After 10 days in training camp, the Chiefs have given us their first depth chart of the season. Keep in mind this chart is subject to change- a lot. Some guys at the bottom of the chart are injured, rookies or just getting to camp in Dwayne Bowe's case. Is Bowe our 6th or so WR? Of course not but for the purposes of this chart, at this time, he is.
Notably, there is not a listing for QB and Larry Johnson is not listed. That should give you some indication of just how serious the Chiefs are making this chart. For now, we'll use this chart as a jumping off point to discuss some general position battles within camp. We certainly won't be attaching any sort of credence to the chart right now.
You can check out AP's depth chart for the beginning of the season here.
On to the offense...
|WR||18 Samie Parker||80 Jeff Webb||17 Maurice Price||9 Ean Randolph||6 Titus Ryan||82 Dwayne Bowe|
|WR||87 Eddie Kennison||85 Rod Gardner||81 Chris Hannon||13 Brent Little|
|LT||77 Damion McIntosh||71 Will Svitek||75 Ramiro Pruneda|
|LG||54 Brian Waters||67 Chris Bober||65 Herb Taylor||72 James Newby|
|C||62 Casey Wiegmann||64 Rudy Niswanger||73 Rob Hunt|
|RG||76 John Welbourn||61 Tre Stallings||66 George Batiste|
|RT||60 Chris Terry||74 Kyle Turley||79 Kevin Sampson|
|TE||88 Tony Gonzalez||84 Kris Wilson||48 Keith Willis||47 Michael Allan||45 Mike Pinkard||89 Jason Dunn|
|FB||84 Kris Wilson||43 Greg Hanoian||46 Boomer Grigsby||30 Gilbert Harris|
|RB||26 Michael Bennett||21 Kolby Smith||38 Marcus O'Keith||39 Derrick Ross||31 Priest Holmes|
I just mentioned that the Chiefs didn't release a depth chart for the QB position. At the moment, if they did decide to include it, it would probably have Brodie Croyle at the head of the chart with the understanding that Damon Huard is directly behind him but barely so. Neither QB, Croyle or Huard, has established himself as the no. 1 QB in the first 10 days of camp. It will probably be this way throughout most of the preseason. Damon Huard has been around this league for a long time and can play at an acceptable but not exceptional level pretty much all the time. I'm a little surprised that Boomer Grigsby is the no. 3 fullback on the chart, since he's been getting a lot of reps at that position in training camp. Boomer is far from a lock for the starting FB position. I expect Kris Wilson to be our main FB.
I've been noting Derrick Ross' fumble woes throughout camp and its obvious they've affected his position on this team. I don't want to play down Cal RB Marcus O'Keith's contributions but its obvious that its Ross that's fallen, instead of O'Keith rising that much.
Keep an eye on the TE position this year. Obviously, Tony Gonzalez is our no. 1 but Keith Willis has quietly been impressing the coaches at camp. Jason Dunn hasn't been involved in training camp aside from some conditioning drills due to injury. Keith Willis could be Dunn's potential blocking TE replacement.
My biggest question about this chart- Where is Brad Eckwerekwu? Has he already been relegated to practice squad status in the minds of the coaches? Hopefully we can keep him around even if it is on the practice squad. Always nice to have local talent make its way to the top.
The injury to LT Damion McInstosh's knee has put him out indefintely, with Will Svitek taking his spot. Kyle Turley could potentially move to left tackle depending on Svitek's play. When Willie Roaf left the New Orleans Saints in 2002 to come to the Chiefs, Turley moved from right to left tackle to replace him. Despite his injury troubles over the last few years, the former no. 7 overall pick has put in his fair share of time on both sides of the O-line.
|LE||91 Tamba Hali||96 Jimmy Wilkerson||64 Chris Harris|
|LT||95 Ron Edwards||93 DeMarcus Tyler||65 Patrice Majondo-Mwamba|
|RT||70 Alfonso Boone||92 James Reed||73 Kiki Gonzalez|
|RE||69 Jared Allen||90 Claude McBride||72 Montez Murphy||61 Michael Heard|
|LOLB||56 Derrick Johnson||97 Keyaron Fox||66 Brian Crum||57 Nick Reid|
|MLB||50 Napoleon Harris||52 William Kershaw||98 Nate Harris|
|OLB||59 Donnie Edwards||99 Kendrell Bell||55 Rich Scanlon||53 David Hicks|
|LCB||24 Ty Law||38 Michael Bragg||35 Will Poole||40 Justin Phinisee||39 Dimitri Patterson|
|RCB||23 Patrick Surtain||20 Benny Sapp||45 Marcus Maxey||34 Tyron Brackenridge|
|SS||49 Bernard Pollard||25 Greg Wesley||30 Marlon Fair|
|FS||44 Jarrad Page||47 Jon McGraw||29 Chad Williams|
As a Chiefs' fan, how do you not love this defense? Sure, we have a few holes on the defensive line and our starting corner backs have a combined age of 67. But I'll be damned if Tamba Hali, Jared Allen, Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page don't have me wanting to photograph all of them in tribal headdress in a field of tall grass somewhere circa 1995.
Its good to see Pollard ahead of the underachieving Greg Wesley. Another young guy replacing an outdated veteran. Despite having two former Pro-Bowl corners in our, ahem, corner, Law and Surtain simply don't have many seasons left. They'll be fine this year but those names behind them on the depth chart don't mean much to me. I know the coaches at training camp have been liking rookie Tyron Brackenridge but its way too early to be talking about a long term solution at CB for the Kansas City Chiefs. Benny Sapp and Michael Bragg will provide decent back up at best.
Derrick Johnson, Donnie Edwards and Napoleon Harris round out the most solid LB corps in the AFC West. While our current LB corps is damn solid, we have little left in the tank once all of those guys step on the field. Kendrell Bell just doesn't cut it for me anymore and my knowledge on the others is limited at the moment. Note: See Direckshun's fantastic LB write up for more info.
And the battle for the return positions...
|P||2 Dustin Colquitt||7 Justin Medlock|
|K||7 Justin Medlock||2 Dustin Colquitt|
|KO||7 Justin Medlock||2 Dustin Colquitt|
|PC||51 Jean-Philippe Darche||69 Jared Allen||67 Chris Bober|
|KC||51 Jean-Philippe Darche||69 Jared Allen|
|H||2 Dustin Colquitt||11 Damon Huard|
|PR||18 Samie Parker||9 Ean Randolph||40 Justin Phinisee|
|KR||80 Jeff Webb||81 Chris Hannon||20 Benny Sapp|
The only interesting competition and truly the only competition on special teams is for the return positions. For some reason, I've been analyzing this depth chart without thinking much of WR and kick returner Samie Parker. Once Dwayne Bowe gets going in camp and with Ean Randolph getting a lot of reps, I expect to hear Parker's name less and less. At the moment, Jeff Webb appears to be our kick returner and I wouldn't be surprised if rookie Ean Randolph is our punt returner.
I am completely comfortable with Dustin Colquitt as our punter and rookie Justin Medlock as our kicker. The Tennessee kid will be a Pro Bowler this year and Medlock has been doing exactly what he needs to do in camp- kick the ball through the uprights.
We'll come back to the Chiefs depth chart as necessary throughout the preseason. You can already see how one change- Damion McInstosh getting injured- can put a whole front line in flux. In a few weeks, we'll be able to weed out a few more slackers and get closer to that magic roster number of 53.