Kansas City Chiefs: Predicting the second-year players

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Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Kansas City Chiefs guard Zach Fulton (73) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the sixth round, Kansas City snagged right guard Zach Fulton. Fulton started in all 16 games, playing 100 percent of all offensive snaps right through Week 15. Fulton struggled from Week 1 in both run blocking and pass protection, but he was also playing alongside Ryan Harris. Toward the end of the season, his performances did show some improvement and Fulton had glimpses of potential.

Heading into 2015, Dorsey decided to sign Paul Fanaika from the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. Heading out of the offseason, it is clear right guard will be a fight between Fulton and Fanaika. Still, the signing of Fanaika is not necessarily an improvement upon Fulton. Fanaika was ranked 71st among all guards per PFF with Fulton placed seven places higher. (McGlynn, if you were wondering, was ranked dead last).

One crucial point to make is Fanaika’s positive grade in the screen game, something that Reid likes to use extensively. I believe Fulton will ultimately beat out Fanaika in the race to start at right guard, but will have to be careful of losing his starting spot. There is much more competition this season with Jeff Allen, Fanaika and possibly Mitch Morse all gunning for spots, so if Fulton’s performances are lackluster,  do not be surprised if he is replaced with one of the other linemen.

With the final pick of the 2014 draft, the Chiefs selected Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Unfortunately, we know little about LDT. He didn’t play a snap for Kansas City last season, and although he sometimes believed he would be starting, LDT was never able to make the field.

Reid and Dorsey have promoted his physical attributes, with Reid stating his impressive upside, but with a lack of playing time, it is difficult to come to a reasoned judgement on his talents. For his sophomore campaign, I predict LDT will be challenging Allen, Morse and Derrick Sherrod for a backup spot on the Chiefs’ offensive line, and will have limited if any playing time.

So, there are my predictions for the sophomore seasons of the Kansas City Chiefs 2014 draft class. Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said? Let me know in the comments below. And as always… GO CHIEFS!!