Kansas City Chiefs: The seven biggest roster battles to watch in training camp
Parker Ehinger, Bryan Witzmann, Cam Erving and Ryan Hunter
It feels like the Chiefs have had a revolving door at left guard for the last several seasons and it would be nice to see someone go out and earn that spot during training camp. I don’t know that there is a clear favorite in this group but several players can make a case for getting a shot. Last season Bryan Witzmann was their starter after Parker Ehinger was unable to return from an injury that cut his rookie season short. The best thing you can probably say about Witzmann is that he wasn’t horrible. He started most of the season and wasn’t a huge problem. That said, he didn’t do a lot to make you excited about him as the long term starter.
I feel the same way about Parker Ehinger. I’ve had this argument in the past with Chiefs fans that seem to think he’s the answer at left guard for this team. He (much like Witzmann) wasn’t terrible in his half a season of starting as a rookie. I simply didn’t see either the strength or athleticism to make me think he’ll ever be a great starter. If he’s healthy he can start and it will be fine, but I certainly wouldn’t be upset if the Chiefs went with someone they think has more long term upside.
Cam Erving is an interesting possibility. The former first round pick has experience playing all over the line. He’s currently filling in for Mitch Morse at center until he’s ready to go this season (fingers crossed). If Morse is 100% by the start of the season it’s possible that Erving could start at left guard similar to how Zach Fulton has in previous seasons. It’s also possible that the Chiefs like having Erving on the bench as a guy that can fill in for almost any starter that goes down.
The most intriguing guy to watch in camp is probably Ryan Hunter. Hunter is an undrafted free agent out of Canada. He was actually considered the top prospect in the CFL’s draft. There is some buzz that the Chiefs are excited about Hunter. Could he start as a rookie or will it take a year or two of development before he’s ready to go? I don’t know if anyone knows yet but he’s definitely a guy to watch as camp gets started.
For the long term, the Chiefs are also excited about rookie Kahlil McKenzie. However, with McKenzie having to make the switch over from playing defense in college I don’t think you should expect to see him competing for a starting spot as a rookie. Still, there are several guys that will be in on this key competition in training camp.
Next up, who will start at free safety?