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Rashad Jennings is the Giants' most underrated player -- ESPN

Rashad Jennings has been named the Giants' most underrated player, but did ESPN and Football Outsiders get it right?

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Every NFL team has that guy -- likely more than one. The player who shows up day in, day out, puts in his work and plays his heart out. But somehow these guys never seem to get the recognition they deserve or recognition for their play.

They are generally glossed over by the media at large and discounted by most casual fans, these players are often woefully underrated. In an effort to shine a light on good players who don't get enough attention or players who are well known but don't get credit for their play, ESPN teamed up with Football Outsiders to list the "Most underrated players on all 32 NFL teams" (Insider Content).

New York Giants - Rashad Jennings (RB)

Few consider Jennings a good No. 1 back, probably because he has never consistently garnered the touches or scoring chances to be anything more than the guy sitting at the end of your fantasy team's bench. But as a quasi-lead back in New York, Jennings has ranked in Football Outsiders' top 15 in both DYAR (total rushing value) and DVOA (value per carry) during each of the past two seasons. He also ranked in the top 10 for both stats in Oakland in 2013.

Raptor's Thoughts: I have a hard time arguing with their pick of Jennings. He isn't flashy, he isn't spectacular, and he doesn't produce many spectacular plays -- the Giants have Odell Beckham Jr. for that. He doesn't run with dominating power like Brandon Jacobs, nor does he break ankles like LeSean McCoy, leave scorch marks on the field like Chris Johnson, or defy physics like Barry Sanders.

But Jennings does so many things well. He's reliable in pass protection, he's a good receiver out the backfield, and a determined runner. Jennings might not be the home-run threat many want, or the box-score darling that fantasy football loves, but he's a good player who deserves more credit.

If I were going elsewhere, I think I might say Johnathan Hankins on the defense, or Weston Richburg on the offense. Hankins, when healthy and with some talent around him, is quietly one of the best run stuffing AND pass rushing defensive tackles in the league. Richburg has gotten credit for his play, but the Pro Bowl and All-Pro snub was arguably the best center in football in his first year at the position (in the NFL). If he can maintain, or build upon, his level of play, his IQ, toughness, and mobility should garner accolades soon enough.