[From the FanPosts. Awesome work. -Joel]
The way I see it, there are only a handful of spots available on the 53 man roster at this point... and there are some talented players competing for those spots. This is in stark contrast to prior years, where (at least from the fans' perspective) the Chiefs were scrambling to find NFL-caliber players to fill out a full team.
I think the starting lineups are all but set:
Offense: QB Matt Cassel, RBs Jamaal Charles/Thomas Jones, WR Dwayne Bowe, WR Jonathan Baldwin, WR Steve Breaston/Jerheme Urban, TE Tony Moeaki, LT Branden Albert, LG Ryan Lilja, C Casey Wiegmann, RG Jon Asamoah, RT Barry Richardson (FB Le'Ron McClain/RB Dexter McCluster, depending on the formation).
Defense: DE Glenn Dorsey, NT Kelly Gregg, DE Tyson Jackson, OLB Tamba Hali, LB Derrick Johnson, LB Jovan Belcher, OLB Andy Studebaker, S Eric Berry, S Kendrick Lewis, CB Brandon Flowers, CB Brandon Carr.
ST: K Ryan Succop, P Dustin Colquitt, LS Thomas Gafford
Not too much there that's going to change, unless LT Jared Gaither wins a day-one starting gig, which I doubt. That being said, he and C Rodney Hudson both have the opportunity to work their way into starting jobs by the end of the season.
That accounts for the first 29 roster spots.
Other "locks" (in my humble, uneducated opinion) include most of the No. 2's:
Offense: TE Leonard Pope, TE Jake O'Connell, C Rodney Hudson, LT Jared Gaither, QB Ricky Stanzi
Defense: DE Wallace Gilberry, NT Jerrell Powe, DE Allen Bailey, LB Justin Houston, LB Cameron Sheffield, LB Gabe Miller, LB Cory Greenwood, CB Javier Arenas, CB Jalil Brown.
There's 14 mores spots that are "spoken for". So, the top 43 of 53 are pretty much a done deal. As for the final 10... that's where it gets interesting, as some of the young guys are making their case to stick around, even in deep position groups.
Battle #1 Wide Receiver (depth): 1-2 spots open (out of 5-6 total)
CLEARLY the position group that's received the biggest influx of talent on this team. This is now a group you could line up across from most teams in the league, and feel like Kansas City's receivers are at least as good as the rest.
The Locks: Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, Urban ... so the competition starts after the No. 4 job.
WR Terrance Copper: Coaches' favorite, can block and play special teams, and come up with the occasional big catch).
WR Verran Tucker (Up-and-comer, showed a knack for the difficult catch, blocking and special teams).
My prediction: Tucker and Copper survive the final cut as the #5/6 WR. Yes, I realize this is a lot of WR to carry, given the fact that McCluster plays some receiver, but Tucker, Copper, Urban and maybe Breaston will help out on ST, and Haley will have a hard time letting any of them go.
Battle #2 ILB (depth): 2 spots open (out of 5 total)
The Locks: DJ, Belcher, LB Brandon Siler
Demorrio Wiliams: Another coaches' favorite, has shown some versatility and staying power since losing his starting gig to DJ.
Cory Greenwood: Earned a roster spot last year on special teams and athletic ability and so far in the preseason is looking like a solid tackler who could be reliable on defense.
Micah Johnson: A BIG guy that can hit, seems to finally be healthy and earning his shot.
Justin Cole: I always think of him as one of the last in/first out guys for roster cuts, but he's still hanging around, and made some plays vs. Tampa Bay.
My prediction: Greenwood and Johnson win the backup jobs, and DW is a somewhat-surprise cut. I like the potential of these young guys, and their ST ability over DW's veteran presence.
Battle #3 Secondary (depth): 3 spots open (out of 9 total)
the Locks: Flowers, Carr, Berry, Lewis, Arenas, Brown
S Jon McGraw: He brings a lot of leadership and is a coach-on-the field... but he can be a liability on defense
CB Donald Washington: A slow-developing, physically-talented guy that I think the coaches really believe in
S Reshard Langford: He's really shown some Special Teams ability and is a pretty good tackler
DB Quinten Lawrence: One of the real stories of camp, looks to be taking on his new position with ease. He isn't shy about hitting, which is surprising given how he played WR.
CB Travis Daniels: A solid depth player, KC could do a lot worse than Daniels as a #5 CB.
S Sabby Piscitelli: Many are referring to him as "one of the worst players in the NFL"... he is a good athlete, but seems to lack instincts. Seems like a younger McGraw who hasn't found a football IQ yet.
S Ricky Price, CB Javes Lewis, CB Mario Russell, CB Demond Washington: Camp Fodder until proven otherwise.
My prediction: Washington and Langford backup the two safety spots, and Lawrence wins a job as the No. 5 CB. McGraw and Daniels are difficult cuts, but I think youth and potential win out once again.
My final 53, based on the above, barring any big roster-cut signings. Last 10 to make the roster are in italics. Rookies and FA acquisitions in bold.
(2) QB: Cassel, Stanzi
(4) RB: Charles, Jones, McCluster, Battle
(2) FB: McClain, Bannon
(6) WR: Bowe, Baldwin, Breaston, Urban, Tucker,Copper
(3) TE: Moeaki, Pope, O’Connell
(3) OT: Albert, Richardson, Gaither
(3) OG: Lilja, Asamoah, Harris
(2) C: Weigmann, Hudson
(2) NT: Gregg, Powe,
(4) DE: Dorsey, Jackson, Gillberry, Bailey
(5) OLB: Hali, Studebaker, Sheffield, Houston, Miller
(5) ILB: DJ, Belcher, Siler, Cory Greenwood, Micah Johnson
(4) S: Berry, Lewis, Washington, Langford
(5) CB: Flowers, Carr, Arenas, Brown, Lawrence
Specialists (3): Succop, Colquitt, Gafford
Practice Squad: Mims, Bair, Butch Lewis, Gantt, Paul, Markshausen, Kamara