The AFL has a small group of players that are statistically elite or above average, however do not get the same media attention or ‘hype’ as the competition’s outright stars.
Underrated players are the workhorses and the backbone of each club. However, which players classify as ‘underrated’ is a heated topic of conversation among AFL enthusiasts.
Gary Lyon and Tim Watson called out to listeners on SEN Breakfast, to nominate their choice for the ‘most underrated players’.
“We got a couple of hundred messages and they were the six names that came out the most” said Lyon.
The six names that popped up the most were Rory Sloane (Adelaide), Jarryd Lyons (Brisbane), Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne), Shane Edwards (Richmond), Luke Parker (Sydney) and Luke Shuey (West Coast).
Ranking the six most underrated players in the #AFL
Who makes your underrated list? pic.twitter.com/YJMyF7oKHY
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) April 21, 2021
Both Watson and Lyon ranked Parker and Shuey in their top three most underrated players.
Parker is ranked above average across his career for disposals (23), kicks (11.2), score involvements (5.8), clearances (4.7) and elite in contested possessions (11.3).
Shuey ranks elite in kicks (12.9), clearances (5.6), metres gained (384.9m) and score involvements (6.1).
Throughout the commencement of season 2021, Cunnington and Shuey have both suffered injury setbacks. Rory Sloane will also miss at least three more rounds after suffering a rare eye injury, which effected his vision at training.
Jarryd Lyons has kicked off the season in arguably career-best form, averaging 27.2 disposals, 5.8 clearances and 14 contested possessions.
Shane Edwards continues to be a model of consistency, starting off his 2021 campaign averaging 22.4 disposals, 3.2 clearances and 384.1 metres gained.