ESPN recently compiled a list of the top 25-and-under talent on every roster in the NFL. The Denver Broncos were the worst in the AFC West.
Although the Denver Broncos’ roster talent 25 years of age and under was (checks notes) pathetic two years ago, it’s been steadily on the rise after strong draft classes in 2018 and 2019.
According to ESPN, however, the Broncos’ 25-and-under talent still ranks worst in the AFC West despite a six-spot jump in their recent ranking of all 32 teams in this particular category.
This post at ESPN was the collective effort of Football Outsiders, who stated that Bradley Chubb is the team’s lone ‘blue chip’ player at this particular age with running Phillip Lindsay and safety Justin Simmons just on the periphery.
The big story is the fact that the Broncos, ranking 23rd on this list, were the worst in the AFC West in this category.
Here’s how the AFC West rankings went, per ESPN and Football Outsiders:
1 (3): Kansas City Chiefs
2 (9): Los Angeles Chargers
3 (14): Oakland Raiders
4 (23): Denver Broncos
I’m not so sure about that.
The Kansas City Chiefs ranked third, understandably with their top trio of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, defensive lineman Chris Jones, and wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
The Los Angeles Chargers also cracked the top 10 with a whopping three blue-chip players in Joey Bosa, Derwin James, and Hunter Henry. Football Outsiders also apparently really likes Jatavis Brown, Dan Feeney, and Darius Philon.
The Oakland Raiders, who were ranked 19th on this list last year, came in at no. 14 overall with their lone blue-chip player the unproven defensive end Clelin Ferrell and draft bust Karl Joseph along with backup running back Jalen Richard on the periphery.
Every list that is not favorable to the Broncos can be taken with a grain of salt. These are the opinions of one group of people which could vary quite a bit.
I personally happen to think the Broncos’ collection of talent 25 and under is pretty strong, although some of that talent is unproven or needs to improve.
I don’t agree — at all — with the Broncos being below the Raiders on this list and I think if you look at the collection of talent as a whole, you could make a compelling argument that the Broncos’ 25-and-under talent is superior to the LA Chargers.
The Chiefs with basically three MVP candidates under 25 have such a heavy weight at the top, it’s hard to argue with them as the best in the AFC West right now.
In my mind, even looking at the talent and potential of the young players in this division, I would put the Broncos number two behind the Chiefs with the Chargers close behind and the Raiders a distant fourth.
Hopefully this group can prove to the rest of the NFL world it’s worthy of a top 10 spot on next year’s list.