Malcom Floyd is one of the best wide receivers in the AFC West. Photo by MRQ/Icon SMI
Who will be the top five AFC West wide receivers in 2012? I will give you my top five and the reasons why. Keep in mind the receivers go nowhere without a quality quarterback so that comes into play when ranking the top AFC West wide receivers.
1 Dwayne Bowe- Kansas City Chiefs
I have Dwayne Bowe as a tentative number one among the AFC West wide receivers because of his contract issues. Bowe also has a average at best quarterback in Matt Cassel and the Chiefs plan a heavy running attack.
That being said Bowe is the most talented wideout in the division and has motivation to play well to earn a big contact if he remains unsigned to a long term deal with the Chiefs. Look for Dwayne Bowe to catch 85 to 90 balls for around 1,1200 yards and 10 scores if he starts every game in 2012.
2 Demaryus Thomas- Denver Broncos
Demaryus Thomas had some huge games for the Denver Broncos in 2011 and I expect him to explode with Peyton Manning at the helm. Thomas made do with Tim Tebow but now he has one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history throwing to him.
Demaryus Thomas is coming into his third year which is where most NFL receivers finally get it all together. . I really like Thomas to catch 90 balls for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
3 Darius Heyward-Bey- Oakland Raiders
Heyward-Bey went from 26 catches in 2010 to 64 receptions in 2011. I look for Darius Heyward-Bey to improve even more now that he will have a full training camp with Carson Palmer.
Heyward-Bey is trying to shake off the bust label that came with being a high draft pick. I think Heyward-Bey will catch 70- 75 balls for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns or so in 2012. That makes him one of the top five receivers in the AFC West.
4 Malcom Floyd- San Diego Chargers
At 6ft 5 Floyd is a tall wide receiver as favored by Chargers coach Norv Turner. Floyd will be hands down the top target inSan Diegoin 2012 unless Antonio Gates find the fountain of youth.
Amazingly Floyd averaged almost 20 yards per catch for the Chargers last year despite this being a dink and plink league. Look for Floyd to catch 55-60 passes for 1,050 yards or so along with six touchdowns in 2012.
5 Steve Breaston- Kansas City Chiefs
Breaston has been a nice second or third option for his entire career. First playing with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin then with Dwayne Bowe last year. If Bowe misses some time in a contract dispute then Breaston can step in an play decently.
Look for Steve Breaston to catch 60- 65 passes for 860 yards and five scores or so in 2012. His ability will get him some catches even on the run first Chiefs this season.