Newest AFC West head coach is division's worst after minicamp

Jim Harbaugh starting from scratch?
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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2) Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

Sean Payton's first year in Denver came just shy of a playoff appearance, and in most aspects could not have gone better. The Broncos pushed for a playoff spot until the very end, had one of football's best offensive lines, Courtland Sutton was one of the NFL's best wideouts, Marvin Mims dazzled in the return game, and undrafted free agents such as Ja'Quan McMillian and Jaleel McLaughlin proved to be legitimate pieces for the Broncos. Beyond that, Russell Wilson was a useful quarterback for the Broncos, but his seeming return to glory came crashing down with a pitiful performance at home against a lowly Patriots team in a win-and-you're-probably-in scenario.

Payton outperformed expectations in his first year at the helm and laid some parts of a foundation for the Broncos in a post-Russell Wilson world. Players such as Nik Bonitto, Quinn Meinerz, McLaughlin, McMillian, and others are a clear part of Payton's vision moving forward. While his first year was important and impressive, this second year will be pivotal in terms of the future of the Denver Broncos.

If Payton can develop new quarterback Bo Nix into a long-term starter for Denver, his job is much easier and he could push for first place on this list. Considering what Payton has been able to get out of quarterbacks in his career, and the brain trust he has surrounded himself with (Pete Carmichael, Joe Lombardi, Davis Webb, etc.), Nix seems to be in good hands. After all, he has the AFC West's second-best head coach in his headset.