AFC West defensive line rankings: Chargers, Broncos rule the division
By Grant Tuttle
The defensive lines of the AFC West are the strong positions of all as names like Bosa, Miller, and Clark terrorize offenses. Here is how they rank.
The defensive lines of the AFC West remain as fierce as ever even as the Kansas City Chiefs completely overhauled their own. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are still terrorizing quarterbacks in Denver. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram still form a terrifying matchup for offensive linemen. The Raiders are still searching for their next pass-rusher after last year’s departure of All-Pro Khalil Mack. The Chiefs, however, are a different story.
The Chiefs moved on from both Dee Ford and Justin Houston despite having the most productive pass rush in football last season (tied for league lead in total sacks with 52). As part of the team’s defensive overhaul, they traded for Frank Clark from Seattle and signed Alex Okafor from New Orleans. So, where do the Chiefs rank after the overhaul? We discuss.
1. The Los Angeles Chargers
EDGEs: Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Isaac Rochell, Anthony Lanier, Chris Peace. DTs: Brandon Mebane, Jerry Tillery, Justin Jones, Damion Square, Cortez Broughton
The Chargers have a monstrous front to their defense. When Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa are both healthy they are one of the best pass-rushing tandems in football. Bosa has a unique blend of power and speed that makes him very versatile and difficult to block. Ingram has similar characteristics and has been a consistent pass-rusher throughout his career with the Chargers.
On the inside, Brandon Mebane is a terror. A guy that can move that is that big is terrifying for defenses in both running and passing the football. Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery bring the promise of upside to the Chargers. In particular, Tillery is very quick for an interior lineman. As one of our favorite prospects in the draft, he showed potential to be a similar player to Chris Jones on the interior.
Joey Bosa: 67.5 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 14.5 sacks
Melvin Gordon: 46 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks
Isaac Rochell: 21 tackles, 0 tackles for a loss, 1 sack
Brandon Mebane: 49.5 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks
Jerry Tillery: 28 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 2.5 sacks
Justin Jones: 31 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1 sack