Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin
How can a former first-round pick be underrated, you ask? It's true that Bruce Irvin was a first-round pick for the Seahawks in 2012, but then he simply seemed to be forgotten a bit. His name got buried under the names of other players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Michael Bennett. All those guys were a huge part of what was arguably the greatest defense in the history of the NFL.
But Irvin was a big part of that as well. Between 2013 and 2015, Irvin started every game but five that he was available for. He was solid in run support but he never truly got enough credit for how well he could rush the passer, at least not in his early Seattle seasons. In 2012, for instance, Irvin didn't start a game but got 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits. The Seahawks would have loved to have had a guy with 8 sacks in some recent years.
In 2014, Irvin had 6.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, 9 tackles for loss, and intercepted 2 passes and ran them both back for touchdowns. The next season, his last for a while in Seattle, he had 5.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits. He was a consistent pass-rushing presence that Seattle would miss to a degree beginning in 2016 when Irvin signed with the Oakland Raiders where he had 7 sacks and 25 quarterback hits.
Irvin returned for a time in 2022 when Seattle absolutely needed any kind of pass-rush help they could get. While the defense underwhelmed for most of the season, Irvin at least made the unit somewhat better as he had 3.5 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. Pretty good for a 34-year-old linebacker who was just sitting on his couch before Seattle called. Oh, and in 11 postseason games for the Seahawks, Irvin had 4.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and 5 tackles for loss.