Stock Up: Chase Litton
The top of the quarterback depth chart is pretty much written in stone with Patrick Mahomes as the starter and Chad Henne as the primary back up. However, the third quarterback spot appears to be up for grabs between Chase Litton and Kyle Shurmur, the undrafted rookie from Vanderbilt.
Despite Litton’s year of experience in the system, the third team reps in camp had been split pretty evenly between the two. Then when Shurmur got the first action in the Bengals game, it looked like the Chiefs were willing to give the rookie every opportunity to win the spot.
Despite playing almost exclusively with third stringers, Litton was the one that looked much more comfortable and accurate. Both quarterbacks threw touchdown passes and Litton actually had the only interception of the game, but he was still the clear winner of the night. Shurmur wasn’t bad enough to show up on the “stock down” list but Litton impressed me. He ended up 11 of 15 for 122 yards with two touchdowns and the interception. Shurmur by comparison was 6 of 15 for 77 yards and a touchdown.
While the hope is that neither of the two touch the field for the Chiefs this season, if one had to based on their play on Saturday, my vote would certainly be for Litton.
Stock Down: Tremon Smith
We all knew that Tremon Smith‘s future was on shaky ground when the Chiefs moved him out of a position of need in cornerback to a position where things were already crowded in running back. Smith’s hope for making the roster now rides on him being an important part of the return game and showing the ability to at least be a dangerous gadget weapon on offense. Neither one of those things happened for Smith on Saturday.
Not only did Smith only have 3 carries for 5 yards on offense, but other young players showed their explosiveness on offense (more on them in a minute). With the offense already looking loaded with playmakers, it makes it all the more vital that Smith is an essential part of the return game. Problem is, he didn’t really stand out there Saturday either.
Smithhad one punt return for just 4 yards and one kick return for 25 yards. While a 25 yard kick return isn’t bad, it was the shortest kick return of the night. Rashard Davis, Byron Pringle, and Mecole Hardman all had longer kick returns on Saturday. Smith is going to have to up his game if he wants a roster spot again this fall.