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Broncos have four of the top five players in the division, according to ESPN

Naturally, Peyton rules the roost.


We're exiting the lull of post-minicamp season and entering the pointless pleasure of season preview, err, season.

For the Broncos, those season previews are simply delectable. Denver is poised for a terrific season.

In that vein, ESPN's Bill Williamson has ranked his Top 40 players in the AFC West, with the Denver Broncos coming out strong. Four of his top five players in the division wear the orange and blue. Here are his top five:

1. Peyton Manning, quarterback, Denver: No suspense here. Manning was dominant last year, his first in the division. Yes, he is still a superstar.

2. Von Miller, linebacker, Denver: The third-year player is becoming one of the best defensive players in the NFL. An elite talent.

3. Jamaal Charles, running back, Kansas City: He was overshadowed by Adrian Peterson, but Charles was special in a comeback from a torn ACL.

4. Ryan Clady, tackle, Denver: Blocking for Manning gave Clady a boost, and Manning appreciated every minute of it.

5. Demaryius Thomas, receiver, Denver: He is not a product of Manning. The kid has rare skills.

Overall, Denver has five of his top eight players as well as 12 in the whole group, the most of any AFC West team. I also love how three of those top players were drafted by the Broncos - Denver is building from within. In other words, John Elway has set this team up for success - the only things that can screw it up are a plethora of injuries or terrible coaching.

Here are how all the Broncos fall into place in Williamson's rankings:

1. Peyton Manning
2. Von Miller
4. Ryan Clady
5. Demaryius Thomas
8. Wes Welker
14. Champ Bailey
20. Eric Decker
25. Zane Beadles
29. Derek Wolfe
30. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
33. Wesley Woodyard
38. Jacob Tamme

I like seeing Clady getting some respect after he was a glaring no-show on NFL's Top 100. Champ Bailey and Wesley Woodyard are too low, and like a broken record we'll bring up the absence of Chris Harris again; other than that it's a pretty fair list.