We've been beating the preverbial dead horse of Thigpen vs Cryole vs Cassel, and Lelie vs the other WR
Let's take a look at some of the other positional battles that will determine the final 53.
My often updated final roster prediction is here:
Some competition for starting position won't determine a roster spot... like NT, where Edwards and Tank are in competition for the starting job, but both are very likely on the roster.
I'll skip the QB talk, since it's been covered ad naseum.
Also, there are a few positions up and down the OL... but that may require its own post.
In my estimation, the following other postions on the depth chart are up for grabs:
* the 4th CB
* the 2nd string LB (all of em)
* the WR spots (other than Bowe)
* the TE spots
* The #3 and #4 RB
* the KR/PR
* the DE rotation
My analysis after the Jump
The #4 CB Everyone can agree the starting CB are set, with Flowers and Carr. The nickel back is set with Leggett.
After those 3, it gets interesting.
Donald Washington: Crazy athletic, has had a pretty quiet camp from the input we hear. I was surprised to see him drafted, with so many other needs on the team. Now that there's a #4 draft pick invested in him, he'll likely be on the final roster.
Travis Daniels: Known as a special teams stud...but we haven't heard or seen much of him...
Ricardo Colclough: Probably a long shot for the roster... but all he's been doing in camp is picking off passes. He may be playing his way onto the team.
My prediction: Washington makes the team as the #4 CB. There's an outside chance one of the other 2 makes it as a special teams player, but I doubt it.
The #2 LBs The starters are essentially set (at least for this year) with Hali, DJ, ZT, and Vrabel... but depth is a big question
Corey Mays: We've heard nothing but good things about him in camp, and he really showed up to play against Houston. Now, we're not talking about whether or not he'll make the roster as much as we are him potentially taking over for Zach Thomas.
Andy Studebaker: Very hard worker, high motor guy. He's a converted DE, like Hali and McBride... but he seems to be right at home rushing the QB and making plays at LB. Coaches seem to love him, and even tried teaching him to be a long snapper.
Jovan Belcher: Rookie Free Agents rarely make NFL teams, but Belcher has the best chance of any this year. He's played his heart out, and looks to be a coaches' favorite and special teams beast.
Demorrio Williams: One of the few LB returning from last year's squad. He displays a good amount of quickness and tackling ability. He's been quiet in Training Camp, and may get crowded out by a hungrier player.
Monty Beisel: Versatile and smart, he can play special teams, and most any LB spot. The former Chief was one of the first acquisitions by the new regime, and could provide solid depth.
Pierre Walters: AP member and favorite! Was a "sack machine" in college. Haley pointed out he is contributing on special teams, and doing all of the right things. Can he make the active roster? If not, he could be a practice squad guy.
Turk McBride: One of the big stories in the offseason was the conversion of Hali and McBride from DE to LB. I'm hearing and seeing Hali making an impact and playing well... Turk, however has been very quiet. Haley says he's coming along, but I wonder if he's coming along fast enough to make the team.
My prediction: Mays backs up ZT, Studebaker backs up Vrabel/Hali, Beisel backs up DJ, and Belcher makes the roster for special teams ability...and plays some LB as well. Walters makes the PS, McBride gets cut.
The WR spots: Bowe is in, and will be a #1.... after that... well, there are some new (older) faces, and some rookies jockeying for position.
Amani Toomer : I was very excited about this signing. Toomer is a seasoned vet, with very good hands. He's a leader and SOLID (but not spectacular) in every way. From day one Toomer has caught everything thrown his way in Camp. He didn't play much (if at all) vs Houston... but that may speak to the fact that the Chiefs know what they have in Toomer.
Bobby Engram: Was signed to be the "slot machine" and 3rd down guy. He's known for great hands and reliability, when healthy. He's been quiet in camp, but did have a big TD yesterday.
Mark Bradley: Was a great acquisition last year, came in and made some big catches. I won't soon forget seeing him throw a TD pass, and thinking that the Chiefs found a playmaker in Bradley.
Devard Darling: Has the size and speed to be a good receiver, and is doing all the right things in camp (with a couple exceptions) Seems to be Haley's favorite, in some ways... but completely vanishes in games.
Terrance Copper: The journeyman receiver comes to KC for a chance to play. Haley can't say enough good things about this guy, and has him working with the #1s. Whether that's just for show, to teach the other WR a lesson, or maybe an audition for other teams when he gets cut... well, that's yet to be seen.
Rodney Wright: The former Arena league star is one of the longshots that has made some noise this offseason. Coaches seem to like what he brings to the table. He's small but quick, and has been getting lots of work (and fumbles) at the returner spots.
Taurus Johnson: I've been rooting for this guy since he worked out with the Chiefs before the draft. He's still here, and has displayed good hands, from what we can tell. He's working as a returner as well, and trying to find a spot on the roster.
Quinten Lawrence: I was glad the Chiefs drafted a WR... but disappointed they waited till round 7 to do it. Lawrence is as fast as any Chief, but he has to prove that he can handle the return duties with reliability. The biggest complement Lawrence received after the Houston game was for his blocking ability...
Ashley Lelie: The newest Chief has bounced around the league after his 1000 yd season in 2004. He's tall and lanky, is fast and makes good adjustments on deep passes. So far, it sounds like he's making all the catches he can during Camp, will be interesting to see how he does in a game.
My prediction: Bradley
#2, Lelie is #3, Engram is the Slot guy, and Lawrence makes the roster, Copper will probably get the last spot, though I hope it's Taurus.
The TE spots: Cottam should be a lock for the roster... but the starting position is up for grabs. After him (or before, if he loses the starting job) there are some questions.
Sean Ryan: Mostly known as a blocker, but the Chiefs are doing everything possible to give him a chance to be a complete TE, and win the job. His huge drop on 3rd down vs Houston should have cost him a lot... but he remains high on the depth chart for now...
Jake O'Connell: The Chiefs must have liked him, as they traded back into the 7th round to grab him. He's supposed to be an amazing athelete and a special teams phenom.
Tom Crabtree: Rookie FA... haven't heard much about him, good or bad.
Thomas Gafford (as of today) The Chiefs are working their new(old) long snapper with the tight ends in camp, just to see what he's got. I guess he caught the first pass thrown his way, for what that's worth.
My prediction: Ryan is the #2 TE, O'Connell makes the team as well.
The #3 and #4 RB: LJ is back on the bus, and Charles will see plenty of action. After that, it's 3 guys for 2 spots (likely) Considering Kolby Smith will be on PUP, and a non factor for the first 6 games.
Jackie Battle: Jackie was a big FB/RB last year that never seemed to do quite enough to get much playing time. He dropped some weight this year, and is running the ball REALLY well. He looked great vs Houston, and is making a loud case to be part of the right 53.
Dantrell Savage: Last year's KR has been running hard in camp, and showed some ability vs Houston.
Javarris Williams: Like Lawrence, I was glad to see the Chiefs draft this guy... but only because I thought they needed a new RB bad. Williams seems to posess all the physical tools, but he's been pretty quiet in Camp.
My prediction: After LJ and Charles, Battle is the guy. Williams may beat out Savage, just because Pioli spent a draft pick on him... unless Savage takes the return job away from Lawrence, in which case Williams lands on the practice squad
The KR/PR: This is a tough one. Obviously, the Chiefs would prefer a return man that can also play on offense or defense, so they can save a roster spot. Everyone and their dog have been returning kicks and punts in practice... so it's still WIDE open.
Quinten Lawrence: He's the frontrunner, and it seems that the coaching staff REALLY wants him to take the job and run with it (pun intended). But, if he fumbles kicks, he can't be relied upon...
Dantrell Savage: He is shifty, and tough, but undersized. All last year, we waited for him to break a long return. I'm not sure how long the new staff will wait for him.
Jamaal Charles: He has the speed, and he's great in space. Best case scenario: he becomes the next Leon Washington. Worst case scenario: he gets hurt returning kicks, and the offense loses a playmaker.
Maurice Leggett: We all know he can return INTs, and take them to the house. Can he do the same with punts and kicks? Is it worth risking the only guy who has played nickel corner?
Rodney Wright: Coaches loved him early on... but will they still love him after some drops and a fumbled kick against Houston?
My prediction: Lawrence returns punts, Charles returns kicks.
the DE rotation: In no particular order, I think we can all agree
Boone, Dorsey, Jackson and Magee are the DE... but there are some longshots that could fight their way into a #4 spot.... I'll give you a hint, their last name starts with a G.
Dion Gales: Gales was listed as 6'7", 288lbs... so he looks the part. It sounds like he's been hustling, but I'm not sure he has what it takes. Matt Grbac is his biggest fan... so he has that going for him...
Wallace Gilberry: Of the three longshots, I have been hearing Gilberry's name the most... he seems to have a good nose for the football.
It's practice squad or unemployment for the 3 "G"s. Now that Boone has been cut, the door is open for Gilberry.