CBS Sports senior writer Pete Prisco has unveiled his annual over-and-under rated players list from around the NFL. This is the slow part of the year for the NFL. Players and coaches are away with their friends and families and are getting ready for training camps in a few weeks, so lists and rankings like this one are a good way to pass time until the action starts. His most underrated player is safety Tyvon Branch of the Oakland Raiders. Most overrated? Well, that would be running back Brandon Jacobs of the New York Giants. Here is what Prisco had to say about when it came to the Buccaneers.
Overrated: CB Ronde Barber. His name still holds clout, but he isn't an elite player anymore -- if he ever was.
Underrated: CB Aqib Talib. Forget the off-field issues of the past. He's a good cover player. Matt Ryan raved about him when I spent time with him watching tape.
PewterReport.com's Take: While Barber, 35, may not be the same player he once was in his prime, he was definitely an elite player at one point during his career. One does not break franchise records by being an average player. Barber's accolades speak for themselves - one Super Bowl, five Pro-Bowl selections, five All-Pro selections (three times first team), 37 interceptions, and he is the only cornerback in NFL history with at least 25 sacks. Nothing really overrated about that.
As far as Talib is concerned, here in the Tampa Bay area Talib is highly regarded as one of the best young corners in the league. However, on a national level he is a tad underrated. Because of the Bucs losing record last season, Talib's high level of play went unnoticed by many. He will be in his fair share of Pro-Bowls if he continues at the pace he is right now. Another name that could be thrown out there for most underrated is free safety Tanard Jackson. Jackson, 24, had five interceptions for the Bucs last year despite missing the first four games of the season due to suspension.