Every year, there are names coming out of offseason workouts and/or training camp that come from nowhere to make the Kansas City Chiefs roster. As we’ve looked at some rookies who could make a push to make the roster, lets turn our attention to players who spent time in the NFL last year in some capacity.
Who will be that person this year who surprisingly makes the 53-man roster come the final cut-down date in early September. To start this series off, we’ll take a look at second-year running back Charcandrick West.
West, (5-foot-11, 205 pounds) hails from Abilene Christian, and spent a majority of the 2014 season on the practice squad. He’s a player who will make the roster this season. There is a lot unknown at the position after Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, with Cyrus Gray recovering from a knee injury.Joe McKnight doesn’t appear likely to return after having his number given to first-round draft pick Marcus Peters, and there is really no one else on the roster of note. The greatest competition West will have for the fourth running back spot will be Spencer Ware, who is almost more of a fullback.
West has the benefit of being with the team last year on the practice squad, and was promoted to the active roster in November after running back and special-teamer Gray injured his knee in the Buffalo game. While West failed to record an offensive stat during his six games on the active roster, his experience every week in practice and the opportunity this offseason in the OTAs will certainly help him in his quest.
Coming out of Abilene Christian, West put his explosive speed and versatility on display to the tune 1,349 all-purpose yards, according to Herbie Teope of Chiefs Digest. On film, West shows nice vision mixed with solid acceleration and good speed. Mix in that he can catch the football coming out of the backfield, and it’s easy to see why the Chiefs sought him out as a free agent after the 2014 draft. Per Teope’s piece:
"“I’m going to come right out and give it my all,” West said during the team’s recent rookie minicamp. “I’m going to go play special teams and just play my role. Whatever they ask me to do I’ll do.”"
West’s versatility, combined with his speed (he clocked his 40′-yard-dash under 4.47) are traits and assets that will help West as he strives for a roster spot. As we’ve seen the past two seasons, if you play for Andy Reid as a running back, you’d better be able to catch the ball, and to a lesser degree, out of the slot. West, at least in college (and yes, college experience, especially at the lower levels is not the same as the NFL) displayed that ability. He recorded 32 catches his senior year.
In summation, West has a good chance of making the opening day roster of the Chiefs. The spot is there, and there appears from outside of Arrowhead to be an opening. The question will be, can he take advantage of the opportunity, or will West be the updated version of Jesse Haynes? Only time will tell.