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Ranking the AFC West: Offensive guards

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There’s absolutely no question which AFC West team has the best guards.

1. Raiders Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson

This duo is not just the best in the division, but one of the best in all of football. Osemele was a fantastic offseason addition. He will take the left guard spot, moving Jackson to right guard. Jackson was already a dynamite run blocker and with an offseason and training camp, the transition to the right side should be seamless. There is a pretty sizable dropoff from these two to the rest of the division.

2. Broncos - Max Garcia, Ty Sambrailo

The fact that the Broncos may have the second best guard duo in the division is a testament to the sad state of the position outside of the Raiders. Both of the Broncos starting guards from last season are gone. Evan Mathis joined the Broncos for one outstanding season, got a Super Bowl ring out of it, and moved on to join the Cardinals. The Broncos let him leave in favor of Garcia who was the team’s fourth round pick last year and started five games late in the season. Louis Vasquez was released after a down season and will be replaced by Sambrailo who is even more of a mystery. He was the team’s second round pick last year but as a tackle. He had three rough outings at left tackle last season and now, with the addition of Russell Okung, moves inside to play guard. Letting their veteran guards walk leaves a very uneasy situation behind.

3. Chargers - Orlando Franklin, DJ Fluker

When the Chargers first moved these two former failed tackles inside, it seemed like it could work out well. It hasn’t. Neither of them inspires much confidence. Franklin can’t stay healthy and is terrible when he is and Fluker just looks lost out there much of the time. The hope is that his first full offseason at the position will yield positive results.

4. Chiefs Zach Fulton/Parker Ehinger, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Oddly enough, both Fulton and Duvernay-Tardif were chosen by the Chiefs in the 6th round of the 2014 draft. Now they are the team’s starting guards. After starting 16 games as a rookie sixth round pick in 2014, Fulton started just six games last season, bouncing around to play each interior line position. Ehinger is a rookie fourth round pick who could take over as the starting left guard.

Also see AFC West rankings for:

Running back
Wide receivers
Tight end
Offensive tackles