Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 6/16/12
Who are the most overrated and underrated players on the Rams roster? That depends on who you ask.  However, there are two players that stand out in my mind based on their statistics. It was hard to pick two players considering that the Rams have hired Jeff Fisher and a whole new coaching staff. The future is looking good for St. Louis but I'm basing the list based on the past. It was hard to not pick a wide receiver as the most underrated, but it would be impossible to pick one without picking nearly all the rest. 

Most Overrated

Rodger Saffold, Left Tackle

What, you thought I was going to say Sam Bradford? Bradford had a great rookie year and was even the offensive rookie of the year. He didn't have a good season in 2011 but it wasn't his fault. There were many issues with the offensive line last season. It's also fair to mention that he didn't even have a quarterback coach last season. It's just too soon to consider Sam Bradford underrated. Sam Bradford has the potential to be an elite quarterback and he's only going to get better.

Rodger Saffold was drafted in 2010 during the second round. He was drafted to protect Bradford's blindside, but it still remains unprotected. He only missed two games due to injury during his entire college career, but he has already missed more then two games during his NFL career. He was drafted high because of all the hype the Indianapolis Colts built around him.

Saffold did have a pretty good rookie year, but he was not so hot in 2011. He had 9 penalties in 2011 along with nine sacks allowed.  There's a very good chance that Saffold can pull himself together and have a great career, but for now he gets the spot as the most overrated.

In November of 2011 Saffold was placed on injured reserve due to a pectoral muscle injury. This happened soon after the game against the Cleveland Browns.

Most Underrated

James Laurinaitis, Middle Linebacker

This pick is a lot more unanimous then the first one. In fact, it can be argued that James Laurinaitis (aka Little Animal) is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. In fact, you'll find him on many lists of underrated players. Maybe he's underrated because he plays for the Rams, maybe he's underrated because he has only had five sacks in two seasons, or maybe it's because he plays in the same division as Patrick Willis.

Laurinaitis was drafted in 2009 by the Rams. He has played in 48 games, not missing a single one. Considering that he plays for the Rams it's astounding that he hasn't missed a single game due to injury.

Overall, Laurinaitis's stats have improved over the last few years. His PD (passes defended) has gone from 5 in 2010 to 7 in 2011. He had 114 tackles in 2010 and 142 tackles in 2011. It's important to remember that he's just a middle linebacker and needs other linebackers to help him out too.

He had a great college career and comes from a family of athletes. He had a break through rookie season but has struggled as the rest of the team struggles. However, he still remains the best linebacker on the roster. If you look at the stats of Mario Haggan, Josh Hull, or even Jo-Lonn Dunbar it becomes very clear how underrated Laurinaitis is. Laurinaitis will continue to improve and will hopefully get the respect he deserves.



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