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The kings of the underrated

It’s Underrated Friday (if that’s even possible) here at ESPN.com.

Earlier Friday, our blog network presented an underrated player for each NFL team. Our AFC West selections went this way: D.J. Williams (Denver), Brandon Carr (Kansas City), Marcell Reece (Oakland) and Antonio Garay (San Diego).

The great John Clayton complemented the package with his All-NFL underrated team. The AFC West was well represented. Six of the 22 players named by Clayton play in the AFC West. It was the most of any division in the NFL.

OK, so, the AFC West may be the division with the longest Super Bowl appearance drought in the NFL (Oakland represented the division in 2003), but at least we can hang our hat on something. Being underrated is better than being overrated.

Here are the AFC West players who Clayton tabbed for his team: Kyle Orton (Denver), Brandon Flowers (Kansas City), Jacoby Ford (Oakland), Shaun Phillips (San Diego), Garay and Reece. I can see the case for all of the players Clayton picked.

I think Flowers and Ford are soon to be Pro Bowl players and Phillips has long been a steady pass-rusher. Orton may soon be packing his bags. Denver is probably happy to see him make Clayton’s list. Anything that stokes the trade winds.