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Friday, June 19, 2009
Ranking the defensive backs in the AFC West

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Our periodic AFC West position rankings continue with the best defensive backs in the AFC West, in my opinion:

1. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland: Nnamdi has become, I believe, the best cornerback in the NFL. He is the definition of a shut-down cornerback.

2. Champ Bailey, Denver: Bailey is going to turn 31 Monday, and he is coming off an injury-filled season. Still, he is brilliant. This is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who is still a top player.

3. Quentin Jammer, San Diego: There is a pretty big drop off from No. 2 to No. 3, but Jammer is a good player. He had a nice season in 2008.

4. Antonio Cromartie, San Diego: Cromartie probably won't be No. 4 on this list next year. He'll either bounce back from a poor 2008 or he'll continue to slip. Yet, the team thinks he will improve because he played with a hip injury nearly all of last season.

5. Brian Dawkins, Denver: Dawkins may be much lower on this list next year if his play drops at the age of 35. But he still brings plenty of panache to Denver.

6. Eric Weddle, San Diego: Weddle is a fine player, who made a ton of tackles for the Chargers last season. Expect continued improvement.

7. Antoine Cason, San Diego: If Cromartie slips, Cason can take his job. The sky is the limit for this second-year player.

8. Jarrad Page, Kansas City: Page is a solid safety, who has play-making ability.

9. Brandon Flowers, Kansas City: Flowers made nice strides as a rookie last season. He has a chance to be a fine player.

10. Andre Goodman, Denver: Denver signed Goodman as a free agent this offseason. He is a solid pro.

11. Chris Johnson, Oakland: Johnson took over for the cut DeAngelo Hall in the middle of the season and was much better than the high-priced Hall.

12. Brandon Carr, Kansas City: Like Flowers, Carr looked promising as a rookie cornerback last season. He has nice potential.