Kansas City Chiefs Power Rankings: Pre-Camp Edition

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Since they are so often ignored and disrespected in power rankings columns around the NFL, I thought that this year it would be fun to introduce a new feature to Arrowhead Addict that I’m calling the “Kansas City Chiefs Power Rankings.”

Throughout the season, we often see a player’s stock rise and fall. For instance, Justin Houston appeared to have high value last preseason. Then, once the season began, I imagine his ranking would have fallen significantly before rising back up.

I thought it would be fun to do these each week and to see which player comes out on top at the end of the year. These rankings won’t be based on just talent alone. How a guy is playing will be very important. He may be one of the best players on the defense but if Tamba Hali struggles for a couple of games, he may see his ranking tanking. That doesn’t mean he’ll fall down below a guy like Cameron Sheffield, but he may see a drop until he resumes his dominance.

We’ll do 32 rankings to match the number of teams in the NFL.

Without further ado, I present the pre-camp Kansas City Chiefs Power Rankings!

1. Derrick Johnson

The call between one and two was tough, but DJ is at the height of his powers. His ability to not only stuff the run (remember the Raiders goal-line stand last season) and pick off balls gave him a slight edge. DJ at his best really can do it all and he’s at his very best right now.

2. Tamba Hali

I really could have flipped a coin here. Hali is so consistent and so dominant that he easily could have been number one. Following his big year in 2010, teams paid even more attention to Hali in 2011. The emergence of Justin Houston and the addition of Dontari Poe should make him even more dangerous. His performance against the Packers last season was inspiring.

3. Dwayne Bowe

Inconsistencies and contract issues aide, if you want to win in the NFL, you have to score points, and Dwayne Bowe moves the chains.

4. Brandon Flowers

Flowers has been teasing us for a few years now. He’s very, very good but he has never been able to put together that really elite season. Part of the reason may be that he plays through injuries. Regardless, Flowers is a key member of this defense and one of the most talented players on the roster.

5. Eric Winston

Winston could end up higher on this list later this season. We’ll have to wait and see how he looks playing in a Chiefs uniform in a new offense but as a Texan Winston was one of the best RTs in the NFL. #5 isn’t a bad debut.

6. Jamaal Charles

Charles is another player who could easily top this list. His importance to KC’s offense is underrated to everyone outside of Chiefs Nation. The Chiefs missed Moeaki and Berry last season but make no mistake, if Jamaal Charles played the entire season the Chiefs would have won the West. This guy is special.

7. Eric Berry

Berry is coming back and if he is able to quickly shake off the rust, the Chiefs defense could very well go from good to great. This guy has the potential to be the best safety in the NFL.

8. Peyton Hillis

Hillis is coming off a poor year, sure, but we need to consider that he was playing in a Browns offense that was absolutely putrid. He has some injury concerns but when right, make no mistake, this guy is the real deal. He runs tough, he’s a load to bring down and he has rare athleticism for a man his size. He will be immensely important to KC’s prospects in 2012. Think Thomas Jones in 2010. The only think is, the 2012 version of Peyton Hillis should be much better than the 2010 version of Jones.

9. Justin Houston

Houston is riding high following a strong finish tot he 2011 season. If he can keep the good times rolling in 2012, you’ll see him shooting up this list–though with so many good players, it could get crowded at the top. Consistency will be key.

10. Kendrick Lewis

Defense rules the day early in these rankings. Lewis made strides last season despite being without his BFF Eric Berry. He stood out in a safety group that Todd Haley and Scott Pioli put together with some duct tape and the reanimated corpse of Mike Brown.