Ranking the top 40 players in the AFC West

This is the 11th and final player rankings of the 2011 offseason. It is a little different this year because we’re ranking the players before free agency starts and before rosters are set. We will adjust accordingly as we go along. Here are the top 40 players, in my opinion, in the AFC West. For this one, we did not consider rookies.

1. Philip Rivers, San Diego: He is an elite player at the most important position on the field.

2. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland: There’s a reason he’ll be the top prize in free agency.

3. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City: One of the NFL’s most dynamic young players.

4. Antonio Gates, San Diego: He should end up in Canton.

5. Tamba Hali, Kansas City: One of the NFL’s best defensive players.

6. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City: He is a game-changing talent.

7. Richard Seymour, Oakland: Respected veteran changed Oakland’s defense.

8. Vincent Jackson, San Diego: Expect a strong rebound in 2011.

9. Ryan Clady, Denver: One of the game's premier left tackles.

10. Champ Bailey, Denver: Even at 33, he is special.

11. Eric Berry, Kansas City: He should be the game’s best safety soon.

12. Nick Hardwick, San Diego: An anchor to a strong offensive line.

13. Darren McFadden, Oakland: He is developing into a star.

14. Matt Cassel, Kansas City: Cassel has to continue to make strides.

15. Zach Miller, Oakland: He can make Oakland’s offense special.

16. Derrick Johnson, Kansas City: He is a serious playmaker.

17. Quentin Jammer, San Diego: Solid veteran is an anchor to a good defense.

18. Kris Dielman, San Diego: A steady hand on the Chargers’ line.

19. D.J. Williams, Denver: He is a tackling machine.

20. Marcus McNeill, San Diego: He’s an upper-echelon left tackle.

21. Shaun Phillips, San Diego: He is one of the division’s best pass-rushers.

22. Brandon Flowers, Kansas City: One of the game’s best young cornerbacks.

23. Eric Weddle, San Diego: A hard-nosed playmaker at safety.

24. Glenn Dorsey, Kansas City: He came on strong in 2010.

25. Tommy Kelly, Oakland: Massive defensive tackle had a big season in 2010.

26. Elvis Dumervil, Denver: If Dumervil bounces back from sitting out in 2010, he should be ranked higher next year.

27. Rolando McClain, Oakland: McClain has a chance to be one of the division’s better linebackers.

28. Brandon Lloyd, Denver: Lloyd came out of nowhere for a special 2010.

29. Shane Lechler, Oakland: The game’s best kicking specialist.

30. Ryan Lilja, Kansas City: A gritty, tough veteran guard.

31. Malcom Floyd, San Diego: He can make the spectacular catch look easy.

32. Brian Waters, Kansas City: A great veteran presence on a good line.

33. Jason Campbell, Oakland: Oakland will be depending on Campbell a lot this season.

34. Kamerion Wimbley, Oakland: He can get sacks in bunches.

35. Tony Moeaki, Kansas City: Second-year tight end is a player to watch.

36. Lamarr Houston, Oakland: He has a chance to be special.

37. Antonio Garay, San Diego: He had a strong 2010 season at 31.

38. Ryan Mathews, San Diego: He showed flashes as a rookie.

39. Michael Bush, Oakland: He and McFadden form a nice tandem.

40. Thomas Jones, Kansas City: He can still help the Chiefs at 33.