The Kansas City Chiefs are halfway through their 2013 preseason games. However, most of the players on the Chiefs current roster have been fighting for their spots for months. If you take into account mini-camps, OTAs, training camp, and the first two preseason games the decision makers for the Chiefs probably have a pretty good idea of who is making the team already. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are a few spots still up for grabs, but I’m guessing they could probably already tell you about 40 of the 53 spots.
The first round of cuts will happen after the next preseason game. Before that happens, I thought I’d take a shot at where we stand right now. I’m going to break each position into three groups: on the roster, still fighting, and not going to make it. If nothing else, this list can give you some guys to watch who will be fighting for a job in the second half this week when the game typically gets a little boring. So take a look at my list and then you can tell me how wrong I am in the comments below.
Let’s get started.
On The Roster: Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray
Still Fighting: Nobody
Not Going To Make It: Ricky Stanzi
The quarterback position is already in the books. The team clearly favors Bray over Stanzi. The fact that they didn’t even put Stanzi in the game last week speaks volumes. They aren’t even letting Stanzi compete for it. Some have said Bray could go to the practice squad, but he has just looked too good to risk it.
On The Roster: Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis
Still Fighting: Shaun Draughn, Cyrus Gray
Not Going To Make It: Jordan Roberts
I think this one might be about over as well. Shaun Draughn seems to be consistently running ahead of Cyrus Gray and Gray has yet to do anything to show he should pass him by. You add Draughn’s special teams contributions and I think the writing is on the wall. Charles and Davis are locks and Jordan Roberts best case scenario at this point would be a practice squad invite.
On The Roster: Nobody Yet
Still Fighting: Anthony Sherman, Braden Wilson
Not Going To Make It: Toben Opurum
This one is wide open. I think Sherman has the upper hand because of his experience, but the Chiefs did use a 6th round pick on Wilson and drafted FBs usually make the roster. Sadly, Opurum has probably been the flashiest of the three, but since he’s competing with a guy that the team traded for and that the team drafted, he’s going to lose.
On The Roster: Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster, Donnie Avery
Still Fighting: Jon Baldwin, Junior Hemmingway, Devon Wylie, Terrance Copper, Jamar Newsome, Rico Richardson
Not Going To Make It: Josh Belamy, Tyler Shoemaker, Frankie Hammond
This one is really interesting. Baldwin is still running with the ones, but has looked horrible. I have heard rumors that if KC cuts him that it would actually cost them a bigger cap hit than if they keep him. That could end up keeping him on the roster. I also wouldn’t fall out of my chair if they ended up trading him for a late round draft pick. Wylie has looked good on special teams. Richardson looked great in training camp. Newsome seems to be running ahead of many of the other undrafted players. Copper has special teams upside. Avery hasn’t done much, but since he was signed by the current regime, I think he’s on the team.
On The Roster: Anthony Fasano, Tony Moeaki, Travis Kelce
Still Fighting: Demetrius Harris
Not Going To Make It: Kevin Brock
I think KC plans to utilize Fasano, Moeaki, and Kelce in regular rotation. I don’t think Brock makes it and Harris is probably headed for the practice squad, but if he flashes enough in the final couple of preseason games the Chiefs may keep him active in order to protect him.
On The Roster: Branden Albert, Eric Fisher, Jon Asamoah, Rodney Hudson, Jeff Allen, Geoff Schwartz, Donald Stevenson
Still Fighting: Eric Kush
Not Going To Make It: Everyone Else
Look, I’m on record as thinking that most of KC’s reserve offensive linemen are terrible. I don’t think any of the guys that I didn’t bother to list above belong on an active NFL roster. The top seven guys that I have making it are all solid NFL players. Eric Kush has shown some promise, but I would prefer to see him on the practice squad and a veteran interior lineman signed for the last roster spot. Kush is cheap, so if he can play well in the last two games I’m sure they’ll give him the spot.
On The Roster: Dontari Poe, Tyson Jackson, Mike DeVito, Jerrell Powe, Allen Bailey
Still Fighting: Anthony Toribio, Austen Lane, Marcus Dixon
Not Going To Make It: Miguel Chavis, Rob Lohr
This one is hard because I’m really not sure how many they’ll keep and what kind of guys they want. Toribio brings position versatility because he can play NT and DE. Lane is the best pass rusher of the guys still fighting, but isn’t very stout in the run game. Dixon is a good all around DE with experience in Sutton’s scheme.
On The Roster: Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, Akeem Jordan, Nico Johnson, Edgar Jones
Still Fighting: Zac Diles, Frank Zombo, Orie Lemon, Mike Catapano
Not Going To Make It: Ridge Wilson, Josh Martin, Darin Drakeford
This is another one where I’m not sure how many they’ll take. I’m guessing at least 8 because reserve LBs often are key special teams players. The only surprise on my “on the roster” list may be Edgar Jones. I think Jones has made enough plays on defense that when combined with his special teams play have his spot secured. I think Zac Diles special teams play will ultimately win him a spot as well. Catapano has been hurt and probably needs to get on the field and outperform Frank Zombo in order to avoid the practice squad.
On The Roster: Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson, Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Quintin Demps, Jalil Brown
Still Fighting: Husain Abdullah, Neiko Thorpe, Tysyn Hartman, Kennard Cox, Bradley McDougald, Ortha Foster, Sanders Commings
Not Going To Make It: Vince Agnew, Greg Castillo, Semaj Moody, Kamaal McIlwain, Malcolm Bronson
I decided to combine the defensive backs because there is some overlap in terms of where guys play in the sub packages. The top five players listed are no brainers. I think Demps has had a strong camp and sealed his place with that kick return TD against the 49ers. Jalil Brown isn’t a good coverage CB, but the Chiefs have very little depth at that position and Brown is great on special teams. Sanders Commings is hard to factor in because I don’t know when he may be back from injury. If they feel they don’t need him this season, don’t be surprised if they put him on IR just to protect him and save a roster spot. Keep an eye on CB Kennard Cox who was just signed last week. He was on Seattle’s 53 man roster last season. Abdullah will likely make it, with Hartman, McDougald, and Foster hoping to win a spot because of special teams contributions.
On The Roster: Ryan Succop, Dustin Colquitt, Thomas Gafford
Still Fighting: Nobody
Not Going To Make It: Brad Madison
This one is set in stone.
So overall I have 39 of the 53 roster spots already set. I think there are 25 players that have no shot at making the active roster. That would leave 26 guys fighing for the last 14 roster spots.
What do you think Addicts? Am I close? Do I have someone on who you don’t think is going to make it? Have I ruled someone out who you think still has a shot? I’m curious to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!