Chiefs’ offensive and defensive position battles

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Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs defensive line is going to be good this season. Dontari Poe will hopefully be on the 53-man roster when the season starts although PUP is a possibility. If they keep Poe will they go short with defensive lineman keeping only five others? Mike DeVito, Mike Catapano, Allen Bailey, and Jaye Howard are all locks. Nick Williams and Hebron Fapungo have both made a case for the fifth spot on the defensive line. Both have the ability to play defensive end and nose tackle as well, which helps scheme versatility as well as helping replace Poe with multiple players. Right now, I think Williams will be the fifth lineman when the roster is turned in.

At linebacker, Kansas City will really have some decisions to make. Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Dee Ford, Derrick Johnson, Ramik Wilson, and Dezman Moses look to be locks. Josh Mauga is more than likely a lock but I could see a situation where they release him with the play of Wilson and Justin March in training camp and games.

March will be a key to how this group shakes out. It’s possible they put him on Injured Reserve for the year but his injury is something that should allow him to come back in the next couple of weeks. That would be eight linebackers with March, and Josh Martin likely makes nine. Frank Zombo probably makes the roster as well because he can play both inside and outside.

The back end of the Chiefs defense will also provide for some very intense battles. Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson and Jamell Fleming are all locks at corner. Ron Parker, Husain Abdullah, and Eric Berry are all locks at safety.

Tyvon Branch is on the team if he is not traded which is still possible. Depending on what happens with Branch there are several scenarios that could play out. The Chiefs could keep Daniel Sorensen who is a core special teams player. They could also keep Marcus Cooper until Sean Smith returns in Week 4.

The number of players kept in the secondary could end up depending on how the numbers stack up at linebackers. If the Chiefs keep 10 linebackers it will be very hard to keep 10 defensive backs. I think the Chiefs keep Sorensen regardless of what happens with Branch. Cooper won’t make the team past Week 4 unless there are injuries so it is possible the Chiefs go in a different direction.

What do you think, Addicts? Where are the biggest roster battles headed into the final preseason game?