Position Rankings: AFC West

This year’s AFC West will be best. After my prediction to win the division last year got the first pick overall in this year’s draft, I thought to myself, “how did the Chiefs get 6 players to the pro bowl, with only 2 wins?” Simple. Matt Cassell. Getting an upgrade at that position makes them a very good contender to take what belongs to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. But lets be real here, does any team in the division even stand a chance against Denver? If we thought last year’s team was good, wait until this season. Newly acquired Wes Welker should fare out well in the slot against corners in the division such as Marcus Gilchrist and DJ Hayden. In this we’ll see how I rank the position players for each AFC West team.

AFCWest

Quarterbacks:

  1. Peyton Manning, DEN

  2. Philip Rivers, SD

  3. Alex Smith, KC

  4. Matt Flynn, OAK

Peyton Manning, coming off one of his greatest seasons ever, is the best QB in this division, if not in football. Philip Rivers narrowly comes in at #2. Rivers has been a turnover machine in the past 2 seasons having the second most turnovers in the league behind Mark Sanchez with 49, but in 2009, Rivers had an all pro season posting a completing percentage of 65.2% with 4254 yards and 29 total touchdowns (one rushing). That’s a QB rating of 104.4 and a QBR of 74.6.

Alex Smith still hasn’t proven himself to be a reliable QB. He has had one good season since being drafted #1 overall by the 49ers back in 2005. He played well last season but eventually lost his job to Colin Kaepernick due to concussion like-symptoms. If He can play up to how he did in 2011, then I see the Chiefs playing well this season, if not, then they will be a top 5 pick again.

 

Runningbacks:

  1. Jamaal Charles, KC

  2. Darren McFadden, OAK

  3. Willis McGahee, DEN

  4. Ryan Mathews, SD

Jamaal Charles is one of the best in the league, and by far one of the most explosive. He could be the next guy to put pressure on that single season rushing record. Now that the O-Line is revamped with the addition of Eric Fisher, he will be a scary back.

Now let’s go to the bottom of this list. Ryan Mathews is a back that I have favored since being drafted out of Fresno State to replace the future hall of famer LaDainian Tomlinson. The reasoning for Chargers moving up to draft him was his explosiveness around the sides. What I think his problem is, besides the fact he gets injured, is he isn’t utilized correctly. But now that McCoy has taken over the head coaching duties, there could be a change.

 

Wide Receivers:

  1. Wes Welker, DEN

  2. Dwayne Bowe, KC

  3. Demaryius Thomas, DEN

  4. Danario Alexander, SD

  5. Eric Decker, DEN

With Denver having 3 of the top 5 best WR’s in the AFC West, and some could argue the best receiving core in football, they will be a extremely tough team to defend, especially with Peyton Manning at the helm. It’s no argument that Denver will win the division this year, but now with the addition to Welker in the slot, they might have exactly what they need to win the superbowl.

 

Tight Ends:

  1. Antonio Gates, SD

  2. Anthony Fasano, KC

  3. Joel Dreessen, DEN

  4. (Enter name here), OAK

What is there really to say about Antonio Gates? With a career total of 642 catches, for 8,321 total yards and 83 total touchdowns, he is a lock for the hall of fame. Gates isn’t hard to put as our number one pick here, especially as he sees a lot more double teams now than he did in 2006-10. Gates assists teammates such as Danario Alexander and Malcolm Floyd get open and also spreads the offense. He is a coach’s dream, and the opposing coach’s nightmare.

As you can see, the Raiders have (Enter name here) as their tight end…meaning I’m not sure who takes over that role now that they lost Brandon Meyers to the Giants. Oakland seems to lose talent every year and losing a guy who had 800 yards last year will hurt them.

 

Offensive Line:

  1. Denver Broncos

  2. Kansas City Chiefs

  3. Oakland Raiders

  4. San Diego Chargers

The Broncos have the best offensive line in football. With the addition of Louis Vasquez at guard, Manning might never even get touched this season. Now it’s easy to see why Broncos were so efficient last year. Yes, having a guy like Peyton Manning helps, but offensive line is the second most important position in football, behind the QB of course. The Denver Broncos are what the Oakland Raiders, or even the San Diego Chargers will aspire to be.

 

Special Teams:

  1. Denver Broncos

  2. San Diego Chargers

  3. Oakland Raiders

  4. Kansas City Chiefs

This is based off of how good the kicker, punter, and kick returner is. The Raiders would be number one if they still had Shane Lechler, but since he’s in Houston, the Raiders slide to number 3.

 

Defense:

  1. Denver Broncos

  2. San Diego Chargers

  3. Kansas City Chiefs

  4. Oakland Raiders

Who can argue about the Broncos being #1 in defense? With the loss of Elvis Dumervil because his agent can’t use a fax machine, he’s in Baltimore. But they found a pretty good replacement in Shaun Phillips. With him and Von Miller from the sides, this D will put up some great sack numbers.

A defense I am really high on this year is the San Diego Chargers. After having Drafted Manti Te’o, a first round talent in the second round to compliment a rising star in Donald Butler, makes this defense just plain nasty. The defensive line on this team is young, but very, very talented. Both Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes are going to be legit next season. With Melvin Ingram tearing his ACL, it hurts the defense dramatically, but I think they will be just fine. Eric Weddle and Brandon Taylor, who would probably have a starting job if it wasn’t for an ACL tear last year, will contribute to a young and elite defense for years to come. I have high predictions for this defense.

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