The entire NFL will be playing tonight in the final preseason week, as everyone gets an even playing field with regard to time and scheduling from here on out. Roster cuts are a few days away, and whoever is on the field tonight is fighting for the lives.
Whether or not the prospects of making your current team’s roster are great, you are getting one final chance to put something on tape for 31 other teams. The Chiefs have made moves in the past to add players at roster cuts, such as former safety Ron Parker.
Here are the four things I’m looking for tonight:
Lottery tickets on the bubble
Brett Veach and company have done an excellent job of identifying undrafted free agents that provide value—players like Chase Litton, Ben Niemann, Darrel Williams, Arrion Springs and Ryan Hunter have made cut day that much more difficult. All these players listed are in serious consideration for a roster spot.
Their performance tonight could be what seals their fate.
What veterans have to play?
Players like Frank Zombo, Brian Witzmann, De’Anthony Thomas, Jehu Chesson could be playing for their roster spot on Thursday. None of those guys seem like locks to make the 53, and I would expect them all to play.
This could also be an indication of how much the young players are pushing them for the opportunity.
Who gets the early hook?
Of all the players listed above (and more), who plays early and limited snaps? Players that get pulled early in the game could be the ones with a more solid chance of making the final roster.
If it’s a veteran like Zombo, it could be that they know what he’s capable of and don’t need more, or he’s solidly on the roster. If a young player like Niemann gets a little work early, but don’t let him get too many reps, they’re probably trying to keep him healthy for week one.
Litton vs. McGloin
There’s a palpable energy throughout the city. Everyone is on pins and needles wondering the same thing: who will win the Chiefs’ third-string quarterback job?
Matt McGloin is a known commodity. He is what he is, and that’s a fringe, rosterable quarterback with a few starts under his belt. Then there’s Chase Litton—the young, exciting undrafted free agent who some thought could be day two, early day-three selection if he had stayed at Marshall another year.
Litton has been the most impressive of the two, and Andy Reid likes to develop young quarterbacks. He has the potential to be the 2020 backup to Patrick Mahomes if he continues to grow. Litton can lock up the developmental quarterback role with a good day Thursday.