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Your preseason Kansas City Chiefs 53-man roster prediction (Nick Jacobs edition)

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

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Catch up: Chiefs bubble playersPosition-by-position previews

Quarterbacks (3)

1. Alex Smith
2. Tyler Bray
3. Aaron Murray

The Chiefs have a big decision to make at this position. Do they get the next wave (Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray) ready for the future? Or keep the expensive veteran (Chase Daniel) in 2014? I say the former. Bray has had an impressive camp. He needs to take the next step in his development with the team. Murray is a similar quarterback to Daniel but he needs reps in this offense. The only way that happens is if he's on the roster.

Running Back (4)

1. Jamaal Charles
2. Knile Davis
3. De'Anthony Thomas
4. Joe McKnight

The top two are set. Thomas is going to be utilized in a multitude of ways. The Chiefs are going to need their fourth back to be able to step in. McKnight, who started camp on the PUP list and lkely won't play Thursday night, is an established veteran with good speed. He also would be a very good contributor on special teams.

Fullback (1)

1. Anthony Sherman

Sherman came to camp in great shape and has picked up where he left off in 2013.

Wide Receivers (6)

1. Dwayne Bowe
2. Donnie Avery
3. Kyle Williams
4. Junior Hemingway
5. Albert Wilson
6. Frankie Hammond

Avery has had a steady camp with some solid catches but hasn't been threatened by anyone for his roster spot. Some thought AJ Jenkins could be that guy but it's been Kyle Williams who has pushed Jenkins. Hemingway started camp out on a strong note but sustained a hamstring injury and hasn't seen the field since the last week of July. Hemingway, an exceptional gunner on special teams, was the featured slot receiver during OTAs.  Wilson has picked up where he left off in spring practices. The undrafted free agent out of Georgia State has been the primary target among the quarterbacks. Hammond is having an impressive camp, too. He has shown an ability to get separation off the line and add some much needed speed to the roster.

Tight End (3)

1. Anthony Fasano
2. Travis Kelce
3. Demetrius Harris

Harris provides the most upside of the remaining tight ends. He hasn't had the same impact in camp that he did in spring practices but there isn't much competition left.

Offensive Line (8)

1. Eric Fisher
2. Jeff Allen
3. Rodney Hudson
4. Zach Fulton
5. Donald Stephenson
6. Eric Kush
7. Ryan Harris
8. Ricky Henry

Fulton has been the surprise of camp showing a good base and not looking lost on the field. Kush is ready from a strength perspective to push for a job over the next year. He got big. Harris, signed this offseason, had a shaky start but has steadily improved with each practice. The late addition to the roster has provided the team a serviceable swing tackle with solid technique. Henry, another player who could provide solid depth, has seen looks with the first offense in the past week. I would not be surprised to see the Chiefs look for additional depth on the waiver wire.

Defensive End (4)

1. Mike DeVito
2. Allen Bailey
3. Jaye Howard
4. Mike Catapano

DeVito has looked noticeably quicker in training camp. He could give the defense an additional jolt in sub packages. Bailey is clearly stronger and had some solid bull rushers. Howard has been a pleasant surprise at end, dominating at times at the line of scrimmage. Catapano, stronger this year, has missed a week of camp with a flu virus. 

Nose Tackle (2)

1. Dontari Poe
2. Vance Walker

Walker provides versatility along the defensive line. He is capable of playing all three positions and sub packages. 

Outside Linebacker (5)

1. Justin Houston
2. Tamba Hali
3. Dee Ford
4. Josh Martin
5. Frank Zombo

Houston showed up to camp in great shape and looked even stronger this season. Ford has a quick first step but it's going to take time. He has to learn some counter moves and how to disengage from blocks in run support. Martin spent the offseason training with Hali and it has showed. The Columbia alumnus has showed a quick burst off the edge. Zombo, who started five games last year, gives the Chiefs serviceable depth and a solid special team performer.

Inside Linebacker (4)

1. Derrick Johnson
2. Joe Mays
3. James Michael-Johnson
4. Josh Mauga

The surprise on this list is likely Mauga. Nico Johnson continues to get buried on the depth chart. The Chiefs keep finding competition to put in front of him. Johnson struggles in pass coverage and will need to make an impact in the preseason games or he will find himself on the waiver wire. 

Cornerback (5)

1. Marcus Cooper
2. Ron Parker
3. Sean Smith
4. Chris Owens
5. Phillip Gaines

Cooper has become the No. 1 corner on this roster. Parker has maintained control of the second spot since taking it over this offseason from Sean Smith, who has had a rocky offseason. Owens gives the Chiefs a starting nickel corner who brings an attitude and has made his presence felt. Gaines is going to take time in adjusting the NFL wide receivers.

Free Safety (2)

1. Husain Abdullah
2. Malcolm Bronson

Bronson has forced his way onto this roster. He gives you versatility as a nickel corner, safety and / or special teams contributor. 

Strong Safety (3)

1. Eric Berry
2. Jerron McMillian
3. Daniel Sorensen

McMillian has been in good position during camp. Sorensen has been forcing his way onto the roster with his pass breakups and interceptions in camp lately. He also can be a good special teams contributor.

Specialists (3)

1. Dustin Colquitt
2. Cairo Santos
3. Thomas Gafford

Santos has shown a strong leg in camp and Ryan Succop knows the pressure is there.

Injured Reserve

1. Sanders Commings

Commings has had an unlucky stint in Kansas City. The fracture makes his fourth injury in the past year.

Practice Squad

1. Mark Harrison
2. Dominque Hamilton
3. Vernon Kearney
4. Charcandrick West
5. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
6. Darryl Surgent
7. Jordan Campbell
8. DeMarcus Van Dyke

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

  • Harrison has promise at the receiver position but a hamstring injury has put him on the back burner.
  • Hamilton has strength and a solid bull rush on the defensive line.
  • Kearney could potentially make the roster if there is an injury.
  • West is a speedy back that needs time to develop but could push for a spot next season.
  • Duvernay-Tardif has a great deal of technique work ahead of him. His base is off balance and his hands don't come up quick enough on his punch.
  • Surgent has been consistent in camp. He just isn't getting the same amount of opportunities that Wilson and Hammond have.
  • Campbell is an intriguing project but needs time to adjust to the new position.
  • Van Dyke allows the organization to have an additional corner to develop.