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Monday, June 24, 2013
AFC West full of future stars

By Bill Williamson

In an Insider series, ESPN.com’s experts projected the best players at several positions for the 2016 season. There are some key AFC West players who were recognized for their long-term potential.

Denver’s Von Miller is listed as the No. 1 pass-rusher for the long termInsider and Kansas City’s Justin Houston is listed as No. 8. Both are well deserving. I totally agree with Miller'’s top ranking and I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston shoots up the list.

On the offensive line, No.1 overall draft pick Eric Fisher is projected as the No. 2 offensive lineman in three years. That is the very reason why the Chiefs went with Fisher -- his immense potential. Oakland center Stefen Wisniewski comes on at No. 9 on the list. It was well deserved. Wisniewski is an underrated young player.

At receiver, Denver’s Demaryius Thomas is ranked No. 5. Thomas may not have Peyton Manning throwing him the ball in 2016, but I agree, he will be top notch.

Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles is projected as the No. 10-best running back in 2016. He is top notch now, but he will turn 30 in 2016 and that is ancient for a running back. So, I get why he isn’t listed higher.

In other AFC West notes:

ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha examines the importance of Miller in Denver.

Colorful new Oakland punter Chris Kluwe showed his writing chops in a Sports Illustrated column.

The Chargers have made some minor tweaks to their uniforms.