Not a strong group of wide receivers in the AFC West overall but a lot of potential for improved play. With the offenses in Kansas City and Oakland looking to be taking a step forward after dismal seasons, there could be some surprises in those two receiving corps this season.
But it figures to be pretty top heavy in the receiver talent arena. Keep in mind, however, that this is not a ranking of the overall passing attack or presumed resulting receiving numbers. This is simply the talent of the receivers. If you want a better indication of where these teams would rank in the overall passing game, you can combine the receiver rankings with the quarterback rankings. You might even toss in the offensive linemen and tight end rankings (once I get to those).
With that said, here are the AFC West rankings based upon the talent at the wide receiver position:
Easily the best receiver group in this division. Decker and Thomas were performing well even during the days of Tim Tebow in Denver, before Peyton Manning came to town. Now their full potential is being realized. Then you add the best slot receiver in the game in Wes Welker and come on, it's just not fair.
While a steep drop-off from the top receiver unit in this division, this trio still lands in second place. Bowe is a number one quality receiver and one of the better receivers in the NFL with three 1000-yard seasons on his resume. The other receivers are not near as good. Baldwin has been a huge disappointment and McCluster is more of a tweener running back/return man/wide receiver who has never been great at any of them.
This is, of course, on the assumption Jacoby Ford can actually stay healthy this season which is a big leap of faith. He has already been injured twice in camp but nothing season threatening as of this moment. Denarius Moore and Rod Streater will both be vying for the most catches on this team. Neither has emerged as THE guy but they may not need to in this offense. They both can share the catches evenly and I wouldn't be surprised if they did. And if Ford CAN stay healthy, he adds a dynamic presence in the slot.
The Chargers had a strong case for the second best wide receiver unit in the AFC West until they lost Danario Alexander for the season. Now they are left with just Malcom Floyd, who is decent but has never been more than a complementary receiver, and unproven potential in Vincent Brown. Then there's Eddie Royal who had a great rookie season but hasn't done much in the past four seasons, including averaging under 200 yards receiving the past two seasons.