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Kansas City Chiefs roster bubble: Jamaal Charles makes RBs easy to figure out

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Jamaal Charles will make the Chiefs 53-man roster. We know that. But who else will? Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) lists his locks and bubble players for the KC Chiefs running backs as we await the start of training camp.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs playoff game in Indianapolis showed how quickly your third and fourth running back could have an impact on the game. Chiefs GM John Dorsey and his scouting department have added some interesting competition this season.

Lock to make the roster

RB Jamaal Charles: Charles is a special talent. Very few running backs in the league can run with his speed, catch out of the flats in an instant mismatch with his vision and punish blitzers with authority. Charles has an incredible work ethic. He is one of the top players on the roster in conditioning. He understands how to finish each play and give maximum effort.

RB Knile Davis: The good news during the spring practices is that Davis looked 100 percent healthy and showed the same burst before his broke leg in the playoff game. Running backs coach Eric Bieniemy was able to get through to Davis last season. He worked with him on protecting the ball and giving the proper effort. Davis gives the Chiefs a nice 1-2 punch with Charles, as well as a power back that has some unique quickness.

RB De'Anthony Thomas: He will make the roster but there will be growing pains. I think he will have some adjustments in learning the offense, conditioning and getting acclimated to the demands of Eric Bieniemy. Thomas could be a very good jolt for the offense and special teams but how hard he pushes himself in year one will decide that. I wouldn't expect him to get the same amount of snaps that McCluster did last season but I see a steady progression as the season wears on.

FB Anthony Sherman: Sherman was a tremendous addition to the offense last season with his unique athletic ability and blocking skills. He was able to provide better than normal speed from a fullback in the flats. I don't see anyone taking his spot.

On the bubble

RB Joe McKnight: I'm currently giving McKnight the nod to make the roster. I see a veteran with good speed. He had good vision during spring practices. He was effective out of the backfield and didn't look lost in the offense. He showed some ability as a returner so he could contribute on special teams. 

RB Cyrus Gray: Gray was a key contributor on special teams last season. He was able to lock in a roster spot based on that alone. When his number got called in the playoff game, he lacked comfort with the offense and a lack of a burst out of the backfield. Gray will need to step up this training camp because I see McKnight ahead of him.

RB Charcandrick West: West has the deck stacked against him this season but I like him as a potential practice squad player. He has some good speed and decisiveness in his cuts. I see promise but it's going to be tough with the five backs ahead of him. He will need to show up big on special teams to earn a roster spot.

FB Jordan Campbell: Campbell was a thumping linebacker our of New Mexico-Highlands and showed promise during the NFLPA game last season. He has made the transition to offense but his comfort level doesn't look to be there yet. There is a noticeable difference in his athletic ability compared to Sherman. Once the pads come on though, he could change my mind and prove to be a key special teams member.

FB James Baker: I saw some athletic ability from him on the field but until the pads come on and I see more reps from him. I can't see him beating out Sherman.