I was studying the group of AFC West defensive lineman Monday as part of my preparation for our position-by-position rankings.
It was stunning to realize just how much turnover has occurred on the defensive line throughout the division. Here is a link to last year’s defensive linemen rankings. Five of the first six players on the list last year are no longer in the division.
The result is that, as a whole, the defensive line groups in the division are young and perhaps even unproven.
I think every team in the division has questions on the defensive line.
Denver probably has the fewest questions on the defensive line. But Robert Ayers must prove he can be a suitable starter.
Kansas City and San Diego, which both employ three-man defensive fronts, are the thinnest defensive lines in the division. As far as depth beyond the starters go. Each group has some nice players, but there could be problems if there are injuries.
Oakland does have some decent depth on the line, but the question is if several former part-time players can take the next step and become bigger contributors. Plus, there are pass-rusher questions as well.
The bottom line is this will definitely be a year of transition up front defensively in the AFC West.