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53-Man Roster Prediction for Chiefs Following Second Week of Preseason

Keaton Henry
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
359   //    23 Aug 2018, 13:47 IST

The Patrick Mahomes-effect is in full swing for Kansas City. Being gifted with a "Golden Arm" and a poster-boy persona can certainly mesmerize a franchise and a city who has lacked a professional football championship trophy for nearly five decades.

Mahomes' moxy and leadership has largely been on display over the course of two preseason contests by posting a completion percentage of 69.05 and a touchdown thus far. Though the Mahomes hype has certainly given Kansas City fans a bit of a "high", the Chiefs have been faced with injuries to key positions this offseason with safety Eric Berry, and middle linebackers Reggie Ragland and Anthony Hitchens, rendered unavailable for the majority of the preseason.

Kansas City Chiefs v Atlanta Falcons
Kansas City Chiefs v Atlanta Falcons

The absences of these key players have both revealed a major flaw on the roster, as well as a potential gem in rookie linebacker Ben Niemann.

Niemann, a former Iowa Hawkeye, has been a strong leader in tackles for the Chiefs through two weeks and with injuries to the position, may just position himself for a clean roll on Kansas City's 53-man regular season roster. In this article, we explore the best options on the current roster that could join Neimann on the team this year, as well as practice squad options and five players from around the league that may be solid additions following roster cut-down's.

Let's start with this year's game day roster...


Roster Predictions: Offense


Quarterback (2): Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne

Runningback (3): Kareem Hunt, Damien Williams, Darrel Williams

Fullback (1): Anthony Sherman

Wide Receiver (7): Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, Chris Conley, De'Anthony Thomas, Gehrig Dieter, Marcus Kemp

Tight End (4): Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Jace Amaro, Alex Ellis

Offensive Line (8): Eric Fisher, Cam Erving, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitchell Schwartz, Andrew Wylie, Bryan Witzmann, Jordan Devey

* Underlined players indicate starters


Roster Predictions: Defense


Defensive End (4): Chris Jones, Allen Bailey, Justin Hamilton, Jarvis Jenkins

Defensive/Nose Tackle (2): Xavier Williams, Derrick Nnadi

Outside Linebacker (5): Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Breeland Speaks, Frank Zombo

Inside Linebacker (5): Anthony Hitchens, Reggie Ragland, Ben Niemann, Ukeme Eligwe, Dorian O'Daniel

Cornerback (5): Kendall Fuller, Steven Nelson, David Amerson, Orlando Scandrick, Tremon Smith

Safety (4): Eric Berry, Eric Murray, Armani Watts, Leon McQuay

* Underlined players indicate starters


Roster Predictions: Special Teams


Punter (1): Dustin Colquitt

Kicker (1): Harrison Butker

Long Snapper (1): James Winchester

* Underlined players indicate starters


It should be noted that for purposes of this article, RB Spencer Ware has been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to begin the season. The Chiefs roster certainly reflects a lot of weak spots along the defensive backfield to this point of the offseason, despite the team's recent signing of former Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins cornerback Orlando Scandrick. It should be expected that the team will look to add some reserve options for the back-end of the defense via the practice squad.


Practice Squad Predictions


Offense (5): QB Chase Litton, WR Byron Pringle, WR/TE Blake Mack, OL Kahlil McKenzie, OL Ryan Hunter

Defense (5): DE Dee Liner, DE T.Y. McGill, OLB Rob McCray, CB Arrion Springs, S Jordan Sterns


The Chiefs reserve their third quarterback by stashing rookie Chase Litton on their practice squad. With teams being limited to suiting up only 46 of their 53 roster players, the team would likely be unable to have all three of their quarterbacks available for game day through the season due to those restrictions. The team also chooses to keep developmental projects in McKenzie, Hunter, and Mack on offense for their respective positions.

Springs and Sterns would provide the Chiefs some development and depth options should the team need some help though out the season, whether it be due to performance or injury issues to the players on the 53-man roster.


Roster Cut-Down Options


OL Jeff Allen, Houston Texans - Allen, a former Chiefs starter from 2012-2015, was released with an injury settlement by the Texans last month. The former Chiefs second-round selection has been recovering from multiple ankle injuries this offseason, but could be added on the cheap by the team given some obvious weaknesses along the depth of the offensive line in training camp.

S Kelcie McCray, Buffalo Bills - McCray, an undrafted free agent of the Miami Dolphins in 2012, has a history with the Chiefs organization. Having spent time with the Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013, he was then traded to the Chiefs in 2014, but did not make the final roster that season coming out of training camp. McCray would go on to be a major contributor for the "Legion of Boom" in Seattle, contributing in 32 games (seven starts) for the Seahawks over the 2015-16 seasons. He has found himself in a logged jam depth chart for the Bills and currently sits as their fifth safety. McCray's physicality and experience would be incredibly valuable for Kansas City, should Berry or any other defensive backs require time off of the field for injury reasons this season.

TE Dwayne Allen, New England Patriots - Reserve tight end Demetrius Harris was cited this offseason for marijuana possession but has not had any sort of punishment handed down from the NFL for this incident to this point. Regardless of this issue, Harris has been one of the most inconsistent players that are currently on the Chiefs roster. Jace Amaro and Alex Ellis have shown flashes of progress and growth, but neither have shown enough to give the team confidence that they can contribute for an offence that requires a lot of field play from its tight end's. Allen, entering his seventh season in the NFL, has compiled just over 1,500 receiving yards with the Patriots and Indianapolis Colts and 20 touchdowns over that same time.

CB Marcus Cooper, Chicago Bears - Another former Chief, Cooper could return to a fan base that will best remember him as a one-year wonder in a rookie season that saw him be drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, released following the preseason and added via waivers by the Chiefs in 2013. Cooper posted 18 tackles and three passes defended for the Bears last year in reserve duty but spent plenty of time on their special teams unit. Given his familiarity with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's schemes and an alarmingly thin defensive backfield, adding Cooper on a one-year deal should be a no-brainer if he can't hang on with Chicago this offseason.

S Tre Sullivan, Philadelphia Eagles - A Division II star from Shepherd University, Sullivan is more than likely well-known by zero NFL fan bases outside of the dedicated Eagles faithful, but could be a strong developmental option for the Chiefs defense. Following the return of safety Corey Graham to the Eagles roster, Sullivan's roster spot has now come into question, but this could allow Kansas City general manager Brett Veach to bounce on a hidden gem.

Keaton Henry
CONTRIBUTOR
Independent Writer. Founder and Former Editor of ChiefsUpdate.com.
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