We are so close to Chiefs regular season football I can already hear the roar of the crowd at Arrowhead all the way from New York. Before the season starts the Chiefs need to let go of a few players. There’s no doubt in my mind every team hates doing this because of the bond you form with the players during training camp. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. There are guys that need to be let go in order to get to that magical number of 53 by the time the Chiefs head to Jacksonville. Adam Teicher, the former Kansas City Star Chiefs beat writer, has made his roster predictions. This time, however, he is making them as the official ESPN Kansas City Chiefs blogger. Here are my roster predictions, except in this Arrowhead Addict edition, it’s a position battle analysis at wide receiver and running back.
Roster Spot Battle #1: Cyrus Gray vs. Shaun Draughn
This is a really tough one. Teicher has Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Anthony Sherman and Shaun Draughn making the team. He then commented, “The real mystery is whether the Chiefs keep Shaun Draughn or Cyrus Gray as the third halfback. Draughn has been more productive than Gray.” The only reason Draughn has been more productive than Gray is because of playing time. I have watched Draughn play and I, personally, am not impressed. He wasn’t very good on kickoff returns last year averaging only 23.3 yards per return with a long of 41 yards. He also only averaged 3.9 yards on 233 carries and 6.6 yards per reception on 158 catches. Gray on the other hand only carried the ball seven times for 44 yards, but that averaged out to 6.3 yards per carry. He also had a higher yards per reception rate averaging 9 yards per reception on only two catches. If Cyrus Gray had been the number two running back behind Jamaal Charles in 2012, I believe he would have been much more productive. My take is that Cyrus Gray has a higher upside and therefore will be kept on the team.
Roster Spot Winner: Cyrus Gray
Roster Spot(s) Battle #2: Devon Wylie vs. Rico Richardson vs. Junior Hemingway
With four spots sewn up by Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, and A.J. Jenkins, this three way battle is a battle for two spots with one person not making the 53-Man roster. A.J. Jenkins makes this team because he is owed $1.8 million dollars, a number the Chiefs took on because he was traded for 2011 first round pick Jon Baldwin. I wrote an article earlier this month about what I think about Devon Wylie and if he has a place on this team (Check that out here). I really like what I saw from Junior Hemingway against the Steelers and Rico Richardson also had a nice touchdown reception in that game as well. I just don’t see a place for a backup punt returner who will not contribute on this offense. Richardson and Hemingway have both found the endzone this preseason while Wylie has not. I think they possess the size and ability to contribute to this team. I do not think Wylie has the size. He has shown some decent flashes of ability on punt return such as his returns against San Francisco and Pittsburgh, but you need to be able to do more than that to get a roster spot on this team.
Roster Spot Winners: Rico Richardson and Junior Hemingway