5 Kansas City Chiefs roster battles fans need to watch this summer

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Primary participants: Chamarri Conner, Deon Bush, Jaden Hicks

This is likely Chamarri Conner's job to lose, but he has some quality competition this summer. PFF graded him as Kansas City's second-best defensive back in coverage, with his 78.4 only trailing McDuffie. Conner, a 2023 fourth-round pick, really stepped up in the regular season's second half. But it was his postseason performance, especially a 10-tackle start against the Buffalo Bills, that garnered him attention. With Justin Reid and Bryan Cook assumed to be Kansas City's top two safeties, Cook can play a versatile role in Spagnuolo's design.

Bush is the elder statesman of the defensive back room, entering his ninth NFL season. He performed well as a roleplayer when injuries hit the Chiefs, including notching an interception in the AFC Championship Game. He will have a special team role with the Chiefs, no matter what.

Jaden Hicks is the rookie chess piece that will either sink or swim with the Chiefs ahead of the season. Kansas City drafted Hicks in the fourth round this year, and he is widely considered a steal for the defending Super Bowl champions. Hicks' versatility and nose for the football should get him on the field early and often.

"[Kansas City is] going to utilize his skillset very well," Chiefs West Regional Scout Greg Castillo said. "He's very versatile. He can play at the linebacker depth, he can play the deep middle free safety, he can play quarters…He can do a lot, and he can do a lot effectively."

How effective he can be against NFL competition remains to be seen, but the team seems very high on the Washington State product.