John Brown - Arizona Cardinals
Whether your team just won the Super Bowl or had the No. 1 pick, there are budding superstars on every roster. We take a look at the severely underrated on each NFL team.
John Brown has put together two impressive seasons to kick off his career. Along with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, he makes Arizona's passing game is scary.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Matt Kartozian, Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Ertz - Philadelphia Eagles
It finally happened. To the delight of many Eagles fans, Zach Ertz finally outplayed Brent Celek. The tight end started to turn the corner in the Eagles' final four games of the season, with 450 receiving yards.
Ertz still didn't sniff the Pro Bowl, though.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Bill Streicher, Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Fitzpatrick - New York Jets
No one would have guessed that journeyman QB Ryan Fitzpatrick would have infused some magic into the Jets season, but he proved his doubters wrong. Fitzpatrick has a ton of weapons to play with on an up-and-coming Jets squad.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig, Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Whitney Mercilus - Houston Texans
Everybody knows how great J.J. Watt is, but what about fellow Texans pass rusher Whitney Mercilus? The former first-round pick had the best season of his career with 12 sacks in the regular season. On top of that, he added three more in the Texans' playoff loss.
Mercilus is another player who was a Pro Bowl snub.Credit: Troy Taormina, Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Harris Jr. - Denver Broncos
Chris Harris Jr. is a feel good story for every undrafted player. In 2011, no team used a draft selection on Harris. That's OK. He has emerged as an elite corner in the league.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Chris Humphreys, Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
DeMarcus Lawrence - Dallas Cowboys
Despite the 'Boys having a down year, Dallas has some young studs on the defensive side. DeMarcus Lawrence, the former second-round pick, turned into the team's best pass rusher. He finished the season with 8.5 sacks and didn't cause nearly the same headaches as fellow pass rusher Greg Hardy.Credit: Kim Klement, Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
K.J. Wright - Seattle Seahawks
K.J. Wright is overshadowed by the multitude of stars on the Seahawks' defense like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and fellow linebacker Bobby Wagner. But Wright plays an integral role on Seattle's stingy defense.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Lynch - San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have been decimated by injuries, retirements and front-office drama. One silver lining has been former fifth-round pick Aaron Lynch.
He's the best pass rusher on a team desperate for stars.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Cary Edmondson, Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Reshad Jones - Miami Dolphins
The 2015 season wasn't kind to the Dolphins, but one player who continued to get better was safety Reshad Jones. According to PFF, Jones finished as the league's 13th best safety. The emerging star also recorded two defensive touchdowns.Credit: Steve Mitchell, Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Trumaine Johnson - Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald and the Rams' fierce front seven get all the acclaim, but Trumaine Johnson has emerged as one of the better corners in the league. The ballhawking defender finished with a career-high seven interceptions on the season.
Perfect timing for a player about to hit the market ... or will he?Credit: Kirby Lee, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Bashaud Breeland - Washington Redskins
The Redskins paid big money to corner Chris Culliver, but it's Bashaud Breeland who is the best player in the Redskins' secondary. Breeland showed he's a building block on Washington's up-and-coming defense, which is nice to see after former 'Skins corner David Amerson's elevated play with the Raiders.Credit: Geoff Burke, Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Shazier - Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers used to be known for their defense, but with Ben Roethlisberger and Co. it's hard to ignore that stellar offense. But underrated linebacker Ryan Shazier is helping Pittsburgh's defense become a force again.
He's a speedy linebacker who flies all over the field. Now, if only the Steelers could figure out how to stop the passing game.Credit: Charles LeClaire, Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Smith - Kansas City Chiefs
Everyone misconstrues Alex Smith as a "game manager" at QB. Smith busted out from that moniker when he was with the 49ers, and he has only gotten better with the Chiefs.
Smith is a smart and accurate QB who lets his playmakers go to work. He may not be elite, but he's certainly an underrated QB in the NFL.Credit: Robert Deutsch, Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Jabaal Sheard - New England Patriots
The Patriots might be known for their high-octane offense, but that defense has a fun, young nucleus as well. That includes newcomer Jabaal Sheard.
Sheard was miscast in Cleveland, and came to the Pats this season. He brought over a fierce pass rush opposite Chandler Jones. Sheard finished the season with 8.5 sacks.Credit: David Butler II, David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Stefon Diggs - Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings got some much-needed help for Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson in the form of Stefon Diggs. Diggs was the the 20th wide receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft, and he looked like an absolute steal. The pressure will be on him next year to take the next step.Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn, Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Ezekiel Ansah - Detroit Lions
The Lions offense is the talk of the town in Detroit, but their defense has some bright young stars. Yes, Ezekiel Ansah made the Pro Bowl, but who in the NFL didn't?
Ansah also led the NFC in sacks with 14.5, but you don't hear anyone saying he's one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, do you?Credit: Raj Mehta, Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Sammy Watkins - Buffalo Bills
Despite playing in three fewer games this season, Sammy Watkins had more receiving yards and touchdowns this year than last.
Watkins really started to hit his stride in the second half of the 2015 season, yet the former Clemson receiver didn't get a nod to the Pro Bowl. Hmmm.Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig, Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Jerrell Freeman - Indianapolis Colts
Coming off a down year in 2014, Jerrell Freeman rebounded nicely on a Colts team that sorely needed some playmakers. Freeman was quietly one of the best run stoppers in the NFL this season.Credit: Jason Getz, Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Ricardo Allen - Atlanta Falcons
The former fifth-round pick became a rising star on Dan Quinn's defense this season. Ricardo Allen made the leap from a practice-squad player to the Falcons' starting free safety in only one year. The impressive young defender led the Falcons with three picks in 2015.Credit: Kim Klement, Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Star Lotulelei - Carolina Panthers
He might've been drafted higher than fellow lineman Kawann Short, but Short is getting all the headlines for his pass-rushing skills.
Lotulelei is more of a run-stopper, but these two make up one heck of a tandem on the defensive front.
Will the Panthers be able to afford both of them?Credit: Eric Hartline, Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Daniels - Green Bay Packers
Everyone knows the greatness of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense, but don't sleep on the other side of the ball. Julius Peppers is a big name for the Pack, but Mike Daniels infused a lot of pass rush as well.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Chris Humphreys, Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Telvin Smith - Jacksonville Jaguars
Telvin Smith flies all over the field for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's a speed linebacker who has a nose for the football. He should be a huge part of a Jaguars defense that needs to improve.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Melina Vastola, Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Kwon Alexander - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Before his suspension, Kwon Alexander was proving to be a draft-day steal for the Buccaneers. A fifth-round pick in 2015, Alexander's best game of the season came in Week 8 when his two turnovers forced won him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.Credit: Jonathan Dyer, Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Dunlap - Cincinnati Bengals
On a defense stacked with stars like Geno Smith, it's easy to overlook exciting pass rusher Carlos Dunlap. His 13.5 sacks this year was a career high.Credit: Kim Klement, Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Pernell McPhee - Chicago Bears
When he's on his game, Pernell McPhee is a wrecking ball. He's one of the better pass rushers in the league.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Jake Roth, Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Terron Armstead - New Orleans Saints
Health is a big concern for Terron Armstead, but there's no denying his skill. He's entrusted with protecting Drew Brees in New Orleans.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Chuck Cook, Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Gabe Jackson - Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have been trying to build a playoff contender for years. Now Oakland finally has some building blocks in place. Gabe Jackson has developed into a top-tier guard. And he just keeps getting better and better.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Kirby Lee, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Williams - Baltimore Ravens
The emergence of Brandon Williams allowed the Ravens to move on from Haloti Ngata. The behemoth of a man has been key in helping the Ravens defense smother the run. Plus, is there a more nimble big guy who can do "The Carlton?"
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: David Manning, David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Ayers - New York Giants
In a season where the Giants were relying on Jason Pierre-Paul, New York got some much needed pass rush from veteran Robert Ayers.
In just 12 games, Ayers finished with nine sacks. Ayers could be a key piece moving forward on a rebuilding defense.Credit: Noah K. Murray, Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
King Dunlap - San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been searching for offensive line help since the beginning of time. With a revolving door of centers each year, the Bolts sure are happy to have Dunlap at left tackle. King Dunlap had his struggles early in his career, but he has developed into a good offensive lineman.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Mark J. Rebilas, Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jurrell Casey - Tennessee Titans
Jurrell Casey has been one of the lone bright spots on the Titans defense. He's a monster on the defensive line, yet no one seems to talk about him all that much.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Jason Getz, Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Travis Benjamin - Cleveland Browns
Gary Barnidge came out of nowhere to lead the Browns' passing attack, but Travis Benjamin is the player nobody talks about on Cleveland's roster. Benjamin has emerged as a playmaker in a receiving corps bereft of talent.
(Photo: USATSI)Credit: Scott Galvin, Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports