For most Underrated, I would have to say either EJ or Winfield.
I can't bring myself to say Cook, Edwards, Robison, Herrera or anything like that, because some of them have not played full time so we have absolutely no clue how they will perform (Robison/Edwards)
Some are young and aren't spectacular, but still ok (Cook, Herrera)
Some have never played (Tapeh).
Taylor is good, but finding a runningback like that is fairly easy.
We could lose him and in a few years we'd have a suitable replacement.
Winfield has had a few pro-bowl worthy years (Still can't believe that Newman got voted in over him), EJ really turned it up the past 2 seasons, but they don't get the respect they deserve.
I agree with on everyone but Taylor. I don't think he is a dime-a-dozen at all. We forget his 2006 season, or that he is in his prime, or that he has pretty fresh legs in the league, playing in a platoon season his whole career.
People say he slowed down, but we more than double his carries when he came from Baltimore. He went from a spell back to the top rusher (attempts) in the league. And didn't Peterson slow down too.
Anyways, the fact that Taylor was able to step in and dominate last year amazes me. I really view him as a starter on our team. In an era when mid-level RBs usually flame out after one or two good seasons (the exampls are countless, Stephen Davis anybody?), I'll take Taylor.
I think Tapeh is unique because no one is expecting much from him withthe FB position being so devalued. If he can fill Richardson's (Pro Bowl) shoes, then he is very underrated.
Anyways, EJ is probably the likely answer. He had a great year. Winfield is a crazy scenario. His stats are not too sweet but watching the guy play is awesome. About halfway through the game you start to assume Winfield made the tackle if you can't see the jersey number.
About Taylor, I don't argue that he is a good player, and an asset to this team, but he is replaceable.
(nothing against his skill, if he were our starter and we didn't have AD I would be fine with that)
Lets look at some of the 1000+ yard rushers in the past few years.
In 2005, 16
players rushed for over 1000 yards, those included Shawn Alexander, Tiki Barber, Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis, Edgerrin James, Ladainian Tomlinson, Rudi Johnson, , Thomas Jones, Willis McGahee, Reuben Droughnes, Willie Parker, Caddilac Williams, Steven Jackson and lamont jordan.
Of those players, IMO, Rudi, Warrick, TJones, McGahee, Droughnes, Caddilac and Lamont Jordan are not terrific backs.
Some are pretty good, and produce ok numbers every year, and actually remind me of Chester Taylor.
All of those players I mentioned are replacable on their team.
Look at the Giants, they drafter a RB late (Bradshaw) and near the end of the season he really showed that given some reps, he can run pretty well.
I am a firm believer in "don't pick a runningback in the 1st"
Unless it is a can't miss player like Peterson, because so often, you can get a solid contributer in later rounds, much like Chester Taylor, MeMo, and Moe Williams to name a few.
2006: 23 players over 1000 yards: Ladainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Frank Gore, Tiki Barber, Steven Jackon, Willie Parker, Travis Henry, Rudi Johnson, Brian Westbrook, Chester Taylor, Tatum Bell, Ronnie Brown, Fred Taylor, Julius Jones, Joseph Addai, Deuce Mcalister, Ahman Green, Thomas Jones, Edgerrin James, Ladell Betts, Warrick Dunn, Jamal Lewis. and Michael Vick (QB) Out of those players, I can only think of about 9 players who are "irriplacable"
This year there were 17 players, I won't list them all, but they include such studs as: Justin Fargas and Lendale White
I guess my point is many of these players are solid contributers, but don't have any flashy abilities (Like Tomlinson or Peterson) that make them irriplacable.
Go in ANY draft, and you can find a player who will put up solid numbers in a non-flashy way just like Taylor does, it just takes a bit of good scouting.
If Taylor decides to beeyatch about not getting paid enough once his contract is up, and decides to leave, I feel confident that we could find a suitable replacment.
It may take a year or two to reach Taylors level, but it certainly can be done if the FO does good scouting.
That is not to say that I don't appreciate Taylors ability, because I think that he is a key part of our offense.
When AD is off the field, we stil have a player who can get solid yards, its not like our offense has to take a break or has to throw like some other teams.