Every Eagles fan in the world knows how good of a player Jason Kelce is (his Super Bowl parade speech was just the cherry on top.). He recently just started getting recognized by national media, earning First-Team All-Pro recognitions in 2017 and 2018 (even with multiple painful injuries), but still isn't getting much recognition from other NFL fan bases. Because of that, he tops the list of the Most Underappreciated Players of 2018.
NFL Network's Cynthia Frelund explained how she broke down her list. Here's how she determined who fell into the category of underrated:
"First, I removed all 2018 rookies since it's too early in their careers for me to tag them as underappreciated. Then I trimmed the field to players drafted in Round 3 or later who have been to no more than two Pro Bowls (like Baldwin). Once sorted, I used something I'm calling the contribution metric to identify which of these players brought the most to the table. To sum it up without getting overly technical, contribution metric is the value I have assigned to each player's production during the 2018 season. The metric encompasses a value for every snap by each player and reveals each player's contribution to the team's overall win total."
Here's what Frelund had to say about her top underrated player in the league:
"Kelce had the highest win-contribution metric for any center in the NFL last season. My favorite stat on him: No center kept opposing defenders at least five feet from his quarterback on passing downs more than Kelce last season (24.1%; next closest was 18.8%). Measuring O-line play this way helps quantify "stopping pressure" or "clean pockets" and it shows Kelce set the standard for elite at his position last season."
With 2019 possibly being be his last season, Kelce remains an underappreciated player in the league. Fans of other teams don't realize how important he's been to the Eagles success the past two seasons, while Eagles fans know that he's one of the best centers in team history. Once he hangs up cleats up, there will be a hole at the center position that will be hard to replace.