While free agency is an All-NFL affair, this offseason has brought a lot of attention to one conference in particular. It makes sense given that the AFC is looking ridiculously talent-heavy these days compared to its counterpart, the NFC.
In this offseason alone, pass rushers Khalil Mack, Randy Gregory, and Chandler Jones have all slipped from the NFC to the AFC. The Seattle Seahawks decided to trade one of the best quarterbacks in the conference to the Denver Broncos in Russell Wilson to make an already tight AFC West even more competitive. Oh yeah, the single most productive wide receiver in the league, Davante Adams, also shed his NFC skin to join the Las Vegas Raiders in a trade.
Just like that, the AFC is looking just about as competitive as ever and it’s arguable that 7 or even 8 of the top teams in the league are in the conference. The primary thing going for the NFC these days is the fact that the reigning champs, the L.A. Rams, still reside there and Tom Brady returned from a shortened retirement effort to the Buccaneers to keep the conference somewhat relevant.
No matter how much movement there’s been in the AFC lately, Patrick Mahomes still sits as the best overall quarterback in the AFC. Given all the talent in the conference these days, it makes sense to run through the quarterbacks involved to provide a power ranking of who is still on top and that’s what Sayre Bedinger did from NFL Spin Zone.
The AFC has the league’s best young quarterbacks and it can be hard to size them all up. It’s even tougher now that Russell Wilson is on the ground, Trevor Lawrence will have a competent coach, Deshaun Watson will return to the field, and Joe Burrow is coming off of a Super Bowl run. Despite all of that, however, Bedinger has Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the top QB in the conference.
Regardless of whether or not he has hot or cold stretches of play, it feels like the AFC will run through Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs for the foreseeable future, doesn’t it? … He may not be perfect, but he might be the closest thing you get with modern NFL quarterbacks.
Other teams have plenty of talent, including Josh Allen on the Bills, who came in at No. 2, along with other players we’ve mentioned here, but Bedinger is right when he says the road still goes through K.C. Even as the Bengals return to defend their conference championship, the Chiefs are going to be held up as the preseason favorites once again. Much of that is due to the presence of the game’s best young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.