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Kansas City Chiefs banking on roster development at offensive line

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With the Kansas City Chiefs 2014 training camp schedule kicking off soon, we are previewing the KC Chiefs 2014 roster by position. Up today are the offensive linemen.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The players

C Rodney Hudson, Eric Kush, Ben Gottschalk

G: Jeff Allen, Zach Fulton, Rishaw Johnson, Jeff Linkenbach, Rok Watkins, Ricky Henry

OT: Eric Fisher, Donald Stephenson, J'Marcus Webb, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Ryan McKee, Colin Kelly

Hudson, Allen, Fulton, Fisher and Stephenson look like locks to me. Those could end up being all five starters along the line this season. The Chiefs could end up carrying more than the usual eight linemen because they're so young at certain spots.

Read Nick Jacobs roster locks and bubble players on the o-line.

What's changed

A lot. The Chiefs lost three starting-caliber linemen in free agency -- Brandon Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz. The Chiefs added rookies Zach Fulton and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif as well as free agents Jeff Linkenbach and J'Marcus Webb.

Hudson and Allen should be the only two positions staying the same. Fisher moves from right to left tackle. Stephenson, who filled in at both left and right last season, will move to the right full time. There is an open competition at right guard and Rishaw Johnson and Zach Fulton seem to be the top contenders right now.

McKee actually saw a few snaps with the first and second team during the offseason.

The line was inexperienced last year; they got even more inexperienced this year.

The big question

Did the Chiefs lose too much o-line talent? The Chiefs lost a lot on the offensive line during free agency. They're plugging in new players who are going to be given their opportunity to start. Lots of moving pieces here and plenty of eyes will be on this group. The early expectations seem to be lower than they were last season.

Best case scenario

They find the next Geoff Schwartz. He was a former undrafted player signed last summer. Not many people thought a whole lot about the signing. But he ended up becoming a starter late in the season and earned a big contract with the Giants. The Chiefs need to hope the next Schwartz is on their roster.

Worst case scenario

Losing the swing tackle. Did you realize Donald Stephenson started seven games last season? Seven! He was the Chiefs swing tackle. They'll be losing him to a starting role this season, which means J'Marcus Webb and others will compete for the swing tackle role.

Random Facts

  • Zach Fulton makes it four Tennessee players on the Chiefs roster.
  • Laurent Duvernay-Tardif helped deliver twins the night before he was drafted.
  • Rodney Hudson is entering the final year of his contract.