are the most overrated offensive players in the NFL entering the 2016 season.
Matt Kalil, OT, Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil is entering a pivotal season for his future with the Vikings. He hasn’t been the same player that he was as a rookie after being taken fourth overall in 2012 and has been particularly bad the past two seasons. He remains the Vikings’ starting left tackle despite struggling mightily in recent years. He also has the largest cap hit of any left tackle in the league for 2016, costing Minnesota $11.1 million against the cap. If Kalil wants a lucrative extension in Minnesota or with another team, he’ll need to improve greatly this season. Until then, he’s overpaid and overrated.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
When the 49ers passed on re-signing Frank Gore, San Francisco figured it was in good hands with Carlos Hyde. The younger, more dynamic back was expected to thrive in Gore’s spot as the No. 1 back, but he did anything but that in 2015. Hyde played just seven games due to injury, but he was disappointing in the ones he did start. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry and fumbled it once with his longest run being a measly 22 yards. Hyde’s expectations are still relatively high because of his potential, but he desperately needs to prove he’s a true No. 1 back in the NFL.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
The Packers were forced to play the 2015 season without Jordy Nelson after he tore up his knee in the preseason. Randall Cobb was immediately promoted to the No. 1 wide receiver role where he was expected to prove he can be a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers. Cobb struggled in his elevated role, posting the lowest yards per reception output of his career with just 829 yards on 79 catches. More notably, he dealt with drop issues, as did most of the Packers’ receivers. His 1,287-yard season in 2014 now looks like a bit of an outlier in his career as he has never had another year with more than 1,000 yards. Cobb is a valuable player, he just isn’t as great as most perceive him to be.
Getty ImagesJoe Robbins
Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Prior to 2015, Jeremy Hill was expected to be a breakout candidate after rushing for 1,124 yards on just 222 attempts. He followed that up last season by averaging 3.6 yards per carry with 794 yards on the ground on one more attempt than he had in 2014. Hill didn’t look like the same player last season, particularly lacking speed and quickness. He was expected to be a top-10 running back in 2015, but fell far short. In fact, Giovani Bernard was actually the better back on the Bengals, making a bigger impact in both the run game and passing game.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsAaron Doster
Tavon Austin, WR, Los Angeles Rams
When Tavon Austin was drafted eighth overall by the Rams, he was expected to be a Percy Harvin-type player with the ability to impact the game through the air, on the ground and on returns. He’s been a nice piece for the Rams thus far, but his production has been lacking by every standard. He set career highs in receptions (52), yards (473) and rushing yards (434) in 2015, but even those numbers aren’t significantly great. Sure, he hasn't played with the best quarterback situation, but he disappears from games and doesn’t make a large enough impact consistently. Austin is a fun player to watch but he’s a bit overrated.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsJasen Vinlove
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Justin Forsett burst onto the scene in 2014 when he rushed for 1,266 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. He followed that up with a disappointing season that was cut short due to injury in 2015, rushing for 641 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games. Forsett deserved all of the praise he received following his 2014 season, reviving his career in Baltimore, but he isn’t one of the best running backs in the league. If he can stay healthy in 2016, perhaps he can post another 1,000-yard season, but he won’t return to the form he showed two years ago.
Getty ImagesPatrick Smith
Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Playing alongside Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd is a perennial “breakout candidate.” However, he’s had one 1,000-yard season and has never caught more than 65 passes in a season. Floyd has an elite combination of size and speed but he can’t seem to put it all together over the course of a 16-game season despite being healthy for all but one game in four seasons. Floyd gets a lot of attention for his potential and for being the second option to Fitzgerald, but he’s far from the best No. 2 guy in the league.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
The constant ongoing debate in the NFL is whether or not Joe Flacco is elite. It started after he won his first Super Bowl in 2012 -- a postseason in which he threw 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. In his other 11 postseason games, he’s thrown 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, which is mediocre. Of course, the Ravens are a completely different team without him under center, but he’s not a top-10 quarterback despite having a ring. Too often we rate quarterbacks based on Super Bowls, which Flacco is the beneficiary of. But his numbers aren’t eye-popping, as evidenced by his 19-touchdown, 22-interception season in 2013.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
There’s no question T.Y. Hilton is a good wide receiver. He’s posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with at least five touchdowns in each of his four years in the league. He’s just not among the best wideouts, which is how he’s consistently referred to. His best season came in 2014 when he caught 82 passes for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns. Obviously those are solid numbers, but they don't make him a top-10 receiver. He’s a big-play receiver with the ability to score from anywhere, but he isn’t a true No. 1 receiver who can take over a game.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
DeMarco Murray was outstanding in 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys. There’s no way around that. He was the exact opposite last season for the Philadelphia Eagles after taking more money to leave a perfect situation in Dallas. In 15 games with the Eagles, he rushed for 702 yards and a career-low 3.6 yards per carry. His fumbling issues went by the wayside a bit, but his production was lacking in the Eagles’ shotgun-heavy offense. Perhaps he’ll improve in the Titans’ more traditional scheme which fits his downhill, one-cut running style better, but he’s approaching 30 years old and didn’t have his 2014 explosiveness last season.