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Monday, July 2, 2012
Ranking the kicking specialists

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

We conclude our AFC West positional rankings series with the kicking specialists. Friday, I will wrap up the ranking madness with my top 40 players in the division regardless of position. Now onto the best group of kickers and punters in the NFL. I’m not blowing smoke here. This is one deep group. Even the players at the bottom of this list are standouts:

1. Shane Lechler, Oakland: You could call him the greatest punter to ever and have a strong argument.

2. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland: Janikowski is getting better with age. He has found consistency to go along with his spectacular leg.

3. Mike Scifres, San Diego: Always overshadowed by Lechler, Scifres is a standout himself.

4. Dustin Colquitt, Kansas City: He’d probably be the best punter in five or six divisions.

5. Matt Prater, Denver: He has a big leg and he’s clutch. He’s excellent.

6. Britton Colquitt, Denver: Dustin’s little brother is making a name for himself.

7. Ryan Succop, Kansas City: He has a long career ahead of him.

8. Nate Kaeding/Nick Novak, San Diego: This will be a battle to watch, Novak kicked well after Kaeding was injured in Week 1. Both are quality kickers.