For as long as I can remember, the AFC West has been a hotbed for basketball talent. It became a cliche to say that Antonio Gates played basketball, but he averaged 20, 7 and 4 in his final season at Kent State before he was drafted by the Chargers. Then there was his tight end counterpart in Kansas City, Tony Gonzalez, who played three seasons at Cal and averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. But who is the best player in the AFC West right now? Well, it comes down to the quarterbacks.
Earlier this week footage surfaced of Patrick Mahomes playing high school basketball. Bleacher Report's football vertical said he was a "ridiculous athlete" when he was young. It's no surprise that the professional football player and son of a Major League Baseball player was an incredible athlete at any point in his life, but here we are marveling at some dunks and jumpers.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was also a hooper back in the day. Bleacher Report did a profile of Carr that talked about his days playing pickup at Fresno State against the basketball team.
"Harper guarded Carr dozens of times. He says the QB planted himself in the corner to launch threes...and he always had to take the game-winner. Ederaine likens Carr to Chris Paul, calling him a "facilitator" with a "fire.""
Paul George says that the football team never beat the basketball team, but Carr's legend remains. When the Raiders took the floor at Oracle Arena, Carr was the only player able to make a basket.
Another option is longtime San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. There are no mentions of the 6'5" Rivers playing high school basketball, but since he's the son of former NBA player Doc Rivers and older brother of Houston Rockets' guard Austin Rivers, you can assume he's got some game.
Our final option is Denver quarterback Drew Lock. After Mahomes' high school highlights game out, the local channel that used to cover Lock released this mixtape.
Yeah, that's the guy. According to Yahoo!, Lock played high level AAU and had basketball offers from schools like Wichita State, Oklahoma and Missouri before he decided football was his meal ticket. He was right, but if the AFC West ever decides to sort it out with a basketball tournament, the Broncos will suddenly be favorites again. And it would justify John Elway's longterm plan at quarterback.