The Second and Third Tight Ends:
In the mix: Demetrius Harris, James O’Shaughnessy, Brian Parker
The Chiefs like to use lots of two tight end sets and despite a lack of production from their tight ends not named Travis Kelce they opted not to make any additions this offseason. Demetrius Harris has the most experience in the system and has flashed some pass catching upside, but overall the former basketball player has been inconsistent in his career to date.
O’Shaughnessy was a rookie that got some playing time last year before getting injured. He has some upside but is a little small for the position. Brian Parker is more of a blocking specialist, but that could work in his favor as the other two are primarily pass catchers. I think the battle between Harris and O’Shaughnessy to see who will be the second target at tight end after Kelce could be highly contested and last all the way through the fourth preseason game.
The Starting Offensive Guards:
In the mix: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Jah Reid, Zach Fulton, Parker Ehinger
No competition on the offensive side of the ball is more vital to the Chiefs success in 2016 than the battle for the starting guard spots. The Chiefs may have four players with a legitimate chance to start but NONE of them are a proven commodity. That scares the snot out of me, but it is what it is at this point.
I believe the Chiefs whole heartedly want the Canadian doctor and the rookie to win the jobs. If that happens the entire line falls into place because Jah Reid can be the swing tackle and Fulton can come off the bench for both the guard and center positions. The problem with that plan is that LDT wasn’t that great last season (Jah Reid actually out played him when he filled in at guard in the playoffs) and Ehinger is a fourth round rookie that wasn’t exactly a dominant tackle in the American Athletic Conference last year.
These guys are young enough that its possible that they can become good players but I’m still a little worried. I’ll be watching these guys like a hawk in training camp and the preseason.
Now let’s take a look on the defensive side of the ball.
Next: Key Defensive Position Battles