Chiefs, Chargers Battle For AFC West's Best Secondary

KANSAS CITY MO - JANUARY 09: Safety Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after breaking up a pass to tight end Todd Heap #86 of the Baltimore Ravens in the endzone during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9 2011 in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Eric Berry should challenge Quinten Jammer and Champ Bailey for best overall player in the defensive backfield in the AFC West.

For years, the Oakland Raiders have enjoyed the top defensive back in the AFC West. It could even be argued that Nnamdi Asomugha is the best in the NFL. But with the pending NFL free agency period ahead, it's believed that Asomugha will be moving on to greener pastures (both in money amounts and win totals), leaving the question: who's best in the AFC West?

For now, it's still Asomugha according to ESPN's Bill Williamson, and that's a safe play until the Raider corner actually leaves. Even then, any Chiefs fans scrambling for their own contenders to rank at the top must contend with a certain Hall of Fame probable in Denver named Champ Bailey. For now, he sits atop the rankings at No. 2 (and No. 1 once Asomugha moves on) and the Chiefs will have to settle for the spots immediately following.

The good news for Chiefs fans is that they dominate the overall rankings in terms of having the most complete secondary. Eric Berry is rated No. 3 overall and Williamson notes, "Berry could be atop this list next year. The second-year safety appears to be a special player." Brandon Flowers is at No. 5 (after San Diego's Quentin Jammer) and Williamson's comments insinuates the potential is still there to climb higher: "He is a favorite of NFL scouts. He is becoming one of the better young cornerbacks in the league."

Brandon Carr is the third KC defensive back listed among the top 9 and Williamson praises the corner tandem together who form quite a challenge for opposing quarterbacks. Other KC notables include Kendrick Lewis at No. 16 and Javier Arenas at No. 18.

The San Diego Chargers will continue to have a strong secondary for the next several years with the way that A.J. Smith drafts (and signs) for the positions. Eric Weddle (No. 6) and Antoine Cason (No. 8) both have bright futures ahead of them and when placed with Jammer and new signing Bob Sanders, this unit could actually serve among the league's best. The Chargers are better than the Chiefs if Sanders is healthy, but that's a major question mark every season -- hence the reason Sanders was even let go by the Colts in the first place.

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