AFC's most overrated players

Joe Flacco has a very important season in front of him to back up his claim. Rob Carr/Getty Images

Most overrated AFC players | Most overrated NFC players

To paraphrase a John Facenda line, the NFL offseason is a time of hope. It isn't hard to look over the personnel changes that occurred in free agency and the draft and find a path for mediocre teams to become playoff contenders or for playoff contenders to become Super Bowl champions.

That type of positive mindset can be useful, but it can also be damaging when it comes to grading personnel, as it can make mediocre players seem good and good players seem great.

Those types of personnel grading errors cannot and should not go unchallenged, so let's take a look at six players in the AFC whose hype levels exceed their performance levels.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco put himself on this list by saying in an April radio interview that he thinks he is the best quarterback in the NFL.

That he isn't the best field general in the league comes as no surprise, but Flacco's 2011 season doesn't even place him in the upper half of the league. His 9.6 vertical yards per attempt mark (VYPA -- which measures success on passes 11-plus yards downfield) ranked tied for 25th, and his 10.7 stretch vertical YPA (SVYPA -- passes over 20 yards downfield) ranked 26th.