Kansas City Chiefs roster bubble watch: Steelers game hurt several players
By Grant Tuttle
Last five out:
S Jordan Lucas
Jordan Lucas has shown flashes of being a very capable NFL safety. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to cut it in Kansas City this year. As the team tries to balance the trio of Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill, and Daniel Sorensen, there is likely only one open spot at safety. To me, it looks like Armani Watts is winning that spot.
Lucas has been banged up in training camp. Now, he finds himself struggling for playing time; Getting reps with the third team. With Armani Watts taking the lion share of snaps, Lucas’s chances of making the roster grow smaller by the day.
CB Rashad Fenton
Once again we discuss Fenton’s fit with the Chiefs and once again, I see a narrow window for him to make the roster. With the rise of Mark Fields and Herb Miller, that window gets smaller and smaller. Fenton was brought in as a last-ditch effort for the Chiefs to draft a corner in 2019. While he has promising attributes, I believe that he has been totally outplayed.
Fenton has seen plenty of snaps. In fact, he has played in 79 snaps in these first two games which are third-most of any defensive player, behind Ben Niemann and Darron Lee. That being said, Fenton has been beaten several times and made virtually no impact on the defense while he has played. While he shows athletic capabilities, his chances don’t seem great.
DT Justin Hamilton
Justin Hamilton is a guy that has seen plenty of opportunities in Kansas City. The Chiefs have liked him and for good reason. As a behemoth of a man, he can definitely move in space. Now that the Chiefs have more depth at the position, finding a spot for him is more difficult.
Hamilton is not a sure cut, but with the addition of Khalen Saunders, it seems increasingly likely that he is the odd man out. If the Chiefs believe in Saunders’s upside and that Xavier Williams is good against the run, Hamilton has very little space to make this roster.
WR Gehrig Dieter
After saying Dieter was going to make the team last week, I am reversing my position. Dieter may be a practice squad candidate instead of earning a roster spot. After spending the entirety of the preseason banged up, he has yet to play a snap. If this trend continues, it may be difficult for the Chiefs to justify keeping him over a guy like Byron Pringle or Cody Thompson.
Dieter’s greatest asset is his release. Getting off the line Dieter can get open quickly, but that is not unlike any other receiver on the roster at this point. The wide receiver room is deeper than last year. Being the quarterback’s friend may not get it done this season.
LB Dorian O’Daniel
Once again, we discuss the demise of Dorian O’Daniel. As a guy who believes in his upside and athletic ability, it hurts to say that he is on his way out. Unfortunately, that is exactly how it feels. O’Daniel is taking reps with the third team and losing playing time to newcomer Darron Lee. If the Chiefs can stash O’Daniel on the practice squad, they will. If not, he will play somewhere with a middle linebacker need.
O’Daniel looked good against the third-team offense of the Steelers. That is the problem, though. He is buried on the depth chart to the point where he is competing with a lot of guys who won’t make the roster. Once again, it appears to me that Dorian O’Daniel’s time in Kansas City may be coming to an end.