Which member of the New York Giants is the most overrated? How about the most underrated? Pete Prisco of CBS Sports recently weighed in with his opinions those questions, naming defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka the most overrated Giant and cornerback Prince Amukamara the most underrated.
Overrated: DE Mathias Kiwanuka -- He had seven sacks, but he had far too many games where he didn't do enough. He's a former first-round pick who should be putting up better numbers.
Underrated: CB Prince Amukamara -- He was one of the few bright spots during a disappointing season for the Giants. Now he has to show he can do it again.
I can't agree with Prisco about Kiwanuka. Yes, he is a former first-round pick and he should be playing better than he has the past couple of years. Who, though, is rating Kiwanuka highly enough to consider him overrated? His career high in quarterbacks sacks is eight and he has never been a dominant player. A good one, yes, but not dominant. There is a difference between under-performing, which Kiwanuka did by compiling a -31.5 Pro Football Focus score in 2013, and being overrated. I don't think you can look at Kiwanuka and say he is overrated. No one is looking for him to be more than an adequate player at this point.
So, who is the most overrated Giant? Until he once again plays up to the 2011 form that earned him an All-Pro nomination and a reputation as one of the league's most feared pass rushers I have to take Jason Pierre-Paul. How about you?
As for underrated, I find myself also disagreeing with Prisco's choice of Amukamara. Yes, Amukamara's growth in 2013 was a bright spot for the Giants. I believe most NFL observers see Amukamara for what he is at this point in his career -- a guy who has developed into a good, but not great, player and still has a chance to get better. To be underrated, you have to be better than people think you are. I don't think anyone believes Amukamara should have been a Pro Bowl player last season, or that he is one of the best corners in the league. He could certainly become one, but he isn't there yet. If Amukamara steps up in class and doesn't get the recognition, then you can call him underrated. Right now, I don't believe that label applies.
So, who is the most underrated Giant? This one is difficult, especially since there are so many new faces on the roster heading into 2014. In the end I think my choice is a guy who is underrated even by the Giants themselves -- linebacker Spencer Paysinger. When I compare Paysinger to Jacquian Williams, I believe Paysinger is the better player. Not the better athlete, but the better player. He has enough athleticism, makes the plays he is supposed to make and does not blow assignments. Williams can cover, but has never proven capable of playing the run. He also tends to blwo more assignments, creating big-play opportunities. Finally, Paysinger is a guy capable of handling leadership -- which he did last season when forced to call the defensive signals for several weeks until the arrival of Jon Beason.Your thoughts, Giants fans?