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Chiefs Depth Chart Projection: QB Ricky Stanzi

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The Kansas City Chiefs used the 135th pick in the 2011 NFL draft on a player by the name of Ricky Stanzi. Iowa's starting QB was productive and turned in a 2010 season similar to QB Matt Cassel's with 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Let's look at the quarterback depth chart from top to bottom.

First, there's QB Matt Cassel. He's the unquestioned starter entering the 2011 season and enters year three of his six-year contract.

Second, there's QB Brodie Croyle. He does not have a contract for the 2011 season so I'm starting to think he won't be back. The Chiefs could have tendered him and we just don't realize it (depending on how the new labor deal works out) but I'm predicting Croyle does not return. 

Third, there's QB Tyler Palko. He has a year in the system so I'd expect him at the very least to make it through training camp. The jobs of third quarterbacks are never safe but there's clearly something the Chiefs like about him if he's been on the roster for a year. 

So where does Stanzi fit?

I see him quickly stepping right into Croyle's role as the No. 2 quarterback. He's got a lot of what you want in your backup quarterback and, after the Cassel-less game in San Diego last year, the Chiefs need a backup quarterback that can win. Palko is left-handed so I'm not sure I see him as the long-term backup.