Ranking the most underrated Packers for 2011
ESPN.com’s NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert ranked the most underrated players on each team in the division last Friday. His selection for the Packers, right guard Josh Sitton, came as no surprise. Staying with that trend, here are the top 10 most underrated Packers.
1. Josh Sitton, right guard: Left tackle Chad Clifton has been given much of the credit for the Packers’ recent successes in the Packers’ passing attack, as the offensive line allowed just 38 sacks in 2010, down from 51 a year ago. But for as good as Clifton was last season, being selected to the Pro Bowl and being voted as the 99th best player in the league by the players, Sitton is the foundation of the offensive line. The fourth year guard was called for just two false starts and one holding penalty in 2010, and unofficially did not allow a sack. He excelled in the ground game as well and was a Pro Bowl alternate. John Clayton ranked him as the most underrated right guard in the NFL.
2. Sam Shields, cornerback: The secret is out Shields after his performance in the NFC Championship Game, including the game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter, but Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams still shadow the rookie corner. Unofficially, Shields allowed 37 receptions on 63 passes intended on his receiver and committed just one pass interference penalty. He defended seven passes and intercepted four more, and the quarterback rating on passes on him was 80.7, just four points worse than Woodson’s 2010 mark. He is not on the level of Woodson or Williams, but for an undrafted rookie with just one year of defensive skills, Shields was a major success. He also helped on special teams, averaging 21.5 yards on 21 returns. Shields should make Woodson’s inevitable retirement in the next two or three years that much easier.
3. Brandon Chillar, inside linebacker:
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