1. Denver Broncos
Their QB play will be about the same as it was last year, but their success hinges on the defensive side and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller.
2. Oakland Raiders
A few more tweaks should have them contending for a Wild Card spot this year.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
They’ll contend for the division title, but Oakland is right up there with them to challenge Denver.
4. San Diego Chargers
They can’t be any worse than last years team. WR Keenan Allen playing all year long will help QB Philip Rivers a lot.
Head Coach: Gary Kubiak
Key Position: Quarterback
They’re naming a 7th round pick in Trevor Siemian as the replacement for Peyton Manning. Their first round pick Paxton Lynch will eventually be the starter, but he is a work in progress having not snapped a ball under center in college.
Key Acquisitions: DE Jared Crick (Houston Texans), T Russell Okung (Seattle Seahawks), T Donald Stephenson (Kansas City Chiefs)
Key Rookies: DL Adam Gotsis, RB Devontae Booker
Head Coach: Jack Del Rio
Key Position: Secondary
Even though they showed tremendous improvement rushing the passer, the pass defense overall was average at best. Reggie Nelson and Sean Smith were signed to help improve the secondary and Bruce Irvin will give the Raiders another pass rusher to pair with Khalil Mack.
Key Acquisitions: LB Bruce Irvin (Seattle Seahawks), S Reggie Nelson (Cincinnati Bengals), G Kelechi Osemele (Baltimore Ravens), CB Sean Smith (Kansas City Chiefs)
Key Rookies: S Karl Joseph, DE Jihad Ward, DE Shilique Calhoun
Head Coach: Andy Reid
Key Position: Wide Receiver
Signing Jeremy Maclin last season helped improve the passing attack, but it wasn’t enough to improve their pass ranking as they finished 30th. There were some noticeable improvements from Albert Wilson and Chris Conley had some bright spots. Having a healthy Jamaal Charles helps the passing game as well.
Key Acquisitions: QB Nick Foles (Los Angeles Rams), T Mitchell Schwartz (Cleveland Browns)
Key Rookies: DT Chris Jones, CB KeiVarae Russell
Head Coach: Mike McCoy
Key Position: Running Back
Ken Whisenhunt was brought back as the offensive coordinator and this will be a welcome sight for QB Philip Rivers. The scheme will focus more on establishing the running game and that means Melvin Gordon is poised for his breakout season. A healthy Danny Woodhead would go a long way too.
Key Acquisitions: WR Travis Benjamin (Cleveland Browns), CB Casey Hayward (Green Bay Packers), S Dwight Lowery (Indianapolis Colts), DT Brandon Mebane (Seattle Seahawks)
Key Rookies: DE Joey Bosa, TE Hunter Henry, C Max Tuerk