In the sports betting world, a "lock" is a guaranteed winner.
While there are no guarantees at this time of year, I believe it would be a huge surprise if any of the below are not on the final 53 come September. Let me know in the comments where you disagree with these 42 locks.
Alex Smith, Aaron Murray, Chase Daniel
Chase Daniel was a popular choice for a "cap casualty" this offseason but he seems to have survived. Tyler Bray is still hanging on as well but coming off a torn ACL I'd assume he starts the season on the PUP if he makes it.
Running back / fullback (4)
Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Anthony Sherman, De'Anthony Thomas
These guys represent the strength of the offense, and two of the three are Pro Bowl players. I'm including DAT with the RBs, even though he's been working with the WRs much of the offseason. Based on the public comments from the team, his role won't be THAT much different from last season. He's listed as a RB / WR on the mothership, FWIW.
Tight end (3)
Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, James O'Shaughnessy
Very little question that these are the top three tight ends on the roster today. The only question is, will they carry a fourth ... and if so, is that guy on the roster?
Wide receiver (4)
Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson, Jason Avant, Chris Conley
There will be plenty of competition at WR, especially at the bottom of the depth chart. But it's safe to say that these four are locks. Some have speculated about Avant being expendable, but he's the only WR after Maclin with any significant NFL experience, so one would assume Andy Reid wants to keep him around for insurance.
Offensive line (6)
Eric Fisher, Ben Grubbs, Eric Kush, Paul Fanaika, Mitch Morse, Jeff Allen
I'm tempted to include Zach Fulton on this list, but if he's not the starter at RG, there's a chance that guys like Fanaika and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif could challenge him for a reserve roster spot. Fanaika may have mixed reviews from his time in Arizona but he signed a significant enough three-year deal to indicate he's in the plans for this season.
You'll also notice I left Donald Stephenson off of this list. He's in the running for the starting RT job but given the way his 2014 season went three seems to be a chance he doesn't "win the coaches' trust" back and ends up off of the final roster.
Defensive line (6)
Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey, Mike DeVito, Mike Catapano, Jaye Howard, Rakeem Nunez-Roches
I believe you can write these names in ink as the DL rotation for the 2015 Chiefs.
Outside linebacker (3)
Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Dee Ford
No question these three headline the OLB group. I believe the team likes Josh Martin as a key special teams performer with some upside as a pass rusher but he could face some competition in camp from the likes of Sage Harold.
Inside linebacker (4)
Derrick Johnson, Josh Mauga, Ramik Wilson, DJ Alexander
These appear to be the top four ILBs. Last year's starter / special teams contributor James-Michael Johnson has a good chance to make the roster as well but given the investment in these four ... he's no lock.
Ron Parker, Tyvon Branch, Husain Abdullah
No question these three will be on the roster, and they will likely represent a strength of the team. Speaking of strong, Eric Berry will likely be a part of the Chiefs team in 2015 but we have no news on whether he'll be ready to play or not, so we can assume he's going to at least start the season on the NFI list.
Sean Smith, Phillip Gaines, Marcus Peters, Steven Nelson
CB may become the strongest position group on the roster this season, as the Chiefs added two very promising rookies to play along side Sean Smith (coming off of a career year) and Gaines (vastly improved as a rookie). Jamell Fleming and Marcus Cooper both appear to have very good chances at making the roster, but I will stop short of calling them "locks" as of today.
Cairo Santos, Dustin Colquitt
No question these are the guys who kick for Kansas City this year, the only question is who will snap it to them?
Total Locks: 42
Roster Spots "Up for Grabs": 11
Any debate on these 42?