On Tuesday’s edition of the Arrowhead Pride Editors Show podcast, Pete Sweeney and John Dixon each picked a surprise cut and a winning lottery ticket for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021 — that is, a player who was on last season’s roster who won’t make the squad this September, along with an undrafted rookie who will make the team.
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Here are our picks:
John: My surprise cut would have to be tight end Nick Keizer. Last season, the Chiefs carried four tight ends. But I think that this season, the Chiefs will have too many offensive linemen they want to keep — and I also think they can cover the same bases by having just three tight ends: starter Travis Kelce, returning backup Blake Bell and rookie Noah Gray. That makes Keizer the odd man out.
Pete: I think running back Darwin Thompson makes sense here as a way-too-early guess for a surprise cut. It will remain to be seen how training camp plays out, but head coach Andy Reid noted he liked McKinnon’s experience and noted his “nice feel of the pass game” as minicamp closed last week. McKinnon had nearly 1,000 scrimmage yards for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017 before injuries cost him two seasons, and I think his emergence as a third option behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams, plus the fact that the Chiefs have deep wide receiver and offensive line rooms may squeeze Thompson out.
Winning lottery tickets
John: When I first read about undrafted free agent safety Zayne Anderson, I couldn’t help but think about how much he is like Chiefs safety Dan Sorensen. To me, he looks like the kind of player that Reid and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo love to have on the roster: a guy who is all hustle and attitude, can play multiple roles on the defense and be a key contributor in special teams. I do think Sorensen will still be around for another season — but to me, Anderson looks like the same kind of player. He could end up on the practice squad — or if he immediately turns out to be everything the Chiefs hope he could be, could even edge Sorensen out of a job.
Pete: I’m going with Western Kentucky defensive back Devon Key, who had been confirmed to get additional snaps as Chiefs minicamp went on. We know the Chiefs’ top three safeties will be Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill and Daniel Sorensen, with the fourth option projecting to be a battle between Armani Watts, Will Parks, Rodney Clemons and Key. Key stands at 6 feet at 208 pounds and profiles as an energy-giver, a trait we know Reid loves. He crosses off the Uncle Dave special teams box, given his experience as a gunner and protector in punt coverage. A former high school outfielder means he should come with built-in ball-tracking ability (he had six college picks). He is durable, having at one point started 43 straight games during his college career and was a two-time captain.
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