Way Too Early Projection of Chiefs 53 Man Roster

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    Here we are, less than a month away from training camp. It feels like forever ago that the Chiefs completed their draft in April. While there could still be some under the radar moves that could be made to the roster, the group the Chiefs will take to training camp is more or less intact. It’s time to look at the players I am confident will make the team and who is on the bubble.

     

    Lock to make the team

    Quarterbacks (2)

    Pat Mahomes

    Chad Henne

     

    Runningbacks (2)

    Kareem Hunt

    Anthony Sherman

     

    Wide Receivers (3)

    Tyreek Hill

    Sammy Watkins

    Chris Conley

     

    Tight Ends (2)

    Travis Kelce

    Demetrius Harris

     

    Offensive Linemen (7)

    Eric Fisher

    Parker Ehinger

    Mitch Morse

    Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff

    Mitchell Schwatrz

    Cameron Erving

    Bryan Witzmann

     

    Defensive Linemen (4)

    Allen Bailey

    Xavier Williams

    Chris Jones

    Derrick Nnadi

     

    Outside Linebackers (4)

    Justin Houston

    Dee Ford

    Tanoh Kpassagnon

    Breeland Speaks

     

    Inside Linebackers (3)

    Reggie Ragland

    Anthony Hitchens

    Dorian O’Daniel

     

    Cornerbacks (3)

    David Amerson

    Kendall Fuller

    Steven Nelson

     

    Safeties (4)

    Eric Berry

    Daniel Sorensen

    Eric Murray

    Armani Watts

     

    Specialists (3)

    Harrison Butker

    Dustin Colquitt

    James Winchester

     

    Offense (16)

    Defense (18)

    Specialists (3)

    Total 37 out of 53

     

    With the three specialists included, the Chiefs have about 16 roster spots combined across the offense and defense that are up for grabs. Let’s take a look at where the battles for jobs will be this summer in St Joe.

     

    Quarterback

    Matt McGloin and Chase Litton

    These are two very different types of player. McGloin is a veteran backup who started some games for the Oakland Raiders. He is small, slow and doesn’t possess a strong arm but he is smart, and accurate, in the short range passing game. Litton is a big, prototypical pocket passer with a big time arm that was signed as an undrafted free agent. Litton, who foolishly left school a year early, is obviously a project, but as a third string QB, he is unlikely to see the field in any capacity in 2018, but should be kept over McGloin as Chad Henne was signed to be the veteran backup in the QB room.

     

    Prediction: Litton makes the team, McGloin is cut.

     

    Runningback

    Charcandrick West

    Spencer Ware

    Kerwynn Williams

    Damien Williams

    Darrel Williams

    Algernon Brown

     

    Yikes, there’s a lot of talent and experience in this group of five players, but only three will be kept. Ware is the most proven of the bunch but is still battling his way back from injury and depending on the speed of his recovery, might not be back to full strength until after the regular season is underway. West has proven himself to be a fine third down player. Of the three Williams’s that were added this offseason, Damien has also proven to be a nice third down back in his time with the Miami Dolphins. He is very good as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Kerwynn has spent most of his career with the Arizona Cardinals and has flashed productivity as a runner but has made money more so because of his ability in special teams coverage and his ability to return kickoffs. Darrel, a highly sought after undrafted player this year, is a rugged between the tackles grinder. Algernon Brown is the second fullback in camp.

     

    Prediction: West, Damien and Kerwynn Williams make the roster, Ware is stashed away on the PUP list and will replace one of the Williams’s on the roster midseason, Darrel Williams is tucked away on the practice squad and Brown is cut.

     

    Wide Receivers

    Demarcus Robinson

    Jehu Chesson

    De’Anthony Thomas

    Marcus Kemp

    Gehrig Dieter

    Daniel Braverman

    Byron Pringle

    Elijah Marks

    Josh Crockett

    Jordan Smallwood

     

    Ten players, two, possibly three roster spots available. This is a young group that would be hard enough to predict as is it, but with a totally different style of gunslinger running the offense, the type of wideout that will be most valuable and gel with Mahomes is anyone’s guess today. Robinson, Chesson and Thomas are all former 4th round draft picks by the Chiefs. Any of those three, along with undrafted Kansas State rookie Byron Pringle, all will get a good long look on kickoff returns. Kemp and Dieter spent last year on the practice squad and are the next two in line, followed by the rest.

     

    Prediction: Robinson, Chesson and Pringle make the roster. My guess is Pringle beats out Kemp and Dieter after winning the job as the top kickoff returner, something he was extremely successful at for the Wildcats. Thomas, currently recovering from a late season injury, will be stashed on the PUP list for the first half of the season and could unseat Pringle if he doesn’t perform well early. Dieter and Kemp will be kept on the practice squad for a second year and the rest will be cut.

     

    Tight End

    Jace Amaro

    Tim Wright

    Alex Ellis

    Blake Mack

     

    The biggest question mark on the offensive side of the ball is who will get the most snaps at tight end behind Kelce? Harris should make the team again but will miss the first game of the year due to a suspension, further complicating matters. Amaro and Wright have had some success in the NFL but haven’t done much lately and are both hanging onto their careers by a thread. Ellis is a young journeyman and Mack an undrafted, undersized rookie.

     

    Prediction: Amaro, Wright and Ellis are all cut. Mack is kept on the practice squad as the Chiefs determine if there’s a spot for the talented “tweener” in the future. This seems like a position the Chiefs will continue shopping at once teams have to start cutting their rosters down to 53. Unless someone really stands out in camp, look for the Chiefs to add a better option off waivers or even acquire a veteran in a trade to round out the group.

     

    Offensive Linemen

    Jordan Devey

    Kahlil McKenzie

    Bentley Spain

    Jimmy Murray

    Tejan Koroma

    Ryan Hunter

    Andrew Wylie

    Dillon Gordon

     

    Due to the versatility of Erving and Witzmann, the top two backups on the line, the Chiefs are likely to only keep eight total on the active roster and the main two competing for a spot are the veteran backup Devey and the 6th round draft pick McKenzie. The remaining players are all young with all but Wyile and Gordon being undrafted rookies.

     

    Prediction: McKenzie makes the roster, Devey is cut and one or two of the remaining six players make the practice squad. It all will depend on who shows up the best in camp and the preseason. Keep a close eye on Hunter, who has the closest thing resembling an NFL frame amongst the group.

     

    Defensive Linemen

    Jarvis Jenkins

    T.Y. McGill

    Dee Liner

    Justin Hamilton

     

    There’s likely only one spot up for grabs amongst these four. Jenkins has the most experience, as well as time with the Chiefs. McGill has been a journeyman for several years now as an undersized but scrappy nose tackle. Hamilton was added late last season and Liner was a former five star recruit to Alabama who couldn’t get on the field so he transferred to Arkansas State. He may be the most talented of the group.

     

    Prediction: I think Kpassagnon ultimately makes a permanent switch to defensive end sometime this year. Jenkins will make the roster but will only play if Bailey or Jones goes down with an injury. Liner should be kept around on the practice squad while Hamilton and McGill likely are released.

     

    Outside Linebacker

    Frank Zombo

    Rob McCray

    Tyrone Holmes

     

    Zombo’s days may be numbered in KC and at this stage in his career, a permanent switch to inside linebacker may be his best bet, as his best edge rushing days are far behind him. The problem is, inside linebacker depth is excellent.

     

    Prediction: The Chiefs feel set with Houston and Ford as the starters and Speaks and Kpassagnon as the rotational backups, but Zombo will play one last season in KC to provide versatile inside/outside depth and special teams contributions. McCray and Holmes end up just being camp bodies.

     

    Inside Linebacker

    Ukeme Eligwe

    Terrance Smith

    Ben Niemann

    Raymond Davison

     

    Eligwe has flashed potential and I’m curious to see what he does in his second year of development. Smith is a fine special teams player who needs to continue to improve or he’ll lose his spot to Niemann or Davison.

     

    Prediction: Both Eligwe and Smith make the roster. Niemann and Davison are both cut but the better of the two winds up on the practice squad. I’m betting on Niemann as of right now.

     

    Cornerback

    D’Montre Wade

    Arrion Springs

    Tremon Smith

    Step Durham

    Markinton Dorleant

    Will Redmond

    Keith Reasor

    Ashton Lampkin

     

    The biggest question mark on the defense, this will be a fierce competition between a lot of inexperienced and unheralded young players. Like tight end, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Chiefs add another player via waivers or trade if there isn’t enough of an impression made from this group in camp and the preseason.

     

    Prediction: Smith, who was drafted in the 6th round, and Redmond, a former 3rd round pick of the 49ers, make the roster. Reasor, who was with the Chiefs last season, is on the bubble and likely is the next player in line should Smith or Redmond suffer an injury. Look for the Chiefs to keep two corners on the practice squad at all times as well, whether it be from this batch, or elsewhere. If I’m picking from this group, I’d say Springs and Dorleant are the top two.

     

    Safety

    Robert Golden

    Jordan Sterns

    Leon McQuay

     

    Golden is a veteran picked up from the Steelers and McQuay was a 6th round pick last year. One of the two will make the team and my money is on the veteran Golden. McQuay is a prime candidate for another year on the practice squad.

     

    Prediction: Golden makes the roster, McQuay sticks around on the practice squad and Sterns is cut.

     

    Final Roster

    3 QB: Mahomes, Henne, Litton

    5 RB: Hunt, West, D. Williams, K. Williams, Sherman

    6 WR: Hill, Watkins, Conley, Robinson, Chesson, Pringle

    3 TE: Kelce, Harris, (player to be acquired later)

    8 OL: Fisher, Ehinger, Morse, Duvernay-Tardiff, Schwartz, Erving, Witzmann, McKenzie

    25 Offense

     

    5 DL: Bailey, X. Williams, Jones, Nnadi, Jenkins

    5 OLB: Houston, Ford, Kpassagnon, Speaks, Zombo

    5 ILB: Ragland, Hitchens, O’Daniel, Te. Smith, Eligwe

    5 CB: Amerson, Fuller, Nelson, Tr. Smith, Redmond

    5 SF: Berry, Watts, Murray, Sorensen, Golden

    25 Defense

     

    3 SP: Butker, Colquitt, Winchester

    3 Special Teams

     

    Practice Squad

    RB Darrel Williams

    WR Marcus Kemp

    WR Gehrig Dieter

    TE Blake Mack

    OL Ryan Hunter

    NT Dee Liner

    ILB Ben Niemann

    CB Keith Reasor

    CB Arrion Springs

    FS Leon McQuay

     

    Stored on the PUP

    RB Spencer Ware

    WR De’Anthony Thomas

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