The Kansas City Chiefs are halfway through the 2015 NFL preseason schedule and they have two wins. That's good! Of course, preseason records don't matter but the Chiefs have been able to see their players in action for two games. The first round of cuts down to 75 players will come on September 1. The next cut, down to 53 players, will come on September 5.
I have come up with another Chiefs 53-man roster prediction. There will also be an additional 10 spots for the practice squad, which some of these players that are cut will make up.
I feel pretty good about most of my roster projection. However, there are a number of spots where I was stuck and just had to take a wild guess. Let's see what I got wrong...
In: Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Aaron Murray
Out: Tyler Bray
Maybe Tyler Bray can be put on an injury list? He still isn't practicing so it seems quite possible actually that he ends up on an injury list to start the season. If the Chiefs can stash him again, more power to them. The other three are pretty much assumed to be making it.
Running back / fullback (4)
In: Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Charcandrick West, Anthony Sherman
Out: Darrin Reaves, Spencer Ware
Like quarterback, this seems pretty well established. Once Cyrus Gray was cut a couple weeks ago, West's spot on the team became more secure. And after West's solid play in the first two preseason games, he is in.
Tight end (3)
In: Travis Kelce, James O'Shaughnessy, Ryan Taylor, Demetrius Harris (PUP)
Out: Richard Gordon, Adam Schiltz
Harris won't count against the Chiefs 53-man roster on the PUP list. They can keep him under their control while he gets healthy.
Wide receiver (6)
In: Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson, Jason Avant, Chris Conley, De'Anthony Thomas, Frankie Hammond
Out: Da'Ron Brown, Junior Hemingway, Kenny Cook, Fred Williams, L'Damian Washington, Donatella Luckett, Jeret Smith
The first five are in so if the Chiefs are keeping six receivers then everyone is competing for one spot. Hammond can return punts in addition to playing receiver so that gives him the edge here. Fred Williams and Da'Ron Brown would be the next two up in my mind.
Offensive line (10)
In: Eric Fisher, Ben Grubbs, Mitch Morse, Jeff Allen, Donald Stephenson, Paul Fanaika, Zach Fulton, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Eric Kush, Jarrod Pughsley
Out: Derek Sherrod, Tavon Rooks, Marcus Reed, Anthony Dima, Garrett Frye, Daniel Munyer
I'm keeping 10 lineman for now because of the injuries to Eric Fisher and Jeff Allen. It's possible that by the time cut downs come the Chiefs are still wondering about each of their injuries. So, to be safe, I kept Pughsley on the roster. He would be the fourth offensive tackle. Once Fisher and Allen are confirmed good to go for Week 1, Pughsley's spot would be in jeopardy.
Defensive line (5)
In: Allen Bailey, Mike DeVito, Mike Catapano, Jaye Howard, Nick Williams, Dontari Poe (PUP)
Out: Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Vaughn Martin, David Irving, Hebron Fangupo
Poe will be on the PUP list which means he won't count against the roster. The Chiefs can keep him until he's healthy. Bailey, DeVito, Catapano and Howard are all for sure in. The final spot went to Nick Williams because I think he's the most ready to contribute right now if needed. As for the long-term, I like Nunez-Roches and Irving on the practice squad.
Outside linebacker (5)
In: Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Josh Martin, Frank Zombo
Out: Dezman Moses
This is very difficult for me because Moses balled out in the first preseason game. I really do not want to cut him but Frank Zombo offers more versatility as an inside linebacker as well. Ugh.
Inside linebacker (5)
In: Derrick Johnson, Josh Mauga, Ramik Wilson, Justin March, DJ Alexander
Out: James-Michael Johnson
Justin March had surgery and will be out for a while. He is an undrafted rookie but showed enough in a few weeks of camp that he's worth keeping. That's impressive. DJ Alexander will have to make the team on special teams so his spot is no guarantee.
In: Ron Parker, Husain Abdullah, Eric Berry, Tyvon Branch
Out: Kelcie McCray, Sanders Commings, Daniel Sorensen
I'm concerned about what I'm doing to my special teams by cutting those three but it's a numbers game right now. Glad I'm not John Dorsey.
Locks: Phillip Gaines, Marcus Peters, Jamell Fleming, Steven Nelson, Marcus Cooper, Sean Smith (suspension)
Out: Deji Olatoye, Aaron Hester, Kenneth Penny, Kevin Short
The Chiefs will get an exemption for Smith's three-game suspension. The question is who is gone (if anyone) when he comes back.
Special teams (3)
Locks: Cairo Santos, Dustin Colquitt, Andrew East
Out: James Winchester
The only reason I have East over Winchester is his tackle last week. This could change.