Clayton not high on most AFC West QBs

August, 31, 2011
8/31/11
3:05
PM ET
ESPN’s John Clayton ranked the NFL’s quarterbacks and he doesn’t think too much the guys under center in the AFC West -- with one notable exception. Let’s take a look at how Clayton ranks the AFC West’s signal callers:

6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Analysis: Rivers is a riverboat gambler. Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson may be double-covered, but Rivers will still get them the ball. Last year, he had Gates-Jackson-Malcom Floyd on the field for only about a quarter together. Watch for Rivers to have his best season.

Arrow is pointing: up

My thoughts: Regular readers of this blog know I think Rivers is one of the very best players in the NFL. So, no arguments here.

15. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

Analysis: Cassel is almost like (Chad) Pennington, a quarterback who took four teams to the playoffs for the Jets and Dolphins. He manages the game well enough to win and get a team into the playoffs. What holds him back is the lack of a big arm and his struggles in games against elite quarterbacks.

Arrow is pointing: flat

My thoughts: I think Cassel is ranked in the right range. I think he does have a chance to improve, especially since he has so many offensive weapons around him.

20. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos

Analysis: He outlasted Rex Grossman in Chicago. He survived a Tim Tebow challenge. Even though he might not be the people's choice in Denver, he's a good quarterback who was on pace for a 5,000-yard throwing season early last year.

Arrow is pointing: flat

My thoughts: Like Cassel, I think Orton may be ranked a tad low. He is a solid player, but I don’t know if he is the long-term answer in Denver.

23. Jason Campbell, Oakland Raiders

Analysis: Campbell has a coach who believes in him in Hue Jackson. Too bad he doesn't have an offensive line that can block for him.

Arrow is pointing: down

My thoughts: I think Campbell has a chance to be much better than his ranking. He looked improved this summer and he has good coaching. He could jump up eight spots or so, in my opinion.

What are your thoughts on Clayton’s ranking? Express your thoughts in the comment section below. Here’s an opportunity to rank the NFL quarterbacks yourself.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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