Kansas City Chiefs way-too-early roster prediction

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Today is the final practice for the Chiefs before the team takes on the Bengals on Thursday night at Arrowhead Stadium. It’s time for some predictions; 53 man roster predictions, to be exact.

We knew coming into camp that there weren’t that many roster spots up for grabs, but there have been a few surprises that threw some things out the window. Here is my way-too-early 53 man roster prediction as we head into week one of the NFL preseason.

Quarterback:

1) Alex Smith

2) Chase Daniel

3) Aaron Murray

I’m not exactly sure what the Chiefs are going to do here. My best guess? They keep Daniel and Murray and let go of Tyler Bray, as hard as that may be. But they might get creative. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Daniel let go, probably by trade. There are two things we know for certain: Aaron Murray will be on the roster and Alex Smith will be the starter. The rest is up for grabs.

Running Back:

1) Jamaal Charles

2) Knile Davis

3) De’Anthony Thomas

4) Anthony Sherman (FB)

I don’t think any of this is really up for debate. The only other possibility is that the Chiefs will take four true running backs on the roster, along with Anthony Sherman. But I don’t see that as likely. I’m less interested in who makes the roster, and more interested in how the carries are distributed.

Wide Receiver:

1) Dwayne Bowe

2) Donnie Avery

3) A.J. Jenkins

4) Junior Hemmingway

5) Frankie Hammond Jr.

6) Albert Wilson

What was once seen as the weakness of the team became the position to watch at camp. There have been a number of young guys that have stepped up; Frankie Hammond Jr., Kyle Williams and Albert Wilson are the three receivers getting the most praise at Training Camp. I think the Chiefs will ultimately keep two of the three. I went with Hammond Jr. and Wilson because I think they provide the most flexibility; both can contribute on special teams and both add some added value playing in the slot or on the outside. Here’s to hoping the young guys look as good in the regular season as they do in St. Joseph.

Tight End:

1) Travis Kelce

2) Anthony Fasano

3) Demetrius Harris

No need to spend much time here. This would be a lot more interesting if Sean McGrath hadn’t retired. But unless there’s an injury, Kelce, Fasano and Harris are the three tight ends that will be on the Chiefs roster in the regular season.

Offensive Line:

1) Eric Fisher

2) Jeff Allen

3) Rodney Hudson

4) Zach Fulton

5) Donald Stephenson

6) Jeff Linkenbach

7) Eric Kush

8) Rishaw Johnson

9) Ryan Harris

10) Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

The Chiefs actually have a decent amount of depth across their offensive line, which surprises me. I think the starting lineup is basically set — that was evident when Zach Fulton, the Chiefs sixth round pick, was already listed as the starter on the first depth chart of camp. That’s unusual for the Chiefs. The backups are interesting. I think there are six guys fighting for four five spots. The one that I don’t have on the roster is the current backup left tackle, J’Marcus Webb. I think he could make the roster, especially if the Chiefs decide to take 11 offensive linemen into the season, but as of right now, I think that roster spot is better used elsewhere.

Defensive Line:

1) Allen Bailey

2) Dontari Poe

3) Mike DeVito

4) Vance Walker

5) Jaye Howard

6) Mike Catapano

Depth on the defensive line is not an issue for the Chiefs. Poe will be expected to take a ton of snaps. Walker and Catapano will get plenty of playing time at defensive end. I could see the Chiefs looking to upgrade over Jaye Howard. Other than that, I think the roster is set on the defensive line.

Linebacker:

1) Justin Houston

2) Joe Mays

3) Derrick Johnson

4) Tamba Hali

5) Frank Zombo

6) Josh Mauga

7) James Michael-Johnson

8) Dee Ford

9) Nico Johnson

Linebacker is another interesting spot to watch as the pre-season progresses. I have 2013 fourth-round pick, Nico Johnson, making the roster. Many don’t. Josh Mauga is listed over Johnson on the depth chart, and it’s possible the Chiefs don’t want to take nine linebackers into the season. But I think Johnson can add value on special teams, and therefore I’m predicting him to make the roster.

Cornerback:

1) Marcus Cooper

2) Sean Smith

3) Chris Owens

4) Phillip Gaines

5) Ron Parker

There’s not much to say here. I think those are the five the Chiefs will go with. I’m not sure what the argument would be otherwise.

Safety:

1) Eric Berry

2) Hussain Abdullah

3) Daniel Sorenson

4) Malcolm Bronson

Berry and Abdullah are locks. Not just to make the roster, but also to be the starters. The backup safety spots are a crapshoot. It could be any combination of Sorenson, Bronson or Jerron McMillian. Or the Chiefs could bring someone in off of the waiver wire. Your guess is as good as mine.

Special Teams:

Punter: Dustin Colquitt

Kicker: Cairo Santos

Long Snapper: Thomas Gafford

Yepp. I think Cairo Santos is going to win the starting kicking job over Ryan Succop. He’s cheaper, younger, and has a bigger leg. I wouldn’t be shocked if Succop wins the job, but I think Santos will get the nod.

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m crazy with any of my predictions? Let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter @cover32_KC.

 

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