Quick Snap: Rey Maualuga most over-rated?

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

We laugh at USA Today's suggestion that Rey Maualuga is the most over-rated Bengals player in Cincinnati. But not for the reasons that you think.

Maualuga isn’t an every down defender. The linebacker doesn’t have the foot speed or overall athleticism to be a reliable option in coverage. The Bengals’ linebackers can be exploited by good passing offenses as a result. Maualuga was also injured in 2013, and his run defense suffered to a degree.
USA Today

The ranking is one of many making the rounds to cure the "offseason boredom" contagion. Who is the most overrated player on each team, asks USA Today Sports? For the Bengals... Rey Maualuga. Really? I don't see it. Who is actually rating Maualuga so high that he's being considered "overrated"?

Maualuga is not without his uses. He's ranked second in tackles in each of the past two years and when Cincinnati virtually made him a two-down linebacker last season, there was a general feeling of improvement.

(crickets)

On the other hand, he led the Bengals in missed tackles for a third-straight season in 2013. Since replacing Dhani Jones in 2011, receivers (tight ends and running backs) that he's covered have caught the football at a 78.6 percent clip and opposing quarterbacks have a 102.2 passer rating when throwing to players that he's covering.

Still... is that a fair assessment? In the end, if you're the one putting Maualuga on the perch, then realizing that he might be overrated, that's your damned fault. We're not being cruel. We're realists... perhaps with a perspective not unlike Denethor's view regarding his second son.

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