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Ranking the AFC West: Safeties

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The final defensive position getting a division ranking is safety.

1. Chiefs - Eric Berry, Ron Parker

Berry was the 2015 comeback player of the year after working his way back from cancer. But it wasn’t just a pat on the back kind of award. Berry came back as strong as ever, being named All Pro. This was his second All Pro nod and his fourth Pro Bowl at the age of 27. He has been a Pro Bowler in each of his full NFL seasons. Yeah, he’s pretty good. Parker was a Raider for a short time back in 2011. He bounced around in 2011 and 2012 before finding a home in Kansas City and blossoming into a damn fine starter for them over the past couple seasons.

2. Broncos - TJ Ward, Darian Stewart

Ward and Stewart are the other part of that outstanding Broncos secondary. Ward is a two-time Pro Bowler, including just a season ago after the Broncos signed him away from the Browns. Stewart may not have the Pro Bowl resume Ward does, but he was pretty impressive in his own rite last season. Much of that could be helped by the Broncos all-around dominant defense, including a great pass rush and probably the best cornerback trio in the league. But I’m not about to discount them based on a great surrounding cast.

3. Raiders - Reggie Nelson, Karl Joseph

Nelson had a career year last season at the age of 32. Even with a league leading 8 interceptions along with 14 passes defended, he wasn’t in major demand at the start of free agency. He found his best option in Oakland on a 2-year deal and a starting spot waiting for him due to the retirement of Charles Woodson. He also reunites with his former head coach, Jack Del Rio. Even with Nelson onboard, safety was still a man short, so the Raiders grabbed a short man at pick 14. The 5-10, 205-pound Joseph packs a punch. He was the best safety in this draft even though he’s returning from an ACL injury.

4. Chargers - Jahleel Addae, Dwight Lowery

Like so many other positions in this division, the Chargers are bringing up the rear. Treating their All Pro safety Eric Weddle like garbage and letting him leave as a free agent was not the smartest thing the organization could have done. Replacing Weddle is Dwight Lowery; a journeyman safety who is on his fourth team in four years. Though statistically he is coming off one of his best NFL season with 4 interceptions, 8 passes defended, and 76 combined tackles (58 solo). Addae is a former undrafted free agent who in his third season in 2015 had a career high 12 starts.

Also see AFC West rankings for:

Quarterback
Running back
Wide receivers
Tight end
Offensive tackles
Offensive guards
Center
Defensive tackles
Defensive ends
Outside linebackers
Inside linebackers
Cornerbacks