When a team like the Denver Broncos plays under the magnifying glass of prime time NFL football as much as they have, the stars tend to get their due. Von Miller, Aqib Talib, Demaryius Thomas, C.J. Anderson and the like have virtually become household names--and rightfully so.
But sometimes it's the guys that do the dirty work that get lost in the shuffle.
With that in mind, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports sifted through each NFL team's roster in search of their most underrated player. Among the lesser-known names was Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall.
Here's what he had to say:
The Broncos signed [Marshall] to a contract extension in the offseason for a reason. He is a perfect linebacker for today's style of game, a run-and-chase player who can cover but also can be an effective player in the run game. He doesn't get much attention on their star-studded defense, but he should.
Prisco is spot on. The reason the Broncos could unleash their gaggle of pass rushers on third-and-long situations was because Marshall (as well as Danny Trevathan) were so effective in stuffing the run.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1688594-mhh-premium-how-you-can-s... 2015, Marshall totaled 102 combined tackles, two forced fumbles (including the one that Bradley Roby returned for a touchdown to beat the Kansas City Chiefs), 1.5 sacks, and an interception. Not bad for a cast-off from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Marshall joined Denver's practice squad in 2013 after being cut by the eventual twelve-loss Jaguars. After Von Miller was placed on injured reserve, Marshall made the 53-man roster, and then the starting lineup a year later. Earlier this offseason, Marshall signed a four-year, $32 million deal to remain with the Broncos.
By virtue of his role on the defense, his low-key nature, and the fact that he's still not even the most well-recognized Brandon Marshall in pro football, Marshall will probably never be one of the biggest names in Denver. It's a reality of team sports.
Marshall may be underrated, but given his humble beginnings, he's done nothing but over-perform.
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Will Keys is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.