Ahead of tonight’s fourth preseason game, this is our third preseason installment of projecting the Chiefs 53-man roster.
QUARTERBACKS (3): Alex Smith, Patrick Mahomes, Tyler Bray
Mahomes will have the keys in tonight’s preseason finale. Tyler Bray will also play. Will he be the third QB, or someone not yet on the roster.
Practice Squad candidate: Joel Stave
RUNNING BACK/FULLBACK (4): Kareem Hunt, C.J. Spiller, Charcandrick West, FB Anthony Sherman
In last weeks 2.0 version of our 53 we leaned towards keeping 4 RB after West week 2 performance. Hunt, who was billed to be in a timeshare with Spencer Ware, has now inherited the job, after Ware’s season-ending injury. He’ll be the first rookie to start at RB for the Chiefs since the Nigerian Nightmare Christian Okoye. Hunt should carry the bulk of the load while rotating Spiller and West behind him.
Practice Squad candidate: Devine Redding
WIDE RECEIVER (6): Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley, DeAnthony Thomas, Jehu Chesson, Albert Wilson, Marcus Kemp
In: Marcus Kemp
Out: Demarcus Robinson
Andy Reid has kept six receivers in each of his seasons as the head man in Kansas City, and this year will be no different. Hill and Conley are locked in as the starters, and Chesson is certain to make it as the Chiefs traded up in the draft to get him. DAT is a wild card as he can do things behind the line of scrimmage and after the catch, as well on special teams and in the return game. For us, it comes down to Demarcus Robinson, and Marcus Kemp. While Robinson is the second-year man who many thought may have a break out year this season, his snaps have significantly decreased over the course of preseason. Kemp, on the other hand has been solid on offense and special teams, which could give him the edge.
Practice Squad candidate(s): Seantavious Jones, Gehrig Dieter
TIGHT END (4): Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Gavin Escobar, Ross Travis
In: Ross Travis
Surprisingly, the Chiefs kept four TE in all but one year of Reid’s tenure, and they have the guys to do so again this season, with Harris and Travis. But, up until Ware went down, we thought they would go just with three. Kelce, the All-Pro, is coming off a career year and is the only clear lock. He’s also the real No. 1 target on this team, despite Hill’s status at the No. 1 WR. Andy Reid loves his 3 TE sets which is part of the reason we still believe we keep 4 TE on roster.
Practice Squad candidate: Orson Charles
OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Eric Fisher, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitchell Schwartz, Parker Ehinger, Zach Fulton, Bryan Witzmann, Cameron Erving
In: Cameron Erving
Out: Jah Reid
With contracts signed in the last year or two, as well as rookie drafts, the front five is as about as solid as it’s been since the Will Shields days. Keeping Witzmann and Fulton around give the Chiefs a couple of Swiss Army Knives across the Offensive Line. Their versatility is what Reid likes with his reserve OL. Jah Reid and Andrew Tiller, Isaiah Battle and Jordan Devey are also in the hunt, but with GM Brett Veach trading a 5th RD conditional pick to the Browns for Erving, it’s unlikely any of them find a spot on the 53. Jah Reid in particular, if cut, will save around $3.5 million in cap space.
Practice Squad candidate(s): Isaiah Battle, Jordan Devey, Damien Mama
DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Chris Jones, Bennie Logan, Allen Bailey, Rakeem Nunez, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Jarvis Jenkins
In: Jarvis Jenkins
Out: Roy Miller III
Jones, Logan, Bailey, Nunez and K-Passa all should be safe barring something unexpected. Miller has been a great run stopper in his career and has a pretty good shot to make it as well, all though Jarvis Jenkins, Cam Thomas and David King aren’t just going to hand it to him. The 6th DL member is tough to call but, we think Jenkins because of his consistency and familiarity.
Practice Squad candidate: David King
LINEBACKERS (10): Derrick Johnson, Ramik Wilson, Reggie Ragland, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Ukeme Eligwe, Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Dee Ford, Frank Zombo, Earl Okine
PUP: Dadi Nicholas
In: Reggie Ragland, Earl Okine
Out: Justin March-Lillard
In the middle, Johnson obviously is a shoo-in for the 53. Recently traded for Pierre-Louis has looked good on defense as well as special teams and has the ability to contribute on multiple levels. Eligwe is very talented and wouldn’t. Ramik Wilson has looked very good throughout the end of last season, and so far in the preseason. Justin March-Lillard is still in the fight but, with the recent trade for 2016 2nd RD pick out of Alabama, Reggie Ragland, March chances of making 53 have became very slim. Not too much to worry about on the outside. Houston, Hali and Ford should be the guys. The vet Zombo, who is a special teams ace we thinks squeezes on roster as well as Earl Okine, who has looked very good. Marcus Rush isn’t to be counted out, though, as he is having a good run thus far.
Practice Squad candidate(s): Justin March-Lillard, Terrance Smith, Marcus Rush
CORNERBACKS (5): Marcus Peters, Terrance Mitchell, Steven Nelson, Kenneth Acker, Devantae Bausby
In: Kenneth Acker, Devantae Bausby
Out: Phillip Gaines, DJ White
Peters is an obvious lock. Nelson has steadily gotten better since being drafted and is looking to make a larger impact this season. Mitchell after shuffling through multiple teams before finally getting a chance to start with the Chiefs because of injuries toward the end of the 2016 season. In the few weeks Mitchell had he made the most of it. Oft-injured Gaines (13 games played in 48 potential games), DJ White, Devantae Bausby and Acker are in the fight for the final two spots.
Bausby, the local product (Hogan Prep), is a nice story, and for that reason alone, we would love to see him make it, but, Gaines H white aren’t just gonna give it to him. Bausby and Acker both have had quietly solid preseasons. With both of their snap counts up while Gaines and White’s performances are down, we think they both make the final cut.
Practice Squad candidate(s): Ashton Lampkin (torn ACL; potential IR candidate), Trevon Hartfield, Jacoby Glenn, D.J. White
SAFETIES (4): Eric Berry, Ron Parker, Daniel Sorenson, Eric Murray
Don’t expect any changes at the safety position. It’s locked down with Berry, Parker, Sorenson and Murray. While recent late-round pick Leon McQuay is fighting for a roster spot, outside of Chiefs using him as a CB and finding a way to squeeze in there, McQuay will struggle to make team.
Practice Squad candidate(s): Leon McQuay, Steven Terrell
SPECIAL TEAM (3): K Cairo Santos, P Dustin Colquitt, LS James Winchester
Unless some kind of serious injury, these three aren’t going anywhere.
Let us know what you think of the prediction. So, until next time fans Stay Loud, Stay Proud for this is CHIEFS KINGDOM!!!!
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