Kansas City Chiefs coaching camp is ready to start Friday, with quarterbacks and rookies reporting to Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, Missouri. The primary follow open to season-ticket holders is July 28, and the primary follow open to most of the people is July 29 at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time (full schedule here).
Take into accout: this train — in a number of methods — is like throwing darts. There may be little to no likelihood this would be the last roster after the ultimate cutdown on August 31 — and it’s practically unattainable to account for gamers who’re to be launched from different rosters.
Additionally, earlier than we start, it’s worth noting again that 2021 comes with a new cutdown schedule, which goes as follows:
- 85 gamers on August 17
- 80 gamers on August 24
- 53 gamers on August 31
My projections are based mostly upon issues I’ve seen, heard and hypothesized. Right here we go!
Quarterbacks (2): Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne
Patrick Mahomes is the league’s finest quarterback, and Chad Henne returns as his backup after his Divisional Spherical heroics in opposition to the Cleveland Browns. The opposite two quarterbacks on the roster — Shane Buechele and Anthony Gordon — will battle for a single follow squad place.
Working backs (3): Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, Jerrick McKinnon
Clyde Edwards-Helaire enters 12 months 2 with considerably much less hype than 12 months 1 — a lot in order that I believe you can make a case he is slightly under-the-radar. Darrel Williams is locked in as his backup, and I consider seven-year veteran Jerrick McKinnon surprises people in St. Joseph — a lot so he eliminates any want for retaining Darwin Thompson, who lands behind a operating again room elsewhere. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid sounded bullish on McKinnon again on July 17:
REID: “He’s skilled. He’s been doing this some time and he does it nicely. I imply, these had been passing camps greater than operating camps, however he certain has a pleasant really feel of the go recreation and I stay up for giving him the entire package deal as soon as we rise up there and let’s see what he can do as soon as we get enjoying actual soccer.”
Fullbacks (1): Mike Burton
The Chiefs said goodbye to “The Sausage” this offseason — however to not the fullback place. The 29-year-old Mike Burton has professional expertise on all 4 special-teams models, and he quietly took 208 snaps on offense (19%) in New Orleans final season. Edwards-Helaire’s new finest good friend? Maybe on some early downs.
Vast receivers (6): Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle, Cornell Powell, Marcus Kemp
The roles of the highest 5 broad receivers listed below are the extra important query than which of the gamers makes the roster. Barring camp harm, Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Byron Pringle and the rookie in Cornell Powell are locked in. As you may see for your self within the chart on the backside of this text, the Chiefs have by no means stored greater than six receivers on a roster within the Reid period, and I don’t see them doing so right here. I selected Marcus Kemp on this preliminary look due to his worth on particular groups, however I believe Antonio Callaway is a darkish horse who could make issues fascinating as camp strikes alongside.
(Writer’s Notice: That’s why you’ll have to come back again for projection 2.0 in per week or two.)
Tight ends (3): Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Noah Grey
Travis Kelce lastly has a correct protege in rookie fifth-rounder Noah Grey, who drew comparisons to his All-Professional mentor on draft day. Blake Bell is again within the combine after a 12 months with the Dallas Cowboys, offering the Chiefs the blocking tight finish they want at No. 2 as Grey develops. Which means the Chiefs say farewell to Nick Keizer, who didn’t benefit from his restricted alternatives in 2020.
Offensive linemen (10): LT Orlando Brown Jr., LG Joe Thuney, C Creed Humphrey, RG Trey Smith, RT Mike Remmers, Austin Blythe, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Nick Allegretti, Lucas Niang, Prince Tega Wanogho
First, you could be questioning the place I’ve put Kyle Lengthy. In my view, Lengthy will begin the season on the reserve/PUP checklist, which can put him out of motion for the primary six weeks of the season. Preliminary reviews stated his leg harm would price him all of coaching camp, and I don’t count on the Chiefs and Rick Burkholder to take any possibilities in speeding him again, particularly given the crew’s depth (!!!) alongside the inside of the road. That is still wonderful to say, having watched (and re-watched) Super Bowl LV, which was solely 5 months in the past.
I went just a little liberal with my beginning proper guard choose in rookie Trey Smith, however I believe there was sufficient buzz to benefit it. Austin Blythe is your backup middle, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Nick Allegretti make up the inside depth to begin the season and Lucas Niang and the rising Prince Tega Wanogho develop into swing tackles. These picks land extra inside depth with Yasir Durant and third middle Darryl Williams on the follow squad. The Chiefs’ 2018 Mack Lee Hill winner Andrew Wylie heads for the waiver wire.
Defensive tackles (4): Chris Jones, Jarran Reed, Derrick Nnadi, Tershawn Wharton
The primary 4 tackles listed on this checklist are locks, whereas I really feel Khalen Saunders could also be participant quantity 53 or 54 on this roster. A 3rd-rounder in 2019, Saunders should earn his spot on the Chiefs this 12 months — particularly with Jarran Reed added to the room and the persevering with affirmation of how excessive the defensive workers is on previously undrafted free agent “Turk” Wharton. Saunders caught a troublesome break in 2020 when he dislocated his elbow in Week 1 and by no means actually might get his ft again beneath him. The Chiefs including one other defensive lineman within the draft in defensive finish Joshua Kaindoh will make this a troublesome resolution on Brett Veach.
Defensive ends (5): Frank Clark, Alex Okafor, Taco Charlton, Mike Danna, Joshua Kaindoh
I believe there’s an excessive amount of unknown about Frank Clark on the subject of his off-the-field scenario to attempt to guess on a possible suspension for this train, so I’ve him making the preliminary roster. The gamers behind him — Alex Okafor, Clark’s Michigan apprentice in Taco Charlton and Mike Danna — are all secure bets. Kaindoh — this 12 months’s fourth-round choose — makes the membership.
The Chiefs have stored 10 defensive linemen in every of the primary two Steve Spagnuolo 4-3 seasons, however I solely stored 9 this 12 months. The reason being twofold. First, offseason reviews (and Chris Jones himself) acknowledged that Jones can be enjoying a bit extra on the sting this season. The second is that Tim Ward — as a lot because the Chiefs have appreciated his upside — did not have a special teams snap in 2020. Dorian O’Daniel had 219. Extra on that beneath.
Linebackers (6): Anthony Hitchens, Willie Homosexual, Nick Bolton, Ben Niemann, Darius Harris, Dorian O’ Daniel
The Chiefs stored six linebackers in 2019 and 5 in 2020, and I believe that quantity goes again to 6 in 2021. My clarification beneath comes because the league continues to development within the course of an increasing number of nickel seems to be (Additionally, let’s needless to say two safeties beneath — No. 32 and No. 49 — play in every single place).
Ideally, I believe the Chiefs wish to begin Anthony Hitchens and Willie Homosexual, however that may depend upon Homosexual’s readiness in 12 months 2. Homosexual has already been saying all the right things this offseason. Missouri rookie Nick Bolton will serve Hitchens as an understudy, and we all know how a lot the crew values Ben Niemann’s understanding of the Spagnuolo playbook. Darius Harris stays because the Chiefs proceed to develop the small-school mission in his third season out of Center Tennessee.
I stored O’Daniel, the additional linebacker, over Tim Ward, the additional defensive finish, due to the Uncle Dave Toub impact. We’ve reached a degree in Kansas Metropolis the place it looks as if O’Daniel will make his professional profession on his reliability and availability for particular groups snaps, which is a important a part of the sport. Even having performed solely 11 video games, O’Daniel was seventh in special-teams snaps, and three gamers above him — Antonio Hamilton (Buccaneers), Anthony Sherman (retired) and Nick Keizer (projected minimize) — are now not on the crew.
Cornerbacks (6): Charvarius Ward, L’Jarius Sneed, Mike Hughes, Rashad Fenton, Deandre Baker, BoPete Keyes
Just like the counterpart place right here at broad receiver (above), this was a simple room to fill out. The query shall be extra so the roles of these stored on the roster. The Chiefs know what they’ve in Charvarius Ward and L’Jarius Sneed, however how do former first-rounders Mike Hughes and Deandre Baker match within the protection? Can Rashad Fenton do sufficient inside to permit the Chiefs to maneuver Sneed completely outdoors? How prepared is BoPete Keyes, a second-year seventh-rounder, for respectable enjoying time?
Safeties (4): Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill, Daniel Sorensen, Armani Watts
Tyrann Mathieu, Juan Thornhill and Daniel Sorensen shall be taking nearly all of snaps at security this season. Armani Watts is likely to be challenged by Will Parks and undrafted rookie darkish horse Devon Key, however I believe the Chiefs preserve Watts for related causes to O’Daniel — whereas perhaps stashing Key on the follow squad.
Placekicker Harrison Butker, punter Tommy Townsend and lengthy snapper James Winchester
Final 12 months’s band is again collectively once more.
Below contract, not counted on energetic roster (2)
Reserve/PUP: OL Kyle Lengthy
Reserve/Injured (out for season): DE Malik Herring
Chiefs place portions on the 53-man cutdown since 2013
Right here’s a have a look at Chiefs place portions all through the years since Andy Reid took over the Chiefs in 2013:
Offensive place portions since 2013
Defensive place portions since 2013
*Eric Berry had a roster exemption at the 53-man roster cutdown in 2016 and was included in most cutdown listings.
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