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Chiefs bubble watch: last three on, first three off

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Training camp has begun, which means it’s officially ‘bubble-watch’ season.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs-Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With the Kansas City Chiefs reporting to camp, our annual roster prediction posts have officially begun. Without debating who does and doesn’t make it, let’s take a closer look at the implied roster “bubble” this year.

(Note: Who doesn’t love bubbles?)

Last three players ON the roster

We believe these players will make the roster, but they could be the first to go if the Chiefs add someone else or if others step up in camp and win a job.

Matt Moore, QB: Right after Patrick Mahomes signed his new contract, the Chiefs brought back Matt Moore. There could be a handful of reasons for wanting Moore back, but the most compelling reason could be related to COVID-19. The fact that teams are preparing for a season that could include waves of players getting the virus and being forced to sit out could mean that the Chiefs are willing to carry an extra quarterback just in case.

DeAndre Washington, RB: We’re predicting that Washington makes the roster, due to his ideal fit in the offense and his previous work with Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech. But we haven’t seen him on the field yet, so he could end up this year’s version of Carlos Hyde. It’s never a bad idea to load up on running backs for depth and competition, but we’ll have to wait and see how that competition plays out.

John Lovett, TE: Lovett might be the most interesting guy on the list because of his potential versatility... he’s a former quarterback who plays both fullback and tight end. Last year before going on IR with the Chiefs, he showed off his pass-catching ability, even when operating with only one hand. He’s got intelligence and toughness and the love for football. There should be a place for Lovett on this roster, provided he’s healthy. That said, the Chiefs did re-sign their starting fullback, and there are a lot of guys who are built more like tight ends competing for jobs behind Kelce, so we’ll see.

Others on the 53 who might be on the bubble: TE Nick Keizer, LB Darius Harris, S Armani Watts, DE Tim Ward

Poll

Which of these three players is most likely to be cut?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    QB Matt Moore
    (211 votes)
  • 32%
    RB DeAndre Washington
    (641 votes)
  • 56%
    TE John Lovett
    (1096 votes)
1948 votes total Vote Now

First three players OFF the roster

These are some of the tougher cuts we’re predicting, but they could just as easily win a job.

Darrel Williams, RB: We think it’s Darwin Thompson vs. Darrel Williams for the final running back spot. We don’t, however, expect Darrel to go quietly. He’s been productive when given the chance. He also has a history with the Chiefs’ first-round pick, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, that dates back to LSU. Darrel has shown the ability to help the Chiefs close out games, and he knows the offense. Perhaps the team makes a move with one of the guys above him on the depth chart and Darrel stays another season in Kansas City?

Breeland Speaks DE: Brett Veach is on a roll, hitting on draft picks, free agency signings and executing the #RunItBack strategy. The most prominent blemish on his otherwise stellar record came in his first-ever pick as Chiefs general manager. The trade-up in round two to get Breeland Speaks has thus far proven to be a disappointment. That’s not to say it can’t turn around. Presumably healthy and in shape, Speaks will have a lot to prove over the next couple of weeks and months in order to retain his roster spot. Whether he’s playing inside, outside or a little of both, Speaks is now on the clock.

Ricky Seals-Jones TE: The Chiefs haven’t really found an answer at tight end other than Travis Kelce, but they are taking another shot at it this offseason with the athletic pass catcher, Ricky Seals-Jones. Tight end depth is probably the most wide-open position on the team at this point, and our prediction of Nick Keizer and John Lovett could just as easily be proven wrong if Seals-Jones impresses the coaching staff. Based on his production thus far in the league, we certainly think he has a chance, even if he’s really an over-sized wide receiver.

Others just outside the 53 that could easily make the roster: CB BoPete Keyes, WR Gehrig Dieter, QB Jordan Ta’amu

Poll

Which of these three players is most likely to remain on the team?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    RB Darrel Williams
    (499 votes)
  • 40%
    DL Breeland Speaks
    (665 votes)
  • 28%
    TE Ricky Seals-Jones
    (475 votes)
1639 votes total Vote Now