The Underrated Cincinnati Bengals Of 2012

Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Listing five players that might be deemed underrated by most fans in the NFL.

Reviewing Josh Katzowitz's top ten underrated players in the NFL, it prompted a query asking which Bengals player could be the most underrated. We're not so much talking about underrated from the perspective of national observers; ironically those largely responsible for neglecting the players on any underrated list. Yet when Katzowitz labeled Andrew Whitworth memories of the dreadful 2010 season surfaced. Not so much with Whitworth.

Labeled as the top-vote getter among all NFL tackles by NFL fans, Whitworth was soundly neglected by the remaining two-thirds of the vote that comprises the NFL all star game, despite an overwhelming argument that he deserved it. So we're not exactly sure if underrated is something that should label Andrew Whitworth at this point, unless we're talking about the media, players and NFL coaches around the league.

That being said which Bengals player could be labeled as "underrated" among those outside of the circle that makes up the fierce Cincinnati Bengals fan.

Andrew Hawkins

We're not sure how "underrated" Hawkins is at this point. Most fans have seen his elusiveness and speed against the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins this year. Currently Hawkins is on pace for 64 receptions, 940 yards receiving and nearly seven touchdowns. Not bad for an undrafted free agent that was cut from a receiver-needy team in St. Louis and signed onto Cincinnati's practice squad only last year. Plus his knack for downing the football within the five-yard line on punt team is becoming legendary.

Clint Boling

Boling has surprisingly generated one of the more productive seasons after experiencing rough start during his rookie season. Last year he replaced Bobbie Williams, who was suspended the first four games of the season and thus eventually replaced by the forgetful Mike McGlynn. This year Boling replaced the injured Travelle Wharton and posted a 6.2 grade per Pro Football Focus, which includes an impressive grade of 5.2 -- the fourth highest score among all NFL guards.

Kevin Zeitler

A little more "known" as a 2012 first-round draft pick, Kevin Zeitler predictably struggled early as a rookie but settled down as one of the team's best run blockers dating back to week three against the Redskins. Indeed the proof is in the pudding, as the Cincinnati Bengals are far more effective as a run unit to the right.

Cedric Peerman

With the struggles facing BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the starting running back, Peerman is becoming a champion of running backs not unlike a backup quarterback breathing down the neck of a struggling starter. Despite having only posted 24 yards rushing on four carries on offense this season, Peerman is far more impressive as a special teams player, generating 13 tackles last year -- second on special teams. He's already posted (at least) five this year. Oh, and a 44-yard run on a fake punt.

Dan Skuta

Perhaps equally underrated among Bengals fans, Skuta is a big special teams contributor with a team-leading six special teams tackles. That was after finishing second with 13 special teams tackles (like Peerman) and a team-leading 16 special teams tackles in 2010. He's versatile as a backup linebacker capable playing all three positions and even spent time as a full back in the offensive backfield.

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