There are few guys on the interweb that take a bigger beating than Pete Prisco on some days. Man, the comment sections of his articles sometimes are some of the most hate-filled places I have witnessed over the years. Thankfully, I don't think the nuggets we are taking away from his recent piece on underrated and overrated players will draw the ire of too many Washington fans.
On the overrated side, Prisco singles out Ryan Clark, the 34-year old television personality who also plays safety in the league. It is hard to imagine that this undrafted, undersized safety would ever graduate to the "overrated" category in the NFL, but here we are. It is easy to understand why people outside of the district would fixate on our potentially misplaced zeal when it comes to our 2014 safety position. Given our absolute dependence on Clark being able to display the form that put him in the Pro Bowl as recently as 2011, it is easy to see why he may be viewed as "overrated."
Personally, I think he is a hell of an upgrade for us in a couple of different ways. First of all, I do tend to believe he will absolutely prove the Redskins right for signing him. I am not penciling him in on the All-Pro team, but I do think his experience and savvy will be a tremendous upgrade for us in the back of our secondary. Additionally, Clark should pay dividends as a mentor to Phillip Thomas and (hopefully) Bacarri Rambo. If just one of those guys turns a corner this year, at least some of the credit belongs to Ryan Clark. (With no Reed Doughty safety net, this will be a very interesting year, indeed for those two young bucks!)
As for who Prisco calls "underrated," we only have to look to one of our favorite defensive linemen. Chris Baker, who served last season as a backup nose tackle before finishing up as a starter at defensive end, is the kind of player that every team likely has (and is equally as underrated on every team). The Redskins made keeping him a priority, and it won't surprise anyone if that decision pays off big in 2014, as Baker will likely see ample playing time all along the defensive line.