Taking a cue from one of our favorite blogs, Buffalo Rumblings, today we're talking about the Kansas City Chiefs players that are going to be a bit anxious come Saturday and Sunday.
LB Demorrio Williams
Signed in March 2008, Williams was one of only a couple free agents the Kansas City Chiefs signed last year. Before the Chiefs even got into the season, Wililams was part of that rash of training camp injuries we had last year. While that isn't the sole reason Williams never really got off the ground in KC, it certainly didn't help. Williams racked up 62 tackles last year and played in every game. The fact that the Chiefs had a string of injuries at the linebacker position last year and Williams was unable to capitalize by becoming a full fledged starter means he's on the edge this year. Especially since the Chiefs have signed four linebackers this off season.
If Demorrio Williams makes this team, he'll do so as a bench warmer for the linebacking corp and as a special teams player. He hasn't stood out in either role so don't be surprised if Williams is exchanged for another warm body linebacker.
C Rudy Niswanger
Still a good value for the Chiefs, Rudy Niswanger appears to me to be a placeholder until the Chiefs can draft a center. I'm not sure if that's this year or next year or if the Chiefs will grab a center through free agency, which is unlikely at this point in the off season.
Primetime thinks Niswanger will probably be the Chiefs stating center this season, which is definitely a possibilty. The Chiefs did offer Niswanger a second round contract tender and he did line up in the starting center position for mini-camp. His versatility on the line (he can play guard as well) means he probably has a future in KC but I still think if a solid center drops to the Chiefs in the third to fourth rounds that the Chiefs won't hesitate to replace Niswanger.
Rudy Niswanger will be a Kansas City Chief this year, I'm pretty sure of that. But he may lose his starting job forever by Monday.
K Connor Barth
What kicker isn't sweating the NFL Draft, even just a bit? The Chiefs could draft a kicker with the final pick in the draft but Barth's competition is really more from the two free agent kickers the Chiefs recently brought to mini-camp. The Chiefs could also sign a kicker in the early hours post-draft, meaning even more competition for Barth.
Draft, free agency...Connor Barth is going to have to clearly be the best kicker in Kansas City to retain his starting job.
QB Ingle Martin
Ingle Martin is probably sweating his job in general, seeing how he's the fourth quarterback on the depth chart. You know what I find extremely interesting? That the bottom two QBs on our depth chart, Brodie Croyle and Ingle Martin, were third and fifth round draft choices respectively. The two guys sitting on the top of the Chiefs' QB depth chart? Seventh rounders.
Has any team ever had two seventh round draft picks at the top of its QB depth chart?
The Chiefs may end up taking a quarterback late in the draft, which means bye bye to Ingle Martin. He probably won't make the team even if the Chiefs don't draft a quarterback.
RT Damion McIntosh
It's clear to anyone who's been following the Kansas City Chiefs recently that we're picking an offensive linemen as early as we can in this draft, maybe even with the #3 pick. If the Chiefs do draft a left tackle with that #3 pick, that likely means that Branden Albert will move to the right tackle position, bumping Damion McIntosh down the depth chart.
McIntosh has played a touch of guard in his career but he's definitely not versatile enough to swing that experience into a starting guard position if the Chiefs move him. My money says McIntosh is a backup come September.
S DaJuan Morgan
Three of the twelve members of the Chiefs 2008 draft class have already been let go by Scott Pioli and Todd Haley. Kevin Robinson, Mike Merritt and Will Franklin barely made it on the field in their first year as Chiefs and won't log any time this season.
Strictly a special teams player in 2008, something is up with DaJuan Morgan. He was drafted late in the third round by the Chiefs and never took the field as a safety. His positional importance will decrease compared to the Cover 2 with whatever 3-4 hybrid the Chiefs choose to run. Morgan is probably the one least sweating the draft (I don't think the Chiefs will draft a safety) but he has absolutely no reason to think he's definitely on the roster this next season. He'll be competing with a multitude of others to be a special teams stand out.