Most Underrated Players:
3. TE Dwayne Allen
Dwayne Allen was selected by Indy in the 2012 Draft, after winning the John Mackey Award at Clemson.
Although a Mackey Award winner should be shown respect, Allen seemingly wasn't when draft time came around.
Indy elected to draft Stanford TE Colby Fleener before Allen, although this move may have only been made in order to help Andrew Luck feel more comfortable.
During the 2012 NFL season, Allen outshined a sometimes injured Fleener, catching 45 passes for 521 yards (11.6 ypr) and 3 TDs.
Fleener, on the other hand, caught only 26 passes for 281 yards (10.8 ypr) and 2 TDs. A lot of people around the league would rank Fleener ahead of Allen, but those people clearly didn't watch Indy play in 2012.
2. LB Jerrell Freeman
Do you know who Jerrell Freeman is? Probably not, but the name is becoming more and more popular among Colts fans. LB Jerrell Freeman, on a defense with names like Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, and Antoine Bethea, led Indy in solo tackles (90) and total combined tackles (145). Freeman ranked 5th in the NFL in combined tackles in 2012.
1. WR T.Y. Hilton
This guy has been underrated since day one. Hilton attended Florida International University, where he shined at a place not known for football. He was drafted in the 3rd round by Indy in 2012, and was not considered an elite receiver by many.
Hilton caught 50 passes for 861 yards in 2012. His 17.2 yards per reception ranked 1st among rookie WRs and 5th in the NFL. His 7 receiving TDs led all Colts receivers, including Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne. Hilton also had a 75-yard punt return that resulted in a TD.
Most overrated players:
3. TE Colby Fleener
I previously mentioned TE Colby Fleener when I was writing about Dwayne Allen. Colby Fleener was the 1st pick in the 2nd round of the 2012 Draft, ahead of Allen. Where Allen is the underrated TE, Fleener is the overrated TE. I hate to say that a player is overrated when he's only played one season, but Fleener definitely didn't meet expectations.
His previously mentioned stats were basically half of Dwayne Allen's, and Fleener found himself on the sideline, where he sat while he was injured. Maybe Fleener can turn things around in 2013, but based on last season's performance, he is overrated.
2. RB Donald Brown
Donald Brown was Indy's 1st round selection in 2009. In the years following, he has failed to meet expectations. Brown has had his moments, but he has never proven himself as a solid NFL starting RB.
Before the recent acquisition of Ahmad Bradshaw, Brown was the best-known RB for the Colts on the roster, even though he didn't perform well in 2012.
Rookie RB Vick Ballard stole the starting job from Brown in 2012. Ballard had 211 rushing attemps for 814 yards (3.9 ypa) and 2 TDs. Brown had 108 attemps for 417 yards (3.9 ypc) and 1 TD. Even 3rd-string RB Delone Carter had more TDs than Brown (5).
1. K Adam Vinatieri
Adam Vinatieri is considered a hero in New England, however, I think he is far removed from his days as a last-second, Super Bowl winning kicker.
He's a decent kicker now, but I think people still consider him one of the best in the NFL and that's just not the case anymore.
In 2012, Vinatieri made only 4-7 FGs between 30-39 yards. Those are not the statistics of an "elite" kicker. He is still going to go down as one of the best kickers of all time, but as of right now, he's the most overrated player on the Indianapolis Colts.