3. Ja'Whaun Bentley
Bentley, a New England captain, epitomized the "underrated" label in 2023 from his inside linebacker position. The sixth-year Patriot led a stout defensive unit in tackles with 114, and ranked 37th in the entire league in that category. New England was the seventh-best defense in the league in terms of yards allowed per game, and Bentley was at the center of their success on that side of the ball, playing the second-highest percentage of the team's defensive snaps, trailing only Dugger.
Normally categorized as more of a run stopper, Bentley also made an impact in the pass rush, finishing second on the team in both quarterback hits and sacks.
Bentley has been consistently underrated over the past few seasons, as this season marked his third-consecutive campaign surpassing the century mark in tackles. The linebacker also came up just short in 2020 with 91 tackles in only 13 games. He also led the 2022 Patriots in tackles.
New England's defense was a rare area of strength on a 4-13 squad, and Ja'Whaun Bentley was right at the center of it. Unlike other impending free agents on this list, Bentley is locked up through the end of the 2025 season in Foxborough.