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Kansas City Chiefs 53-man roster and practice squad prediction (Nick Jacobs edition)

Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) is a producer at Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. His 53-man roster prediction for the Chiefs is here.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

QB (3)

1. Alex Smith

2. Tyler Bray

3. Chase Daniel

IR with Designation to Return: Aaron Murray

Aaron Murray will need time to develop. He's late with some throws and needs to work on his accuracy. He's still learning to read defenses. Meanwhile, Bray is another player that must be developed. He has a franchise caliber arm so he stays on the roster. Daniel is a good player for Bray to have in the quarterback room.

HB (4)

1. Jamaal Charles

2. Knile Davis

3. Joe McKnight

4. De'Anthony Thomas

Cut: Cyrus Gray (Trade bait), Charcandrick West (PS)

McKnight in and Cyrus Gray are the biggest surprises here. Gray has shown an increase in speed and solid vision in game situations as well as a reliable special teams contributor. That said, I predict McKnight is the better option despite his injury. He had one of the best spring practices before offseason knee surgery. The Chiefs had a chance to see what he can do.

FB (1)

1. Anthony Sherman

Cut: Jordan Campbell

Campbell has a ways to go in his transition to fullback from linebacker. He doesn't look comfortable at the position yet.

WR (6)

1. Dwayne Bowe

2. Donnie Avery

3. Albert Wilson

4. Junior Hemingway

5. Kyle Williams

6. Frankie Hammond

Cut: AJ Jenkins, Mark Harrison (PS), Jerrell Jackson, Weston Dressler, Fred Williams, Darryl Surgent and Deon Anthony

Avery has his ups and downs but there is no one on the Chiefs roster who can push him right now.

AJ Jenkins looked to be a lock in spring practices but in training camp he has struggled with drops, injuries and inconsistency. Williams gets the nod over Jenkins because of his performance in camp. Williams had a hamstring injury but still pushed through camp with consistent effort, routinely catching the passes thrown his way.

Wilson found a home in Kansas City. He separated himself in training camp and gave the Chiefs speed at the slot position. Hammond had a camp that rivaled Wilson's. The two receivers saw a lot of action in camp and Hammond has speed and playmaking ability that the Chiefs lack.

Hemingway is a physical possession receiver but also a great special teams performer.

If the Chiefs can find upgrades for Avery, Hemingway or Williams on the waiver wire, there could see some new additions.

TE (3)

1. Anthony Fasano

2. Travis Kelce

3. Demetrius Harris

Cut: Richard Gordon, Adam Schiltz

Fasano can sit down in the zones and block very well while Kelce is a mismatch in the passing game with his speed. Harris will be given time to develop while providing a more athletic tight end at the third position.

OL (8)

1. Donald Stephenson

2. Zach Fulton

3. Rodney Hudson

4. Jeff Allen

5. Eric Fisher

6. Eric Kush

7. Ryan Harris

8. Ricky Henry

Cut: Rishaw Johnson, J'Marcus Webb, Jeff Linkenbach, Ryan McKee (PS), Otis Hudson, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (PS), Ben Gottschalk

The line position is a concern. Stephenson and Fulton are the two best in terms of technique and have solid punches. Hudson and Allen have improved from last season. Fisher will answer a lot about his future after this season.

Johnson can't handle a bull rush and doesn't seem to understand blocking angles. Webb struggled most of camp. Linkenbach struggled with his re-anchor and base at times.

The depth on this roster is solid but could use upgrades. The waiver wire will be the Chiefs friend on the offensive line.

DE (4)

1. Mike DeVito

2. Jaye Howard

3. Allen Bailey

4. Mike Catapano

Howard has seized an opportunity for playing time with Mike DeVito's injury. Bailey is a solid rotational player.

Catapano has missed a great deal of camp with his virus. It will be interesting how the team handles his situation. Walker or Hamilton could potentially take his spot.

NT (2)

1. Dontari Poe

2. Vance Walker

Walker provides the team a rotational player at all three positions and allows Poe a chance to rest. The Chiefs could use additional depth off the waiver wire.

OLB (5)

1. Justin Houston

2. Tamba Hali

3. Dee Ford

4. Josh Martin

5. Frank Zombo

Cut: Devan Walker

Houston showed up in camp in tremendous shape. The Georgia alumnus looks stronger.

Ford needs work on building his pass rush moves. He has incredible quickness in his speed and first step, but speed rushing only works for so long. Tackles get use to the speed and can negate the best rushers.  Ford will need time to learn multiple moves and how to set up a tackle.

Martin had an impressive camp. He showed a solid set of pass rush skills. The Columbia alumnus will push his way on the field in obvious pass rushing situations. Martin also provides a nice shot on special teams.

Zombo is solid depth and a good special teams player. 

ILB (4)

1. Derrick Johnson

2. Joe Mays

3. James Michael-Johnson

4. Josh Mauga

Cut: Nico Johnson, Alonzo Highsmith

Mays will be a force and a leader in this defense. JMJ is a solid special teams performer who looks better in coverage and has very good instincts against the run. Mauga is a good run stuffer at the inside position. He knows Bob Sutton's system and has solid assignment discipline against the run. Mauga also understands how to beat blocks.

Nico Johnson just misses too many tackles. He looks lost at times in pass coverage. 

CB (6)

1. Marcus Cooper

2. Sean Smith

3. Chris Owens

4. Ron Parker

5. Phillip Gaines

6. DeMarcus Van Dyke

Cut: Vernon Kearney, Kevin Rutland, Justin Rogers, Brandon Jones, Damond Smith

Cooper will be the number one corner. Smith will likely push his way back to the second spot. Owens provides the team a speedy nickel corner with attitude. He gives the Chiefs what Brandon Flowers did last season but at a much cheaper rate.

Parker has struggled in game situations. Gaines needs time to develop his skills set and adjust to the speed. Van Dyke will likely be the sixth corner shows. He shows promise that needs to be developed.

The organization needs to look for upgrades on the waiver wire.

FS (2)

1. Husain Abdullah

2. Malcolm Bronson

IR: Sanders Commings

Commings status hasn't been updated since his surgery. That is not a great sign for his availability.

Bronson has pushed his way onto the roster. He doesn't look overmatched at the position. He also can play nicker corner and contribute on special teams.

SS (2)

1. Eric Berry

2. Daniel Sorensen

Cut: Jonathon Amaya, Jerron McMillian

Sorensen has shown promise at the safety position. He finished strong in camp and will be a solid special teams contributor.

Special Teams (3)

1. Cairo Santos

2. Dustin Colquitt

3. Thomas Gafford

Santos has been consistent throughout camp. He has better range in his kickoffs and long range field goals. Santos has solid contact on the footballs and provides an upgrade at a cheaper rate.

Practice Squad

These 10 players are capable of making the roster but need time to develop.

1. RB Charcandrick West

2. WR Mark Harrison

3. OT Ryan McKee

4. OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

5. NT Dominique Hamilton

6. CB Vernon Kearney

7. WR Darryl Surgent

8. LB Devan Walker

9. DE Jairus Campbell

10. FB Jordan Campbell

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