Patriots Ninkovich Among AFC's 'Most Underrated Players'

Ian Logue
May 30, 2014 at 12:06pm ET

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Ninkovich was listed among the AFC's most underrated players by USA TODAY. (USA TODAY Images)

Rob Ninkovich is one of those players who quietly goes about his job each week, doesn't trash talk, doesn't pound his chest, and doesn't spend much time attracting attention to himself. He doesn't receive many accolades or notoriety, nor is he usually a guy that people outside of New England know much about or appreciate the type of player he is.

However, Ninkovich's name came up in a piece by USA TODAY's Brent Sobleski, discussing players in the AFC he feels are the "most underrated", and guys that don't get enough credit for what they bring to their respective football teams.

Here's what he had to say about the veteran linebacker:
In the past three seasons, Ninkovich has started every game for the Patriots, and he’s accumulated 22.5 sacks. He’s proven to be a relentless pass rusher and stout against the run. More importantly, Ninkovich helps provide the flexibility Bill Belichick prefers in his defense since he also plays linebacker.

Ninkovich has had a couple of solid seasons recently, having amassed eight sacks in 2012, and eight again last season.  He told Sirius XM NFL Radio last month that he missed a few he felt he should have had last year, and is focused on trying to be even better this season.

"I probably missed five or sacks out there," said Ninkovich. "Obviously, getting to the quarterback -- it takes a lot of work to get there but if I can finish a little better when I'm there and not miss them ... sometimes I leave my feet and kind of go after the ball when really just getting the guy down is the ultimate goal."

As for who else made USA TODAY's list, you can read the rest by CLICKING HERE