As Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report writes, it takes "bad timing and bad luck" to be considered an underrated NFL player. It takes a series of unfortunate events – playing for the wrong team at the wrong time for the wrong coach – to squander talent or be forgotten entirely.
In a recent article, Tanier takes a look at what he considers to be the 25 most underrated players in NFL history. This excludes Hall of Famers, Super Bowl winners and players part of dynasties, he writes, because those whose names are immortalized and remembered aren't in danger of becoming underrated.
With that, a few former Redskins players, ones who had fine careers but never found too much of the spotlight, made the Top-10 of this list. See if you agree.
Player: Ron McDole
Role: Defensive end and part of the Over-The-Hill gang of the early 1970s after playing with the Buffalo Bills.
Analysis: "McDole, nicknamed 'The Dancing Bear' because of his boogie on the dance floor rather than his on-field footwork, was known as more of a run defender than a pass-rusher," Tanier writes. "But run defense was king in the era when McDole played, and his 16-year career is littered with big plays: 12 interceptions, 14 fumble recoveries, two touchdowns, three safeties and a pair of sacks in the 1966 AFL Championship Game."
Player: London Fletcher
Role: Inside linebacker who made consecutive Pro Bowls from 2009-2012 with the Redskins following his time with the Rams.
Analysis: "Fletcher followed Gregg Williams from coaching stop to coaching stop, serving as the sometimes controversial, always effective defensive mastermind's field marshal," Tanier writes. "Fletcher intercepted 23 passes and recorded 39 sacks as a do-it-all middle linebacker. He played 256 career regular-season games, never missing a start due to injury. With his career spread evenly across three teams and zero All-Pro selections (a consequence of playing in the same era as Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher), Fletcher is a Hall of Fame long shot."
Player: Henry Ellard
Role: Wide receiver who spent a solid three consecutive years (and then a later one) in Washington after spending the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Analysis: "Ellard moved on to Washington in 1994 and enjoyed a late-career renaissance, averaging 61 catches and 18.8 yards per reception over a three-year span in his mid-30s," Tanier writes. "The Hall of Fame eluded Ellard for several reasons: comparisons to Rice, the Rams' move to St. Louis (it takes hometown writers and buzz to mount a campaign) and those five early seasons in a ground-and-pound offense. Ellard was an Antonio Brown-level talent in his prime, but his teams were in no hurry to get him the ball."