Top 5 Underrated Rookies at Offensive Skill Positions
Later drafted NFL players aren't just names to fill the roster. Look at Tom Brady, he was the most underrated quarterback of his draft class. Many of these drafted players just get bad raps. There is a lot of hidden and underrated talent especially because this was such a deep draft. But today, I am going to look at who I believe are the 5 most underrated offensive rookies.
Quarterback: Jacob Eason
While there has not been much said about Jacob Eason, he is still a great prospect to be trained for the future of the Colts. The Colts went out and signed my quarterback, Philip Rivers. Many were skeptical of this move because they say he has no gas left in the tank after 23:20 touchdown to interception ratio this past season. So, the Colts go on to draft Eason, a big framed man out of Washington University. Eason has a lot in common with the elder Philip Rivers. He is the perfect size for a quarterback, as is Rivers. Eason has accuracy and decision making problems right now, but that is something that can be fixed if taught correctly. Jacob also offers just enough of the limited mobility needed to extend a play, but not the ability to make that a star trait. All in all, Rivers and Eason could be one of the greatest quarterback mentor and apprentice duos of all time in my opinion.
Running Back: Zack Moss
Zack Moss is the first relative of an NFL player on this list. Zack, who is the cousin of Santana and Sinorice Moss, is the most underrated running back heading into the season even though he was drafted high. Moss has many desirable traits and is a powerful runner. He will compete in the Bills roster for playing time and has the potential to be a three-down, bell-cow running back. Some of his impressive traits are his ability, strength, and footwork. One professional draft profiler describes him as "...nothing to write home about..." I argue against that. He is so big and strong that he breaks multiple tackles on his runs. He has great agility when it comes to his change in direction on runs. He has proven he can handle a large workload in college. In his senior season alone he attempted 235 carries for 1,416 yards. That averages out 6 yards a carry and the season before he averaged 6.1 yards carry. He will be very useful on the goal line or in any situation he has to push a pile. His main weakness is that he lacks speed. He has to have open space to accelerate instead of being able to just take off the line instantly. But give him two or so seasons and I bet he will pop off and disprove the critics.
Wide Receiver: Jauan Jennings
Many people are sleeping on Jauan Jennings because of his forty yard dash time (4.72). But Jennings has a skill set that can be seen as complementary to the receivers of this deep class. Jennings has insane hands and strength. Anyone that watched him in college knows that, especially Georgia fans. Does three seconds in the fourth quarter and Hail Mary ring a bell? If I were a scout there are still some glaring flaws within Jennings's skills. He lacks a burst off the line. His slower speed means he doesn't create space on routes, which is desired of the modern receiver like Tyreek Hill. Any plays made by Jennings are going to be amazing contested catches. That is his best trait. The 49ers drafted someone that Garoppolo will need to trust to win the ball by outmuscling defensive backs. It should give him a reliable in clutch situations, but it all depends on how much chemistry is made between the two for us to see playing time for him.
Tight End: Thaddeus Moss
It honestly feels hard to pick an underrated tight end when the class itself was just below average. I believe it was slightly better than last year's class, and there are some interesting prospects, but not ones we will see be explosive stars soon. With that being said, the most underrated tight end is Thaddeus Moss. I know it is weird to say that the son of the great Randy Moss is underrated, but it is true once you take out his injury concerns. The Washington Football Team really got a tight end with lots of potential for probably a good deal once he is signed. Moss's strengths are his blocking and contested-catch abilities. His blocking is so polished that he will earn early snaps on the Washington roster. While he has a footing issue, injury history, and is only a threat on stick routes, his size allows him to bully many defenders, which makes him great at contested catching. His biggest things to work on come from his deeper pass-catching techniques. He needs to learn how to create space between himself and defensive backs, especially since he lacks impressive speed and foot techniques. Overall, he really only has one red flag, which was his 2018 foot injury. Other than that, Moss will be an interesting fixer upper at the Washington tight end spot, and I could see him really impressing around his fourth year in.
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