KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs have landed their first player on ESPN's ranking of the NFL's top 100 offensive and defensive players. Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson checks in at No. 62.
I can't say that Johnson is or isn't underrated on this list. These rankings are always so subjective and I find it almost impossible to compare someone at Johnson's position to, say, a cornerback or nose tackle.
But I can say that I've long felt Johnson is underappreciated compared to many of his positional peers. Johnson is and has been for several seasons a solid and occasionally spectacular inside linebacker. The reason he doesn't get more attention is that he doesn't get a ton of sacks and lacks the interceptions that would otherwise put him in the spotlight.
Johnson's fatal flaws in this regard are his bad hands. He's dropped a bunch of passes over the years. They are the kinds of plays that, if made, can raise a player's profile. If Johnson was better at catching the ball, he'd be higher than No. 62 among the NFL's best defensive players.