Lately, we’ve been ranking quarterbacks from the various divisions all over the place. However, quarterback is not the only position that matters. So let’s take a look at and rank the combined WR/TE lineups of the AFC West. I choose to rank them together because the line between WR and TE is getting more blurry than it once was; and it would be pretty boring to do TE by itself anyway.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Well… they have one of the better TE’s in football right now with Travis Kelce, and Gavin Escobar is okay enough for a backup TE. But this WR lineup right now does not inspire confidence. Especially not since they released Jeremy Maclin a few weeks ago. Now they have no reliable #1 WR’s on the entire team. They’re stuck with Chris Conley and Albert Wilson. They also have Tyreek Hill, who is actually quite good, but as I said once before in a previous article, he’s not a traditional WR so much as he is the second coming of Devin Hester. It’s sad, but some of the RB’s might actually be better at being WR’s than the actual WR’s are. They might have the best TE in the division right now, but their WR lineup is actually one of the worst in football.
3. Denver Broncos
This is an interesting case. They arguably have the best WR duo in the division (yes, even better than Cooper and Crabtree). Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are about as good a duo as they come. However, we’re ranking groups based on depth here. And beyond Thomas and Sanders, there’s really no one else. Bennie Fowler, Cody Latimer, Marlon Brown. None of these guys seem that good. The TE position is also a bit weak; Virgil Green isn’t bad, but he’s better as a #2 TE. They did draft that guy named Jake Butt (yup, that’s actually his name), so we’ll see how he does. But for now, despite Thomas and Sanders, this group is stuck at third best in the division.
2. Los Angeles Chargers
While only one receiver (Allen) comes that close to Denver’s Thomas-Sanders duo, these guys have more depth than you’d expect. Keenan Allen is very dangerous when healthy. Tyrell Williams, who had to take over at #1 receiver for the injured Allen last year, put up 1,000 yards. Dontrelle Inman is actually a pretty good slot receiver as well. Travis Benjamin was disappointing overall last year, but he can pull down a deep ball pretty well if nothing else. They also took Mike Williams in the first round; if he turns out good, that increases the depth even further. Also, they have two very good TE’s; Antonio Gates can still make plays, and Hunter Henry looks to be a strong successor. Overall, this group has a lot of depth and that will help them in their attempt to bounce back this year.
1. Oakland Raiders
Last year, few offenses had more success than Oakland’s; and that was mostly off the passing game. Amari Cooper is an excellent young receiver. And though Michael Crabtree was quite inconsistent in San Francisco, he seems to have found his place in Oakland. The two are a fearsome duo. Seth Roberts is a pretty good #3 as well; a bit inconsistent, but seems to make the plays that count. They also picked up Cordarrelle Patterson, and are hoping to get him going as a deep threat. If they can, watch out. Over at the TE position, they picked up Jared Cook; I’m not particularly optimistic about him, but Clive Walford is decent enough. Overall, this is an WR/TE lineup that was terrifying last year, and it’ll be terrifying again this year.