It's easy to spot big names and superstars across the NFL, but which players fly under the radar without receiving the recognition they deserve?
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler put together a list of the 11 “most underrated” players for 2020, a group he assembled based on conversations with NFL execs, coaches, players and scouts for a previous article that ranked the top 10 players at each position. According to Fowler, those discussions "produced several players who might not be top-tier yet but are poised to be there soon." He wrote:
For every $100 million player, there's a low-key riser on a rookie deal who doesn't resonate with the casual fan but is a legitimate weapon in the eyes of the league's coaches and decision-makers as well as their peers.
Two Vikings offensive linemen made the list of most underrated: center Garrett Bradbury and right tackle Brian O'Neill.
Bradbury was combined with Saints center Erik McCoy. Taken No. 18 and No. 48, respectively, in the 2019 NFL Draft, the pair of centers have both shown tremendous upside.
With stars such as Jason Kelce, Rodney Hudson and Maurkice Pouncey aging, there aren't dominant centers who rise to the top of every list.
These two could change that in a big way in 2020, though McCoy might switch to guard to make room for draft pick Cesar Ruiz.
"They are building blocks," one AFC exec told Fowler. "McCoy is stronger; Bradbury is probably more of a nimble athlete overall. They can do different things, but both will be highly effective. I expect them to be good for a long time."
McCoy had the splashier rookie season, with several bruising blocks showing he can anchor like a rugged guard. Bradbury started slowly in Minnesota, but the team is very high on him, and several execs expect improvement in Year 2.
As for O'Neill, Fowler said "his traits have the 6-foot-7, 297-pounder trending upward."
Fowler quoted an NFC scout who said O'Neill his improved his technique since being drafted in the second round in 2018.
"He's really athletic, especially for a RT," the scout said of O'Neill. "Very good fit for a zone-blocking scheme, stronger and tougher now than people expected when he came out. Has left tackle attributes, but needs to be more consistent."
Who else joined O'Neill and Bradbury as the most underrated? Fowler highlighted T Dion Dawkins (Bills), WR Cooper Kupp (Rams), TE Jonnu Smith (Titans), DE Carl Lawson (Bengals), CB Jaire Alexander (Packers), C Brandon Linder (Jaguars), T David Onyemata (Saints) and LB Devin Bush (Steelers).
Tony Dungy joins Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee
A former Vikings assistant coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer will now help enshrine the legacies of other NFL Legends in Canton, Ohio.
According to NFL.com's Nick Shook, Tony Dungy was added by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as "an at-large selector on its selection committee." The move was approved by the Hall's board of trustees to fill a vacancy on the committee.
Pro Football Hall of Fame VP of Museum and Exhibit Services Saleem Choudhry said in a statement that Dungy is "a tremendous addition."
"As a Hall of Fame coach who has been involved in the NFL since 1977, he has a depth of knowledge and experience with players, coaches and personnel from numerous organizations across multiple decades," Choudhry said. "His extensive understanding will be invaluable to the selection process."
Dungy's playing and coaching career spans several decades and locations, including three separate stops in Minnesota.
Dungy played quarterback at the University of Minnesota before being signed in 1977 as an undrafted free agent to play safety for the Steelers. Following three seasons in the NFL, he began his coaching career at his alma mater, coaching the Gophers defensive backs for the 1980 season.
He then went on to coach for the Steelers (1981-88) and Chiefs (1989-91) before joining the Vikings as defensive coordinator from 1992-95.
Dungy launched his head-coaching career in 1996 in Tampa Bay, taking over the woebegone Buccaneers and helping them turn around the franchise with a foundation of future Hall of Famers. Dungy's first Super Bowl would come in Indianapolis, though, where his Colts won at least 10 games in every season from 2002-2008, finally getting over the hump in the 2006 season with their Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears.
Dungy was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Dungy becomes one of 16 at-large selectors who work in tandem with the 32 NFL city-based selectors to decide on each year's enshrinement class, joining former Pro Football Hall of Fame contributor Bill Polian and longtime sports journalist Lisa Salters as new at-large additions to the committee.
Vikings 2019 win over Eagles Replay on FOX 9 Sunday
The third installment of a four-game series of re-airings will be the Vikings 38-20 victory over the Eagles from Oct. 13, 2019, at U.S. Bank Stadium.
FOX 9 KMSP will air Vikings Preseason Primetime at 5:30 p.m. (CT), and the show will be followed at 6 p.m. (CT) by the replay of the Week 6 game from last year.
Kirk Cousins aired it out early, helping Minnesota build a 24-3 lead after touchdown passes of 62 and 51 yards to Stefon Diggs in the second quarter.
The Eagles made a push by scoring 17 straight, but Minnesota closed the door with an 11-yard scoring pass from Cousins to Diggs late in the third quarter and a 1-yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook with 8:21 remaining in the game.
Cousins finished 22-of-29 passing for 333 yards with four touchdowns and a passer rating of 138.4. The game helped him earn NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October.