I got bored & thinking about how many great position battles we're going to be watching during the Chiefs pre-season games. At some positions there are as many as 3 people competing for a starting role on the team. I broke down all the noteworthy competitions below for those who haven't kept up with the offseason or training camp for that matter.
- Keep in mind, I'm no football expert, I haven't even been attending training camp. I just read about the Chiefs daily & love reading & talking football.
#1TE. this is actually a 3 man battle. Fasano has the veteran do it all presence. Moeaki has the great athleticism & receiving ability, Kelce looks like he could be great in all areas but he is a rookie & has extremely tough competition & his first NFL playbook to learn.
- I Give Fasano the edge. Moeaki's injury problems make him such an inconsistent option, hes also on the last year of his contract. Kelce is a rookie, Fasano got paid well & is here for a few years, a chance to build chemistry with the QB early on, get consistent performance (although not great in any area), and get the veteran presence. I think Fasano wins the job, but I do think Kelce will take over, likely before the half way point of season. I also see this being such a flex position, we will definitely see all 3 & the FB put all over the field at any given time, they'll all get snaps.
#2WR. Baldwin, Avery, Mccluster, Wylie? Hemingway? Am I missing anyone? might as well throw the tight ends in the mix as the "#2" tight end may get just as much playing time. This is going to be a fun battle to watch as anybody can make a name for themselves this preseason & earn the job. Obviously Baldwin will be given more opportunity as this is his 3rd season & they'll want to try and make something of the former 1st round pick, but at the end of the day I honestly believe whoever proves it the most in the pre-season wins the job.
- I'm going to say Donnie Avery. Hes 2 things none of the other guys have, experience at the #2 wideout spot, and speed. Speed is a big weapon for Andy to have, and not only that, it will separate Avery from the competition in the pre-season. Mccluster will be the slot man & will likely see the ball even more then the #2 guy. Avery will still be a great option to have on the field all the time to stretch the defence.
#1FS. We have the returning oft injured Kendrick Lewis, the "veteran" (and former eagle) Quintin Demps, the returning to NFL Husain Abdullah, and rookie Sanders Commings (injured). We also have Dunta Robinson who many believe would actually be better at Safety then CB, but thus far there hasn't been much talk of him there & hes been injured so much its real tough to tell so I'm going to consider him out of THIS conversation. This is a wide array of average to above average safeties, all with different talents & interesting storylines in trying to gain the starting role with the Chiefs, and I really do think this position is 100% up for grabs, even backup playing time will be earned here & I think the backup will likely see a lot of NFL snaps this season 1 way or another.
- Commings injury basically took him out of the race until midseason or later, Abdullah was away for 2 years, thats too much ground to make back in time for game 1. Its down to Lewis & Demps. And although Demps seems to making the biggest impression in camp I see him being a go to backup option who will see a lot more playing time then backup safeties past. But Kendrick Lewis when healthy has been a very solid option for this team & if healthy I think will keep that starting role this season. But he will be pushed like never before, and 1 or 2 stumbles could have him seeing a lot of bench.
#2ILB. Nico Johnson got drafted in the 4th round, but Akeem Jordan has a lot of experience under Andy Reid. The experience gives Akeem the edge, but This is Sutton's defence & I don't think his past experience with Reid will have any impact on the decision.
- This is going to be a great battle all pre-season, and I'm going to give Nico the edge for no good reason. I think a rookie will be a part of the starting corpse somewhere next year & I can't see why Nico can't beat out Akeem Jordan for this limited role. It is why he was drafted, and I think he will do what Belcher did just fine. Jordan can bounce around all positions as the #1 backup.
#2CB. This is undoubtedly between young, tall, and strong Sean smith & the Veteran, zone defending Dunta Robinson. Both signed for 3 years in the offseason, Smith got 18million, Robinson got 15million. But that doesn't really determine the winner as veterans tend to get signed for less then younger players with potential.
- I see Smith winning this battle due to multiple reasons. Robinson has been injured so much already during training camp, Smith is a bigger stronger guy & can jam the opposition at the line of scrimmage which Sutton wants to be a big part of this defence, that also comes with man coverage which I think Smith has the edge on. And to boot, Smith has a connection with assistant secondary coach Al Harris. Now despite all those things, I still see Robinson playing a large role with this club, there will be a lot of situations where he'll get playing time due to change of schemes, specifically zone packages they will want him on the field for, he may also be a better tackler (I have no idea, but I know Harris does have a couple fines for hits). And he can be in sub packages as a cb/safety to confuse offences, which I think sudden will certainly take advantage of a ton.
#1LG. The starting Left Guard is up for grabs, and I see the battle as only between verteran Geoff Schwartz & sophomore Jeff Allen. From what I've read, Allen didn't perform all that well in his rookie season, and Schwartz had injury problems or just not been given much of a chance to start the last few years (but when given a chance has played great). Allen has suffered an injury early in camp, but I don't think that will impede him from being a part of this competition.
- I give the job to Allen. They do this because of the youth factor, and also due to the fact that Schwartz has the ability to play all over the O-Line, that ability & experience is huge to have as a backup option, especially with so many questions on the interior line & at backup (with Stephenson being so young, and newcomer Watkins being out of shape, and may just be here as a camp filler). I think by half way point Schwartz overtakes somebodies job on the O-line, either due to injury or due to bad play (on the starters part). And I think he'll keep the job all season & finally have that chance to prove he should be an NFL starter.
#2HB. It seems like a forgone conclusion that Davis would be the #2HB after being drafted in the 3rd round, but he definitely has to win the job over Cyrus Gray. Draughn is also returning but I don't see him fitting the Andy Reid running back mold, so these 2 are definitely going to be in a great battle to earn late game carries, also after Charles breaks all his 20+ yarders.
- I give Cyrus the edge, purely based on Davis not seeming to have improved his ability to catch/hold onto the ball so far (though very early) in camp, however if he fixes those issues I think he will win.
-Due to Wilson being out alot of training camp already he is behind the other 2. I do believe he'll beat out Opurum, but Sherman will likely win the job based on the experience, Wilson will be sent to the practice squad for a year.
#3 QB. What seems like such a small thing is really a big thing, with Bray looking to prove he is better then a guy in Stanzi who couldn't get any playing time when the team was at its most desperate of times at QB. Also a big deal because QB is clearly the most valuable position in todays NFL & everyone wants Bray to show some promise, it must start with winning that #3QB.
- Bray takes it easily, and by end of pre-season people will already be talking about is he better then Daniel. HE'S NOT, but in a year or 2 he will be if he continues to digest what the coaching staff is throwing at him. Theres just too much playbook to learn, and too much maturing he needs to do, before he will be a better option then Chase Daniel.
There may be other important battles for backup D-Line, or linebacker. But I'm not even going to pretend to know the guys in the battles or who might win them.
Sorry for such a long writeup, hopefully some of those who haven't been able to keep up with the Chiefs through the offseason can catch a glimpse of this & see whats up for grabs at camp. This is the most competition I've ever seen on the Chiefs, its going to be an extremely exciting pre-season where any play could really put the spotlight on any of these guys & push them into a big role with the club this season.
- And for fun heres what my final roster depth chart looks like (minus special teams fillers or guys that I plain & simple just don't know anything about lol)
QB - Smith, Daniel, Bray (Stanzi City gets cut)
WR - Bowe, Avery, Mccluster, Baldwin, Wylie
TE - Fasano, Kelce, Moeaki
HB - Charles, Gray, Davis (Draughn to practice squad)
FB - Sherman (Wilson on practice squad
LT - Albert, Stephenson
LG - Allen, Schwartz (Watkins likely cut to find opportunity elsewhere)
C - Hudson (Kush goes to practice squad)
RG - Asamoah
RT - Fisher
DT - Poe, Powe
LDE - Jackson, Bailey (Lane to practice squad)
RDE - Devito, Toribio
LOLB - Houston, Catapano
ROLB - Hali
#1ILB - Johnson, Jordan
#2ILB - Johnson
#1CB - Flowers, Robinson, Commings
#2CB - Smith, Brown
SS - Berry, Demps
FS - Lewis, Abdullah
K - Succop
P - Colquitt
KR/PR - Mccluster (I wish I could write how this is a battle with Wylie & Davis, but ST coach basically already wrote it in stone when he said he thinks Mccluster is the best returner. I hope Wylie gets a shot in the preseason, I think he has great potential here & would give him added value to making the roster)
- by my count thats only 45 players, so some of those "practice squad" guys will likely make the team and a few more. And clearly most of the remaining body's will be special team guys. Somebody please fill me in on the LB competition, cause clearly there is a spot or 2 available on the starting roster.