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Ranking the fullbacks in the AFC West

6/11/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

We are continuing our periodic AFC West rankings with the fullbacks:

1. Lorenzo Neal, Oakland: Neal just signed with Oakland last month and he instantly goes to the head of the class in the division. The fullback may be a dying art form in the NFL, but Neal is one of the greatest ever to play the position. San Diego missed him last year while Baltimore's running game flourished with him. Neal should be a major boost for the Raiders' trio of running backs even at the age of 38.

2. Peyton Hillis, Denver: Hillis is a wild card here. He has been running as a fullback this offseason. But he is a versatile player, who can also see time at tailback and even in an H-back position if the Broncos' coaching staff chooses. He can be much more valuable than a lead blocker.

3. Jacob Hester, San Diego: Hester isn't an ideal fullback because of his smaller stature. But he did get stronger this offseason. Like Hillis, the second-year player is versatile. He can also run the ball in short-yardage situations. He has a chance to be a good player.

4. Mike Cox, Kansas City: Like Hillis and Hester, Cox is as second-year player. He started five games for the Chiefs last season after playing for offensive coordinator Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech in college. He has good size and he may have a decent future ahead of him.