With roster cuts imminent, one final prediction for the 2016 Chiefs roster. Nearly every position group could keep one more or one less than we predict, so there are certainly some tough decisions coming for Mr. Dorsey and team. In Thursday’s preseason game, several guys played their hearts out in one final bid for a roster spot. It will be interesting to see if it made a difference.
(3) QB: Alex Smith, Nick Foles, Tyler Bray
At this point, there’s little question about the top three. Smith and Foles sat the final preseason game and Bray started. Kevin Hogan is the only real question mark here. They could try to get him to the practice squad if they don’t carry four quarterbacks.
(4) RB: Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, Darrin Reaves
The deepest backfield in the NFL. They could also keep Darrin Reaves around if they carry four, which I think they will.
(1) FB: Anthony Sherman
Arguably the best fullback in the NFL and a valuable special teams player. We think Sherman sticks around despite the small offensive workload.
(6) WR: Jeremy Maclin, Chris Conley, Tyreek Hill, Albert Wilson, Rod Streater, Demarcus Robinson
A much improved receiver group here with the additions of Streater, Hill and Robinson and the development of Conley. De’Anthony Thomas could be the seventh receiver if they choose to keep one more. If not he’ll get picked up by someone.
(4) TE: Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Ross Travis, James O’Shaughnessy
Kelce and Harris are locked in to the top two spots, and it seems the team has something in Ross Travis to develop. Shags is clearly on the bubble. In this scenario we have him edging out Brian Parker, who was injured Thursday night with a shoulder strain (severity unknown). It’s a question whether the Chiefs keep three or four.
(7) OL: Eric Fisher, Parker Ehinger, Jah Reid, Mitch Schwartz, Mitch Morse, Zach Fulton, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
The most important free agent addition steps in at right tackle and solidifies this group. It appears they finally have some continuity and veteran depth. Swing tackle could be a position where the Chiefs look on the waiver wire, although Jah Reid can back up at both guard and tackle.
(6) DL: Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey, Jaye Howard, Chris Jones, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Nick Williams
Chris Jones has been stealing headlines from the top three guys here as they combine to be a nasty four man rotation. RNR and Williams provide solid depth. The Chiefs could decide to keep only five d-linemen in which case a good player will be cut.
(9) LB: Tamba Hali, Dee Ford, Derrick Johnson, D.J. Alexander, Ramik Wilson, Justin March, Dadi Nicolas, Frank Zombo, Dezman Moses
The news from Tuesday hurt this group as Justin Houston went on the reserve PUP list and Josh Mauga on IR. OLB could still be a posititon watch during cut downs this week as the Paul Kruger interest signaled.
(4) S: Ron Parker, Eric Berry, Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray
Berry is back, which is very good news for the safeties and the team as a whole. This position group appears to be set, although they could keep another safety like Jeron Johnson, who has experience.
(6) CB: Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson, KeiVarae Russell, DJ White, Kenneth Acker
Acker makes the squad after his acquisition but will primarily be a special teams player. White has forced his way up the depth chart, and will contribute this year. May not be able to say the same for Russell, but he will make the roster.
Specialists (3): Cairo Santos, James Winchester, Dustin Colquitt
Continuity and consistency for this group.
Practice Squad (10)
QB Kevin Hogan
WR Seantavius Jones
OL Zach Sterup (pending suspension)
S Shak Randolph
LB Tyrell Adams
LB Terrance Smith
WR Da’Ron Brown
DE David King
OL Jarrod Pughsley
WR Mitch Mathews
On the outside looking in
WR/PR De'Anthony Thomas: DAT had a good preseason but his spot on the roster was likely taken by the emergence of Tyreek Hill.
RB/KR Knile Davis: We all assumed he was the No. 2 back last season but after Charles went on IR West and Ware were the ones who stepped in. Davis handled most of the kick return duties but now that Tyreek is here he’s likely done. Trade rumors along with the selection of Hill fuel this idea he’s gone.
S/CB Marcus Cooper: Cooper had a good preseason and appeared to be on track to make the 53 ... that is until the acquisition of Kenneth Acker. In our prediction, Acker gets the final defensive back spot, pushing Cooper off the roster.
TE Brian Parker: An athletic player who can block a bit. Drops were likely his downfall, as he didn’t display the consistent receiving ability to secure a roster spot.
OL Jarrod Pughsley: A guy it seems the Chiefs have some hope for but he appeared to struggle this preseason, and the o-line depth chart is pretty well set ahead of him.
WR Da'Ron Brown: A 2015 draft pick, spent all of his career on the practice squad so far. Brown made a few plays in preseason, but the Chiefs finally have a competitive position group at the receiver position.
QB Aaron Murray: Subject of trade rumors, seems likely to be cut if he isn’t traded. Murray struggled with ball security and high passes this preseason, including two picks on Thursday against Green Bay.
S Jamell Fleming: The position change is an indication he wouldn't have made the roster at corner. He is a valuable special teams player but like Cooper may have gotten edged out of the defensive back group.
WR Frankie Hammond, Jr: The Chiefs have kept Hammond around for three years now as a reserve and special teams player. He may have just had his most productive preseason yet, so hopefully he finds a spot on someone’s roster.