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Kansas City Chiefs 53-man roster prediction: Mid-training camp edition

Nick Jacobs of Time Warner Cable Metro Sports drops in with his 53-man roster projection for the Kansas City Chiefs. Some surprises include no Jon Baldwin and no fullbacks. Read on for Nick's 53-man roster prediction.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

1. Alex Smith
2. Chase Daniel
3. Tyler Bray

Smith gives you the best overall option at quarterback. What makes Smith unique is his athleticism on bootlegs and rollouts. His timing with the receivers has improved over the past 10 practices. Daniel gives you an accurate veteran that can command an NFL offense. He has some athletic ability to carry out the same plays.

This offense isn't too big for Daniel.

Bray gives you a quarterback with upside. He has the best deep ball of the bunch and hits receivers in stride. Right now Bray is thinking a great deal and needs time to grow into this offense.

Running back

1. Jamaal Charles
2. Knile Davis
3. Shaun Draughn

Charles looks to be back in his 2010 form. He looks in condition. Charles can cut on a dime again. Davis gives the team a nice change of pace. He has been successful during camp when it is one cut and go. Draughn gives the team a tough back. He can pick up the blitz in pass protection and play special teams.

Wide receiver

1. Dwayne Bowe
2. Donnie Avery
3. Dexter McCluster
4. Terrance Copper
5. Junior Hemingway
6. Josh Bellamy
7. Rico Richardson

The positions 2-7 is in flux. Does the team keep 5, 6 or 7 receivers? I think that will be the biggest question on cut down day. The shocker is Jon Baldwin is not on the list. Many will disagree with me on this opinion. Baldwin has had a rough camp. He has dropped a lot of passes. He struggles get a free release off press or to get separation. Baldwin miss times jumps and I don't know if there is enough time to fix all of these things. I expect him to make the roster but I still seeing the struggles continue.

"The shocker is Jon Baldwin is not on the list."

Many will disagree with Copper on the roster. Copper gives the Chiefs a veteran who runs solid routes. He knows how to box out on passes. He is reliable and looks quicker this season on his cuts. Also Copper can play special teams. Hemingway, Bellamy and Richardson are all going to be players that force big decisions on cut down day.

Tight end

1. Anthony Fasano
2. Travis Kelce
3. Tony Moeaki
4. Demetrius Harris

I didn't have a fullback on the roster. The reason why is because I think keeping for tight ends is beneficial. Kelce and Moeaki have both been used as H-backs. They both can run block and catch out of the flats. They both understand how to motion and would be mismatches for linebackers in space. Harris is going to be tough to sneak on the practice squad. I think Harris has the athletic ability and presence inside to create the mismatches Baldwin would have.

Offensive line

1. Branden Albert
2. Donald Stephenson
3. Geoff Schwartz
4. Eric Fisher
5. Rodney Hudson
6. Jon Asamoah
7. Jeff Allen
8. Eric Kush

I still want to see the interior OL against opposing competition but I feel all have grown this season.

Hudson looks much better since camp started. I think he trusts his leg more and getting back into the groove. Albert is still the best lineman on the squad. He has the best punch. Stephenson has really grown in the off-season. He looks much stronger and you can tell he worked hard on his technique in the off-season. Schwartz is another veteran who I expect to see starting time. He looks comfortable on the right side and can deliver a good pop with his hands.

"C Eric Kush shows long term promise."

Fisher has struggled in camp. He has some habits with lunging forward and looking at the opponents' helmet rather than their numbers. It will get fixed with time but will be a struggle early on.

Asamoah and Allen have improved and gotten better at resetting their feet when getting bull rushed. Eric Kush shows long term promise. He is one of the best in pass pro and has held his own against Dontari Poe. Kush also understands angles well and gets to the second level very quickly.

John Rieger-USA Today Sports

Defensive end

1. Mike Devito
2. Tyson Jackson
3. Austen Lane
4. Allen Bailey

Devito is the strongest end of the bunch. He has a very good bull rush. Jackson looks quicker and is attacking more up field. Lane is the surprise of the bunch. He looks very comfortable at LDE. Lane has some serious speed and will be a good pass rush specialist. Bailey is another pass rush specialist.

Nose tackle

1. Dontari Poe
2. Jerrell Powe
3. Anthony Toribio

Poe lost 15 pounds and is around 330 now. He looks quicker and you can tell he isn't thinking as much with blocks and the technique he has to perform. It is starting to look natural for Poe. The other Powe has a good first step and can dip and rip really well. Toribio's specialty is giving linemen the club to get free. He is a smart technician.

Outside linebacker

1. Justin Houston
2. Tamba Hali
3. Edgar Jones
4. Frank Zombo
5. Mike Catapano

Houston is poised for a monster season. He has all the pass rushing moves. Houston can set offensive linemen up and has elite quickness. Hali will be helped by Houston's presence on the other side and Poe collapsing the middle. Jones provides the team a special team ace and pass rushing specialist. Zombo provides solid depth. Catapano was performing well in camp but getting hurt will hinder his progression. Catapano could end up on the practice squad.

Inside linebacker

1. Derrick Johnson
2. Nico Johnson
3. Akeem Jordan
4. Zac Diles

Nico Johnson is the thumper of the group. He sheds blocks well and can lay the wood. Nico still looks uncomfortable in his drops but the upside is there. Jordan gives you the better option in coverage on passing downs. Diles has some impressive lateral movement and very good depth.


1. Brandon Flowers
2. Sean Smith
3. Dunta Robinson
4. Jalil Brown
5. Neiko Thorpe

The press coverage scheme fits Flowers, Smith and Thorpe very well. Smith is going to turn heads this season. His ability to press, his size and his speed are going to be a welcome addition to this secondary. Dunta is a great veteran to have around but has struggled with McCluster's quick twitch ability in the slot. Thorpe has been impressive at camp and shut down Jon Baldwin multiple times with his press.


1. Eric Berry
2. Quinton Demps
3. Husain Abdullah
4. Kendrick Lewis

What they decide to do with this safety spot will be very interesting. I could see this team carrying five safeties with Hartman being the fifth guy. Berry looks like the 2010 version. He looks comfortable and he will be all over the field this season. Demps has made plays in the secondary, can play the wood and play special teams. Abdullah has made a couple of plays himself and could push for the starting free safety spot. Kendrick Lewis looks comfortable in this system but the question will be if he is willing to tackle.


1. Dustin Colquitt
2. Ryan Succop
3. Thomas Gafford

I could see on the roster

1. S- Tysyn Hartman: I wouldn't be surprised if he makes the roster. He has taken many reps with the second team and he can tackle.

2. WR- Jamar Newsome: He is one of the fastest receivers on the roster. I see a spot for him on this team.

3. RB- Jordan Roberts: He is one of those effort guys. I see a big version of Danny Woodhead in him. Roberts has some wheels.

4. S- Otha Foster: You catch glimpses of him at times and you think he has a shot. I'm curious to see him when the games start.

5. WR- Devon Wylie: He needs to make this team with his returns. At times in camp, he catches the ball in stride and turns on the after burners. Other times he will drop passes and make catches more difficult then he has to.

6. DE- Marcus Dixon: He has some strength but he looks natural in a defensive tackle position.

Practice Squad

1. CB- Vince Agnew
2. S- Greg Castillo
3. DL- Miguel Chavis
4. LB- Ridge Wilson
5. CB- Conroy Black
6. FB- Toben Opurum
7. FB- Braden Wilson
8. OT- Steven Baker

Agnew has made plays in camp and picked off a couple of passes. I see promise there. Castillo has illustrated a nose for the ball. Chavis is a very strong developmental lineman. I think if he can learn on the practice squad, he could contribute long term. Wilson has pass rushing ability and I would like to see him develop on the squad.

I put two fullbacks on the practice squad in case a tight end goes down to injury. You could then move one up to the 53 man roster. Opurum gives you some interesting athletic ability and a versatile player. Wilson gives you a thumper. Baker gives you a promising developmental offensive tackle in case one goes down during the season.

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