Athletes today are getting more media attention than ever before, especially with the continued rise of social media. While that attention is often warranted, that’s not the case with everyone and, as a result, some athletes receive far more praise than they deserve – this is how overrated athletes are born.
Now, let me make one thing clear – as a fan of practically any and every sport out there, I have absolutely no problem giving credit where credit is due. If an athlete deserves the hype, then they should get it – plain and simple. At the same time, hype needs to be earned and its intensity needs to be reasonable.
Unfortunately, that’s not what we see in the sports world today. We’re often quick to put an athlete on a pedestal and it almost always leads to disappointment when they can’t maintain that level of play over a long period of time. At that point, the hype should either stop or lose its intensity – but it never really does.
Who Were the Most Overrated Athletes of 2022?
Personally, I like to group overrated athletes into one of four categories – those who receive more praise than their play warrants, those who are favored by the media (despite underperforming), those who aren’t held accountable when things aren’t going right, and those who spend too much time on the injury report.
For example, Jake Paul topped our list of overrated athletes last year and I would say he fell into that first category. It’s not that Paul wasn’t winning his fights and it’s not that he didn’t deserve the praise, but we were treating him like the second coming of Muhammad Ali, despite only fighting mediocre boxers.
That brings us to this list – the most overrated athletes of 2022. It’s a list that will almost definitely be met with criticism and one that comes as more opinion than fact, but I’ll do my best to explain my reasoning behind each athlete on this list. Without further ado, let’s meet the most overrated athletes of 2022.
WARNING: There are quite a few quarterbacks on this list because, let’s be honest, a majority of them are highly overrated.
20. Jack Eichel – Vegas Golden Knights
Jack Eichel is no scrub on the ice – he’s one of the most talented forwards in the NHL and has been since entering the league in 2015. Unfortunately, what he possesses in talent, he lacks in leadership and isn’t exactly a team player. And in a league where players are scoring 40+ goals on the regular, he’s not.
In fact, Eichel has never scored more than 36 goals in a season and that came in 2019-20 – the only time he surpassed 30 goals in a single season. Since then, he has struggled with injury, was traded for more than he was worth, and hasn’t been the type of superstar Vegas was hoping for. At least they’re winning.
19. Carlos Correa – Minnesota Twins
Carlos Correa was the biggest MLB free agent ahead of the 2022 season and it was all anyone talked about for months. Experts said the winner of the sweepstakes would become an instant World Series contender – after all, he was coming off the best season of his career. Eventually, he got signed.
The Minnesota Twins signed him to a three-year deal worth more than $100 million, but the team went just 78-84 and missed the postseason. Correa saw his batting average increase, but his home runs, runs, RBIs, and doubles were all down from a year ago. And they rewarded him with an even bigger contract.
18. Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving is easily one of the most annoying players in the NBA. At the same time, he’s one of the most talented. If we’re here to praise athletes for their talent and talent alone, Irving is properly rated – we all know how good he is. Unfortunately, his off-court antics often overshadow his performance on the court.
It doesn’t matter what sport you play, the best ability will always be availability. It’s easy to put a player on a pedestal for his play, but they also need to be held accountable for the things they say and do off the court. What I’ve noticed is that his antics often get overlooked just because he can score at absolute will.
17. Mac Jones
Mac Jones is one of those quarterbacks that everyone always seems to have an excuse for. At the end of the day, what they’re not willing to admit is that he’s average at best. He doesn’t really do anything extremely well and, while he can manage a game, that’s only if his defense and running backs are ballin’.
In 31 games since entering the league in 2021, Mac Jones has a 16-15-0 record (most of those wins came at the hands of the defense) and has thrown for 6,798 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions. He threw 11 interceptions in 14 games this season, including two games with three interceptions each.
16. Jimmy Garoppolo
I am so happy the San Francisco 49ers have Trey Lance and Brock Purdy because they can finally move on from Jimmy Garoppolo – perhaps the league’s greatest game-managing quarterback. Most of his success has come at the hands of his coach and the weapons around him – who make him look good.
If you ask me, the role of a quarterback is to make his weapons look better – not the other way around. Many people will be fooled by his 40-17-0 record as a starter, but that’s no reason to put your trust in Jimmy G. Unfortunately, he’ll likely find a new team this offseason and be rewarded with a large contract.
15. Dak Prescott
Put him up against a bad defense and Dak Prescott will look like one of the best QBs in the league. Put him up against a good defense and he’ll disappoint you 8 times out of 10. I thought the Cowboys would learn their lesson when their backup quarterback came in and held the fort down, but they didn’t.
Prescott has averaged more than 300 yards per game over the past three seasons, but only put up 238 yards per game this season. He threw for 23 touchdowns and, while he only played in 12 games, he led the league with 15 interceptions – more than one per game. He then had five more picks in the playoffs.
14. Juan Soto
Between 2020 and 2021, Juan Soto had a .322 batting average, 42 home runs, 132 RBIs, and 150 runs scored in 198 games played for the Nationals. He was batting well, but wanted to play for a winner and turned down a 15-year, $440 million contract in July – would’ve been the biggest contract in MLB history.
He ended up playing 101 games for the Nationals last season and saw his batting average dip to .246 during that span. He was then traded to the Padres, where he batted even worse (.236) in 52 games. The Padres were supposed to contend for a World Series, but ultimately lost in the NL Championship Series.
13. Trae Young
Trae Young scores as well as anyone in the NBA and is among the leaders in assists each year, but no one wastes more possessions than him. And it’s not just the turnovers (averaging 4.1 per game over his career and currently leads the league in that category), but also his questionable shot selection at times.
The main reason Young is on this list is he gets treated like a franchise player when he’s not. His team is just 24-23 this season and his big stats don’t always equate to wins – reminds me of Russell Westbrook. And don’t get me started on his performance in last year’s playoffs (15.4 points, 6.2 turnovers per game).
12. Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa is another case of ‘the best ability is availability.’ He’s a pretty good quarterback when on the field, especially now that he has weapons (a lot of them, might I add), but I don’t want my starting quarterback playing 13 or less games each season – which is what he has done since being drafted.
He only started 13 games this season because he suffered three concussions – Week 3, Week 4, and Week 16. While it’s not entirely his fault, injuries are injuries and they make you unavailable. And some of these hits he takes that end in an injury aren’t the worst hits I’ve ever seen – some of them are even soft.
11. Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers deserves all the credit in the world for what he has done in the NFL leading up to this season – he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever throw the ball. With that said, this article is about 2022 and Rodgers didn’t bring it. After three straight seasons with a 13-3 record, the Pack went just 8-9.
And while Rodgers hasn’t thrown more than 10 interceptions in a season since 2010 and hasn’t thrown more than five interceptions over the past four seasons, he threw 12 of them in 2022 and failed to make the playoffs. To think the Packers gave this man nearly $50 million in hopes of leading them to a title.
10. Rudy Gobert
The Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves broke the internet – and the NBA, quite frankly – when they agreed to a trade that sent Rudy Gobert to the T-Wolves in exchange for four players, five draft picks, and one draft pick swap. All five of the picks were first rounders, including the No. 22 pick in the 2022 draft.
When Gobert joined the Timberwolves, he was creating what was supposed to be an indestructible front court, alongside Karl Anthony Towns. While his numbers taking a hit was expected, no one expected the Wolves to be just 24-24 at this point of the season. Maybe he wasn’t worth giving up the entire future of your franchise.
9. Kyle Schwarber
I get it, Kyle Schwarber hits a lot of dingers. He has hit at least 30 home runs in four different seasons, including putting up a career-high and NL-leading 46 home runs in 2022. Unfortunately, that’s about the only thing he does exceptionally well and is known for hurting his team just as much as he helps them.
Let’s look past the home runs. In 669 plate appearances and 577 at-bats, Schwarber only had a .218 batting average this season. And while he was named to the All-Star and won a Silver Slugger award, he led the entire MLB with 200 strikeouts – for reference, that’s the 16th-most strikeouts in a single season in MLB history.
8. Tom Brady
I’ll say it – Tom Brady needs to retire immediately and never should’ve come out of retirement in the first place. Sure, he threw for 4,694 yards this season and still looked better than a lot of QBs in the NFL, but he’s 45 years old and actually looked like it this year – throwing 18 less touchdowns than the year prior.
His team went 8-9, marking just the second time he failed to finish a season with double-digit wins – not including his rookie season (didn’t play) and 2008 season (only played one game due to injury). Still, many people are trying to act like he still has another Super Bowl victory in him – he doesn’t.
7. Draymond Green
Draymond Green is so protected and overrated that even brutally punching his teammate in the face – regardless of the context – during a practice doesn’t lead to much of a punishment. In fact, he was only fined for the incident and it was him that decided to step away from the team temporarily – not the team.
On the court, he does a lot of things well – nothing’s more impressive than his ability to direct his team. Still, there has only been one season where I feel he was deserving of a spot in the All-Star game – in 2015-16 – yet, he has been there four times including last season. He is and always has been overrated.
6. Kyler Murray
People can say Kliff Kingsbury was the problem with the Cardinals’ offense, but those are also the same people that were saying he’s the perfect coach for them two years ago – especially with Kyler Murray under center. To be honest, I believe Murray is the problem in Arizona and we’ll see that develop in 2023.
First off, Murray has missed 10 games in the past two seasons and is just 12-13 when on the field – including 3-8 in 11 games this season. He’s not very good at controlling the offense, has a hard time sustaining drives, and is only a threat because of his legs – which he doesn’t use that much anymore.
5. Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons was one of the most overrated athletes in 2021 and things are no different in 2022 – well, the only difference is he’s actually playing this time, but that might be doing him more harm than good. At least when he was on the bench in street clothes, there was a hope that he’d play well when he returned.
That hope has now been shattered. While many people thought he could resurrect his career in Brooklyn, he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. In 35 games this season, he’s averaging 7.5 points, 2.4 turnovers, and 3.5 fouls per game – the latter was a career-high. He rebounds and dishes assists, but that’s it.
4. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook averaged a 22-point triple-double during the 2020-21 season and was expected to bring that same type of energy to the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2021-22 season. Instead, he put up 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists – still good, but wasn’t enough to get the Lakers into the playoffs.
Things have only gotten worse this season – he’s averaging 15.9 points per game, which is the second-worst of his career. His rebounds are down to 6.6 per night and he’s averaging 3.5 turnovers per game. He now comes off the bench and, as always, doesn’t see his efforts translate to W’s in the win column.
3. Zion Williamson
Why do we keep hyping Zion Williamson up every year? He gets paid more than $10 million per year to sit on the bench – money that could be spent on players that can actually stay healthy. Sure, he’s a physical force when on the court, but that doesn’t do you any good in street clothes on the bench.
Williamson is in the final year of his four-year, $44 million contract he signed following the 2019 NBA Draft. That’s a lot of money for someone who has only played in 114 games – I’ll say it again, 114 GAMES – over the past four years. Let’s just ease up on the hype until we (if we) see him play a full season.
2. Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley isn’t really on this list because other people overrate him – he’s on this list because he overrates himself. For someone who only has one element to his game – annoying the opposing offense with abnormal defensive technique – he sure acts like he’s one of the better players to play the game.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Beverley is on his third team in as many years – teams are finally starting to realize that his play doesn’t contribute to a lot of wins. It’s entertaining, he’s funny with his trash talk, and he knows how to pump up his team. At the same time, he doesn’t bring anything else to the table.
1. Russell Wilson
I’ve talked about a lot of quarterbacks on this list, so I’m sure everyone saw this one coming. Despite being a football fan my entire life, I’ve never really seen someone go from being one of the best QBs in the league (for 10 years, nonetheless) to being one of the worst QBs – that was Russel Wilson in 2022.
Just look at all the hype he received after being traded to the Denver Broncos – he was supposed to lead them to the promised land. Instead, he looked worse than their previous quarterback and even his backup in Seattle played lights out in his absence. Maybe his success was tied to Pete Carroll this whole time.
What About the Most Underrated Athletes of 2022?
Where there are overrated athletes who get way more attention than they deserve, there are also underrated athletes who don’t get enough attention. It’s a balance that never seems to fail in sports and a balance that the sports world needs – let’s be honest, none of us mind a little controversy in sports.
With that said, some of the most underrated athletes of 2022 include Jared Goff (Detroit Lions), Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars), Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens), Kevin Huerter (Sacramento Kings), and much more.
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My challenge to sports fans is to be a little more mindful about who we give our attention to – the more we empower athletes for mediocre play, the more often we’re going to be met with mediocre play. Of course, we’re all going to root for whoever we want to root for anyway – so as long as we’re all having fun!
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