- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Our AFC West position-by-position rankings are continuing with the offensive line. We are going 14 players deep this year. If he is on the list, then he’s pretty good.
1. Ryan Clady, Denver, T: One of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. The Broncos hope he recovers from a partially torn patella tendon in his knee (which he suffered playing basketball) in time to start the season. Denver will miss him terribly if he can’t return right away.
2. Ryan Harris, Denver, T: Harris is an underrated player. He is a dominant right tackle who is extremely athletic. Denver’s offense suffered terribly when he injured his toe in the seventh game of last season.
3. Nick Hardwick, San Diego, C: Hardwick has been dealing with injuries in recent years. Still, he remains a top-flight center.
4. Kris Dielman, San Diego, G:He quietly goes about his business and is one of the better players at his craft. He’s a sturdy force on San Diego’s offense.
5. Marcus McNeill, San Diego, T: McNeill had a very good season in 2009. He is an upper-echelon left tackle and is just reaching his prime.
6. Chris Kuper, Denver, G: Kuper is a tough, hard-working player. Had Denver not given him a first-round tender, he likely would have been snapped up in restricted free agency.
7. Louis Vasquez, San Diego, G: He was the best rookie in the AFC West last year, becoming an instant impact player on the deepest line in the division.
8. Branden Albert, Kansas City, T: Albert is a work in progress. But he is a talented player. The Chiefs clearly think he can be the answer at left tackle or they would have taken Russell Okung instead of safety Eric Berry at No. 5 last month.
9. Robert Gallery, Oakland, G: Gallery is a solid player at guard. He is Oakland’s best offensive linemen. He needs better health in 2010.
10. Casey Wiegmann, Kansas City, C: Wiegmann may be aging, but expect him to help toughen the Chiefs’ offensive line with his return in 2010.
11. Brian Waters, Kansas City, G: Still, a very formable player. Waters is a pro’s pro. He's very steady. He’ll be a big reason why the Chiefs will run the ball well this season.
12. Ryan Lilja, Kansas City, G: He is another reason why Kansas City will be much better on the offensive line. He’s a rugged player.
13. Cooper Carlisle, Oakland, G: Carlisle just keeps ticking. Steady and quiet, he simply gets the job done.
14. Mario Henderson, Oakland, T: Henderson is still learning to play at the NFL level. He has a chance to be an above-average player.
1dEric D. Williams
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