Source: Bleacher Report
There are a lot of young people on this Kansas City Chiefs roster that deserve more of a chance than they’re getting.
There it is. That’s how I feel. Which is weird to say about a team in the midst of a youth movement. Weird to say about one of the youngest teams in the NFL. A team with first-, second-, and third-year players starting at running back, wide receiver, both offensive tackles, center, both defensive ends, both cornerbacks, safety, and kicker.
But there’s still a ton of promising youth on this team that I think is getting the raw deal. I want to see them get a chance in 2010. Not garbage time. Not necessarily a starting gig either (although there’s a couple players here that deserve it).
Seven players I want to see get their fair shot in 2010, after the jump.
FS DaJuan Morgan. Morgan was one of the few Herm Edwards draft picks that I absolutely love, and it was from the heralded 2008 draft class. Morgan was one of our “Jared Allen picks,” and he exhibited the same characteristics that all North Carolina State draftees exhibit: great measurables, even better speed, raw as all hell and in need of some serious coaching-up. It’s hard to say if he received any of that under the Edwards regime, but he was given very limited action in Haley’s first year. Morgan boasts fantastic speed, and in his limited action against the Jaguars his anticipation and good angles show that he can be a serious combo with Eric Berry this year. If the Chiefs dared.
OG Darryl Harris. Harris is the great unspoken offensive line hope this team has had for years. Why he hasn’t been given a shot is beyond me. His play in each of the past two preseasons has been exemplary. He’s a big body that can move in space. And teams that want to be successful must have a player or two on their offensive line like this guy. Harris has survived the regime change so far, but hasn’t seen any action and has languished on the practice squad. It’s time for the Chiefs to elevate him to the second string and put him right behind Waters on the depth chart.
OG/OT Colin Brown. Brown is a simple case of Pioli’s eyes being bigger than his stomach in the 2009 Draft. An intriguing spread tackle like Brown with his amazing size (6’7″, 330 lbs) and experience in pass-blocking for pass happy offenses representing an interesting project for the Chiefs. But once they realized he was too risky of a proposition out on the edges, they have now tried moving him inside. KCChiefs.com has him listed as an interior lineman, which is curious considering the Chiefs are wanting to get considerably smaller along the interior. But I get the feeling there’s only so much we can do for Brown. I think after a season on IR, he’s due for a “sink or swim” moment.
TE Brad Cottam. Cottam was sidelined by a devastating injury, but even before the team was hesitant to put him on the field until the second half of the season, even trading up to draft tight end after tight end and picking up Sean Ryan and Leonard Pope as stopgap solutions. Does Brad Cottam not exist? Because he looked really good as a huge target in the middle of the field when he did get some time on the field. Moeaki‘s probably the starter this year at tight end, but the tight end depth is a wide open competition between Pope, Cottam, and Jake O’Connell. Pope is what he is, and O’Connell is practice squad material. Cottam has the promise to make some noise, and would make for a great one-two punch with Moeaki.
QB Matt Gutierrez. Gutierrez’s quiet acquisition by the Chiefs was one of my favorite moves of the 2009 offseason, Pioli’s first. This team sorely needed QB depth, especially when our third string QBs have annually embarrassed us for decades. Gutierrez brings a prototypical body and surprisingly sharp game-managing skills for when the team needs him. He looked like the best 3rd stringer we’ve ever had in preseason last year, and this year I think he has the ability to graduate into a solid #2.
CB Donald Washington. Washington is a lot like Colin Brown in my eyes, in that he’s a questionable Pioli reach from the 2009 Draft season that will simply take up a roster spot and Chiefs paychecks until they give him a “sink or swim” moment. I don’t blame the Chiefs for benching him for much of his rookie year; the few stints he had on the field he was beaten like a rented mule. Pioli inherited pathetically shallow CB depth after Herm left, so it’s time to utilize Washington so that the Chiefs can see if they have a depth foursome (Flowers, Carr, Arenas, Washington) that can handle most receiver combos the league can offer. If not, I guess there’s always Maurice Leggett…
OLB Cameron Sheffield. Allow me to preemtively name Sheffield, who I think is going to struggle to find the field this year — for no good reason, might I add. I liked the Sheffield selection in the fifth round, and considering that we only have one legitimate pass rusher in Tamba Hali, and two supporter-types like Mike Vrabel (2 sacks, few pressures) and Andy Studebaker (0 sacks, 0 pressures), you need all the help you can get with zero depth. Sheffield plays a position that needs to develop with snaps on the field. He needs several hundred of them this year if the Chiefs hope to develop this diamond in the rough.