Defensive Ends: George Karlaftis, Frank Clark, Carlos Dunlap, Mike Danna
I went back and forth between keeping Malik Herring or Joshua Kaindoh on as a fifth defensive end but I don’t think that makes much sense, given the makeup of the Chiefs’ defensive line. I believe that the four names listed here are the only 100% locks at the position to make the 53-man roster and I believe Kansas City would be wise to use their depth on the interior of the defensive line rather than the edge. If the Chiefs do have to test their depth on the edge, Tershawn Wharton and even Chris Jones (despite last season’s failure) can slide outside.
Defensive Tackles: Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Khaulen Saunders, Tershawn Wharton, Taylor Stallworth
I believe the Chiefs will carry at least nine guys across the defensive line to start the season whether that’s four or five players on the interior remains to be seen. Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, and Tershawn Wharton are the safe bets to make the team. I think Khalen Saunders is also in a good spot to make the team because of his strong preseason performance. I was deciding between Danny Shelton, Taylor Stallworth, and a defensive end for the final defensive line slot but I landed on an interior defender and then chose Stallworth. It was tough because I think that Shelton could very easily make it over Stallworth. Stallworth brings a little bit more juice to the pass rush so I went with him for that reason.
Linebackers: Nick Bolton, Willie Gay Jr., Leo Chenal, Elijah Lee, Darius Harris
The Kansas City Chiefs have one of the most underrated linebacking units in the entire NFL due to the dynamic duo of Nick Bolton and Willie Gay. Bolton, Gay, and Leo Chenal are 100% making the team, while I believe that Darius Harris has done enough to beat out Jermaine Carter for the backup to Bolton as the MIKE LB on Steve Spagnuolo’s defense. I also have a strong sense that Elijah Lee will make the team mostly as another Dave Toub-special teams player.