Who Is The Washington Commanders Most Underrated Player?

June 15, 2022

Who Is The Commanders Most Underrated Player?

One thing most Washington fans can agree upon these days is that the team has finally put together some talent on both sides of the ball after years of chasing it. While the wins/losses column has yet to reflect the growth, it’s there and even more obvious now than ever. With that said, the team also has several under-the-radar players just on the brink of breaking out into being a household name.

Among those under-the-radar players, you’ll find several rookies, but none of them are qualified for this list until at least their second year. All rookies have something to prove but can’t exactly be under the radar until they’ve played a season. A team’s most underrated player needs to have played at least one season, and has made a significant enough contribution to the team to be worthy but hasn’t been noticed for it yet.

Below I’m going to make an attempt at a top-five Commanders’ most underrated players list.

5 – Daron Payne

Several players go unnoticed on a football team. Generally, it’s the offensive lineman who you forget about…until the quarterback gets hit that is. But the job of a defensive tackle in the NFL has its ups and downs. In some schemes, those tackles are used to get after the quarterback. In some, they’re used to disrupt the running game by clogging up the lanes/holes. For Daron Payne, it’s about dominating at the point of contact on every down.

He and Jonathan Allen are brilliant at stacking things up at the line and making it easier for the defensive ends. Allen gets more sacks but that’s honestly by design. Not to mention it’s directly associated with Daron doing what he does best.

All that said, Payne has 227 tackles, 22 for loss to go along with 35 quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, three recoveries, one interception, and 14.5 sacks in 58 starts. For a guy used mainly as a space filler, Payne gets several jobs done.

4 – Cole Holcomb

Cole Holcomb is a guy who really improved last season. Enough to the point where Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera and his staff are seriously considering him to play the middle (or mike) linebacker role this season for Washington when the team slides into that package.

In 41 starts, Holcomb has put up 319 tackles, 14 for loss, has eight QB hits, five forced fumbles, three interceptions, and one touchdown to go along with four and a half sacks.

3 – Chase Roullier

With PFF being the only system to grade offensive linemen, it’s hard to compare or gauge fully what those linemen bring to the table. But make no mistake about it, Roullier is near the top of the league at his position no matter what ranking systems may say.

Washington fans should be static that they were able to extend him. He’s still one of the Commanders most underrated players even with his salary at almost ten million a year. Not only can he play center at an all-star level, but he can also shift and play both guard spots if needed. Washington struggled down the stretch last year after Roullier went down against the Denver Broncos after a stretch of 35 straight starts.

2 – J.D. McKissic

J.D. McKissic has become one of the most important offensive weapons Washington has had over the past two seasons. In 27 games, he’s put up 123 catches for 986 yards, and four touchdowns. McKissic also added 133 rushes for 577 yards, and three touchdowns on the ground.

His importance was never more apparent than when he got hurt last season. The offense didn’t click without him out there and couldn’t string first-downs together. The Commanders are extremely lucky McKissic rejected Buffalo’s free-agent offer and came back this offseason.

He’s a third-down back on steroids.

1 – Kamren Curl

That brings me to the last name on the list, and this guy is most definitely the Commanders‘ most underrated player currently on the roster. Number one on the list is third-year safety Kamren Curl.

Kam may very well be the most underrated player in the league right now. Although the ability to say that may disappear soon, because more than likely, this year people around the league will start to see more of what he brings to the field as the team improves into being a contender.

Keep in mind, that Curl had a really good shot at rookie of the year in 2020 when Chase won the prestigious award. But in his 25 career starts Kam’s collected 187 tackles, six for loss, has eight quarterback hits, nine deflected passes, three interceptions, one touchdown, and three sacks to go along with a fumble recovery.

Not so shabby for a 7th-round pick, huh? How does one not love what this kid brings to the Commanders‘ secondary?

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