2015 Chiefs Roster: A pair of dark horses


The Kansas City Chiefs begin Phase Three of the NFL’s offseason program on Tuesday. Coaches and players will return to local practice facilities for the first of 10 OTA sessions (between May 26 and June 12). A mandatory minicamp and the team’s annual training camp will follow as Kansas City wades through the rest of its summer schedule. The next several months will be crucial in rounding out the 2015 roster. When the smoke clears, I expect a few surprises.

Last year, little-known Georgia State wideout Albert Wilson made the final cut when the 53-man roster was announced in late August. He was joined by Brazilian placekicker and fellow rookie Cairo Santos, who the Chiefs preferred to veteran Ryan Succop.

In 2013, more than half of the players dubbed the “Magnificent Seven” by Voice of the Chiefs Mitch Holthus made significant contributions to the eventual playoff team. This regime appears to pride itself on affording opportunities to young, unheralded players. Through the first two years of the administration, it’s paid off with quality rookie campaigns from Marcus Cooper, Wilson, and Santos. Given the track record, I think it’s safe to expect a few similar personnel transactions in 2015.

Let’s take a look at two players on the 90-man roster who may ultimately stick:

(WR) Da’Rick Rogers

Remember the colossal playoff collapse that ended the Chiefs’ 2013 season prematurely? Kansas City was on its way to getting off a 20-year postseason skid when the Indianapolis Colts erased a 28-point deficit in a comeback for the ages.

Da’Rick Rogers helped spark the Colts’ second half rally with a spectacular 46-yard contested catch over cornerback Sean Smith. Rogers has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted in 2013. Kansas City is now his third team (after brief stints with both the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills). Rogers’ legitimate first-round talent has mostly been obscured by off-the-field issues both in college and since turning pro. The latest episode was a DUI charge in the fall of 2014 that prompted his ouster in Indianapolis.

He’ll have a chance to get his career back on track in Kansas City with the infamous “team that went without a receiving touchdown for an entire season.” Rogers has quite a bit of competition for the No. 2 receiver role between Wilson and draftee Chris Conley, but his athleticism and NFL experience might give him an edge over the latter. When Rogers was signed to a reserve-future contract in early January, a Tennessee Volunteers die-hard I’m acquainted with intimated that he was a superior prospect to both Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter.

(CB) DeVante Bausby

The Chiefs’ secondary has gotten crowded over the past month — particularly at cornerback. Kansas City selected two cornerbacks in the draft and have four holdovers from the 2014 roster (Smith, Cooper, Phillip Gaines, and Jamell Fleming). In short terms, DeVante Bausby’s facing long odds. If the past is any indication, the Chiefs will again carry five cornerbacks on the roster (they have the past two seasons). Barring injury, I’d argue that three of those five spots on the depth chart are already sewn up.

Fleming and Cooper are likely the biggest barricades to Bausby making the team. Fortunately for the former Pittsburg State Gorilla, the two men ahead of him on the depth chart are still learning the finer points of the position. Both of them are adept at press coverage, but Fleming’s still refining his technique and Cooper was only converted to the position four years ago.

Bausby’s calling card is his athleticism. At his pro day in April, he recorded a 40 time in the low-4.4 range, a 37.5-inch vertical jump, an 11-foot broad jump, and 14 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. He’s still raw as a prospect, but may provide more upside than some of the other young hopefuls in the group.

What are the odds that either of these two players make Kansas City’s final roster? Are there other low-profile players you expect to make the cut? Use the comment section below to begin the conversation. As always, we appreciate your readership and support.

Until next time, Addicts!