The San Francisco 49ers have an extensive history of great players, but having so many all-time greats has led to some high quality players getting overshadowed. Friday evening, USA Today DraftWire editor Luke Easterling posed a fun question, asking who is the most underrated player in your favorite NFL team’s history.
Who is the most underrated player in your favorite #NFL team’s history?— Luke Easterling (@LukeEasterling) March 24, 2018
There was no context to the question, which opens the door to a two-part question. The first is who do you think is underrated by the broader NFL fan base. The second is who is underrated amongst your own fans.
An easy call on the former question is wide receiver John Taylor. He is underrated in some regards by 49ers fans, but it feels like he is particularly underrated by the broader NFL fan base. He was the Robin to Jerry Rice’s Batman, which resulted in a career entirely overshadowed by the G.O.A.T. And yet, Taylor brought his own unique attributes, most notably as a punt returner. Taylor finished his career second on the franchise all time list for punt return yards. And of course, he was just slightly clutch.
One player that I think even some 49ers fans underrate is linebacker/defensive end/do everything Julian Peterson. He’s always been a favorite of mine. He earned an All Pro nod in 2003, but then suffered a torn Achilles in 2004. He recovered from it, and even earned three straight Pro Bowl nods from 2006 to 2008 with the Seattle Seahawks. But prior to that injury, he was a force of nature on defense. He could rush the passer, stop the run, and defend tight ends as well as anybody. His performance against Tony Gonzalez remains an unforgettable memory for me.
Who would be on your all underrated list?