The Denver Broncos may have one of the most underrated players in the league. Of course, as someone who covers the team, I know how good he is, as do you, the fans. But it seems as if the media is just now finding out about this guy.
The national media hasn’t been the most kind to the Broncos since they started this playoff drought after the Super Bowl. And why would they? The Broncos have been one of the most consistently bad teams since their time reigning over the rest of the NFL. Sometimes that is just how it is.
Outside of quarterback, the one thing they have done well is draft. Right after the Super Bowl win, they drafted Justin Simmons, who is, in my opinion, the best safety in the NFL. It seems like to the national media though, he is just another underrated player.
I get it can be hard to keep up with every single player on every team. I truly understand that. However, how do you not know about Justin Simmons?
Cynthia Frelund of NFL.com wrote an article about the top-10 most underrated NFL players, and Justin Simmons was eighth.
Here is what Frelund wrote:
“Simmons had a career year in 2019 and received the franchise tag a couple of times before finally getting a long-term deal last year, but I feel like we don’t see a ton of lists that show he’s continuing to perform at an elite level. Well, he has indeed, ranking among the top five safeties in win share in each of the past three seasons and third overall at the position in that time period. Simmons has recorded at least 20 defensive stops in each of the past three seasons, per PFF. That is a solid number of stops for safety to amass. The main reason he’s on this list, though, is that computer vision shows he’s been the second-best safety in coverage over the past three seasons.”
If this article is “These guys don’t get talked about a lot so they are underrated,” then yes, Simmons is that. If this article is “these guys are good and you may not know who they are so they are underrated,” then no, I do not agree with this notion.
So, let’s run with the second one, which is what appears to be an angle. Most of the NFL, including media, and fans that follow the sport deeply, know who Simmons is. If he isn’t the best safety in football, he is top-3. People should know who he is. You cannot be that good and be ‘underrated’ in a sense. Derrick Henry is not underrated; he is the best at what he does. In my opinion, Simmons is the Derrick Henry of the safety position.
While I don’t think the article is right, I do appreciate the love that Denver and Broncos players are getting on a national level. I just don’t believe that Simmons is underrated, and I feel like someone else like Dre’Mont Jones could have been chosen there.
Either way, with the rise of Patrick Surtain Jr. and how defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero uses safeties in his defense, the national media -and NFL casuals- will no longer sleep on Simmons after 2022.
You can read the rest of the article here.
Featured Image Via RICH WEST/SPECIAL TO TCPALM / USA TODAY NETWORK