NFL Free Agents: Henry Melton Is Most Underrated Player on the Market

Corey Walker@coreyalexander5Contributor IIFebruary 12, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 25: Henry Melton #69 of the Chicago Bears rushes against Brandon Fusco #63 of the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 25, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 28-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Henry Melton is not a household name—yet.

However, those who followed the Bears this year know that Melton is a disruptive force that knows how to get to the quarterback. Having a defensive lineman that is able to collapse the pocket is becoming a necessity in today’s NFL, more than ever.

As we all know, the NFL has become a passing league, and every team needs a player that can disrupt the Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings of the world.

Fresh off of his first Pro Bowl selection, he’s quietly become one of the most coveted free agents on the market.

He’s amassed 13 sacks over the past two years and led the Bears with 24 quarterback pressures in this past season. He has served as the ideal complement to the more recognizable Julius Peppers. Although he’s played alongside other great players in one of the NFL’s most feared defenses, Melton was still able to make a sizable impact and create quite a highlight reel of his own.

At the young age of 26, Melton has already established himself as one of the best interior lineman in not just free agency, but the entire NFL.  What makes him even more frightening is that his entire potential has not been met and his ceiling is sky-high. His combination of size, quickness and agility make him an exciting prospect that leaves defensive coordinators around the NFL drooling.

At 6’3” and 295 pounds, players with Melton’s size, skill, productivity and youth are rare and valuable. He would serve as an immediate upgrade to almost any defensive line in the league.

Signing Melton means signing a player that is entering the prime of his career and has already proven that he can perform at a high level.

He’s not a high-profile type player that would probably come with the baggage and bust-potential of Albert Haynesworth or Nnamdi Asomugha. He won’t have all the unnecessary hype and pressure surrounding him, which will allow him to make a smooth transition into whatever team he chooses.

Henry Melton will be a valuable piece to someone’s team next year, because no matter how good your team is, it is almost impossible to get to the Super Bowl without a pass rush. Just ask the Atlanta Falcons.