Perusing the Panthers All Time Under-Rated & Over-Rated

NFL.com did an all time under-rated and over-rated Panthers team back in May that I must have missed. So I'm going to make my selections from the players listed with a poll on the most over-rated at the end.

Most Under-Rated:

Carolina Panthers: All-time underrated, overrated players - NFL.com
Brad Hoover -- FB, 2000-09 Most NFL fans are familiar with the "Moooose!" chant that followed Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston everywhere he went, but not nearly as many remember the "Hoooov!" chant often directed at Panthers fullback Brad Hoover. Perhaps they should. The year after Johnston, one of the most productive and popular fullbacks in the NFL history, retired, Hoover joined the Panthers as an undrafted free agent.

From 2000 until his retirement a decade later, Hoover came close to mirroring Johnston's accomplishments and became a fan favorite in his own right along the way. Hoover never had a back quite like Emmitt Smith (how many Emmitt Smiths are there?) for which to plow a path, but he helped three different backs top 1,000 yards and cleared lanes for Nick Goings to rush for more than 800 yards. He also could tote the load if asked, rushing for 117 yards in a memorable "Monday Night Football" game as a rookie. And Hoover was the definition of reliable, missing just eight career games at a brutal position.

I loved the Hoov and it seemed as soon as he retired we struggled to run the ball like we did when he was lead blocker. In fact I think the Panthers have yet to find a reliable replacement for the guy. Did we just give up?

My runner-up is easily LB Dan Morgan, who if not for concussions would have played longer and left a bigger impression on the game. Regardless of who's official count you trust more, Morgan's 18 to 25 tackles in the 2003 SB remains one of the best MLB performances in NFL history.

Most Over-Rated:

DeShaun Foster -- RB, 2003-07 The DeShaun Foster era was a frustrating one for Panthers fans. At times he could look like someone who could be one of the elite running backs in the NFL, and Foster boasts two of the most famous plays in Panthers history. But he never consistently put his stamp on the game and never rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season.

That didn't stop the Panthers from handing Foster a three-year, $14.5 million deal after the 2006 season, a deal that included a $4.5 million signing bonus and wouldn't be the last curious contract general manager Marty Hurney gave a running back. It didn't take long for the Panthers to regret that deal. Foster rushed for 876 yards in 2007, averaging a pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry with a season-long run of 20 yards. Yikes. Foster played in only two games the next season and was cut the following offseason.

For me I remember the fumbles and the inability to stay in a game. I will give him props for a nice performance in the 2003 SB though.

My runner-up is not on the list, which is DE Julius Peppers. I'm not saying Peppers isn't a good player, simply that he is not as good as the pedestal most have put him on. People talk of Peppers like he's still the best DE in the game but the fact is he never challenged to lead the league in sacks. He does appear to scare OCs but you will see he makes most of his stats against the lesser opponents but then disappears against the tougher match-ups and the post-season. Peppers has been a good player but I don't see him as the HoF player that the pundits seem to think he is.

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