The Top 100 Players of 2018 list is finally done and now we can move onto other meaningless lists that make us angry. If Detroit Lions fans aren’t upset about the disrespect towards Lions players, it’s that other players are getting undeserved credit instead.
Media and fans alike love to overrate players based on a small sample size. If a player has a good year and five bad years, it doesn’t matter, as long as that good year happened last year. Too often we predict based on last year’s performance, which actually tends to be a pretty poor indicator of a player’s success. Down years happen all the time due to supporting cast, injuries or other mitigating factors. On the other hand, sometimes it all just comes together and a player that isn’t that good outperforms his skillset.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Who is the most overrated player in the NFL right now?
My answer: It has to be 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The man has started seven career games (five last year), and he’s already being annointed as a top 10 quarterback.
Don’t get me wrong, Garoppolo was great last year. The stats he had last season (67 percent completion rate, 96.2 passer rating) were absolutely earned and emblematic of his quality of play last season.
But that is way too small of a sample size to make any determinations on his long-term talent. Now that he’s finally had some playing time, his tape is out there and defenses may adjust. Or it may turn out Garoppolo was just on a hot streak towards the end of the 2017 season.
You don’t even have to leave San Francisco to find an example of an overhyped quarterback that never lived up to lofty expectations. For all of the other things surrounding Colin Kaepernick, he was being called a top five quarterback after nearly taking the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012. He finished that year with a 62.4 completion percentage and a 98.3 passer rating in a total of seven starts.
He never reached those benchmarks again in his career. You can argue whether Kaepernick still belongs in this league or not—or if he’s getting blackballed—but there’s no doubt he never lived up to expectations, and I think the same will eventually be said of Garoppolo.