Shockey failing to make deep impact By KC Joyner ESPN Insider This is the first of a series of articles covering the most overrated and underrated players in the NFL. The criteria I used was contrasting the player's 2006 metrics with his perceived performance level. This week's list features overrated and underrated tight ends. Overrated tight ends Jeremy Shockey Shockey was a Pro Bowl alternate last year, but the metrics indicate he didn't deserve the selection. Shockey ranked 23rd in yards per attempt among qualifying tight ends last year (5.6). He ranked last in medium pass YPA and 18th in short pass YPA. Shockey is perceived to be an excellent downfield threat when lining up as a wide receiver, but that is also a mirage. He had a 4.7 YPA on passes thrown to him when he was flexed out, a total that placed him next to last in that category. In a nutshell, Shockey's YPA figures place him more in the company of Randal Williams and Alex Smith, not Jason Witten and Alge Crumpler (the other two NFC Pro Bowl tight ends in 2006). Randy McMichael This is the second consecutive year I've identified McMichael as being overrated. His move to St. Louis has revealed that some people still believe he is one of the elite tight ends in the NFL. The metrics say otherwise. McMichael's overall YPA (6.9) was adequate, ranking him 13th among tight ends last year. Unfortunately, he is a one-trick pony. Of the 92 passes thrown to him last season, 71 were short passes (1-10 yards). The reason McMichael wasn't thrown more vertical passes is his YPA on the 21 combined medium/deep/bomb passes last year was a meager 7.0 yards. McMichael also had the lowest YPA and success percentage for a tight end when flexed out. He should do a fine job in St. Louis as a check-down target, but he is certainly no longer one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Underrated tight ends Chris Cooley Cooley is already considered by many to be one of the top 10 tight ends in the NFL, but the metrics indicate he deserves even more praise. Cooley posted the fourth-best overall YPA among tight ends. He had the sixth-best medium pass YPA and the best short pass YPA. His YPA when flexed out (10.8) was easily the highest in the NFL. That he was able to put up these numbers, despite the struggles of the Redskins' quarterbacks last year, speaks volumes about his ability. Desmond Clark Last year, Rex Grossman claimed Clark was his go-to receiver, and the metrics show why. He ranked third in YPA, finishing ahead of players such as Cooley and Jason Witten. Clark's numbers were not skewed by a smaller number of attempts: In addition to his impressive overall numbers, Clark also ranked fourth in both medium and deep pass YPA. If he puts up similar numbers in 2007, he should receive a lot of votes for the Pro Bowl.