At this time of year, the dominant question is always “which IDPs are undervalued right now?” It’s a tough question because so much of defensive players’ value is derived from their playing time and right now we just don’t have a good handle on that. We can make some educated guesses, but free agency and the draft will fundamentally change the situation for many players.
The following list is made up of players who have a strong grip on their job but for one reason or another do not have the faith or excitement they should as IDPs. This is very much subject to them not losing their job, though. Every year we see surprise cuts or draft picks or signings. You have been warned!
Trey Flowers, DE DET
The common belief about Flowers is that his first season in Detroit was a big disappointment. This is exaggerated.
Only seven other DEs managed more pressure than Flowers’ 66 on the season, and just eight had more total tackles. Flowers is a top-12 DE in talent and production.
It’s true that he did not attain the high-teens sack numbers you’d want for a player with a contract like his, but that’s never been who he is as a player. He’s sound over flashy. The lack of appreciation he gets has more to do with unrealistic expectations than poor performance.
Matt Ioannidis, DE WAS
Ioannidis finished fifth among DEs in tackles and 14th in pressures, while consistently producing high-scoring weeks. Yet he’s still not treated as a long-term value player.
Historically, the Redskins have been poor performers across the defensive line, but they’ve bucked the trend the last two years. With a new coaching staff in place there’s a lot of potential here for Ioannidis to build on his recent, excellent play.