Each offseason, Pro Football Focus seeks out a little more than a handful of players who they deem as "secret superstars" heading into the next NFL season. Last year, they gave that label to Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward. Another member of the Browns was given the label for 2013, and it's a guy who has gotten a lot of low-key love from fans and other sites: OG John Greco.
Before we get to Greco, here are the other "secret superstars" that PFF has named for 2013 as of this post:
Arizona Cardinals OT Bobby Massie
Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce
Atlanta Falcons CB Robert McClain
Buffalo Bills DE Alex Carrington
Carolina Panthers CB Captain Munnerlyn
Chicago Bears DT Nate Collins
Cincinnati Bengals CB Adam Jones
...and now Greco. The utility offensive lineman filled in for Jason Pinkston at left guard last season for 10 games, and he could be a serious contender to start at either guard position in 2013. Here are some of the highlights from the article by PFF, explaining why he is projected to be a "secret superstar" this season:
Greco started with a bang, delivering the best performance of his career in his first start for the Browns against the Indianapolis Colts. Perfect in pass protection, it was as a run blocker that he truly starred. The highest yards per carry for the Browns that day came on runs to either side of him. ...
... Pinkston was better as a pass blocker in the limited amount of action he saw in 2012, with a PBE Rating of 98.0 before his injury. Greco was impressive as a starter, but his own PBE Rating of 96.5 wasn’t much better than Pinkston’s 2011 mark — it was his work as a run blocker that set him apart. Playing 714 snaps, Greco’s run blocking grade of +11.3 was seventh among all guards. ...
... When you look at the players at the guard position in the NFL, there are two tiers at the top. The first features Evan Mathis alone, such has been his level of dominance at the position, but in the next tier you have players like Mike Iupati, Marshal Yanda and Josh Sitton. It’s unlikely that Greco is going to put together a season that would put him on par with Mathis but, with 16 starts and a slight improvement in play, it’s not out of the question for him to enter that second tier.
If a guy has that type of potential, how can he not be a starter? One thing is for sure: Rob Chudzinski will give him a legitimate chance to start. The team has no long-term investment when it comes to a contract in Jason Pinkston or Shawn Lauvao, so it's not like there is a need to build a guy for the future if Greco ends up being the "here and now."