This would be the number of rookies on Kansas City’s 53-man roster plus injured/designated to return Sanders Commings. Nearly 20 percent of the Chiefs roster is made up of first year players. You may want to add Junior Hemingway to the list, too, because the second-year man suited up for just one game last season.
Take it a step further and consider the lack of experience players like Jeff Allen, Cyrus Gray, A.J. Jenkins, Dontari Poe, and Donald Stephenson. Twenty-four of the players on the 53-man active roster, 45-percent, are listed as being 24-years-old or younger.
KC’s roster is loaded with young, inexperienced players.
And this is not holdover Scott Pioli youth either. Here is the breakdown of the number of players on the 53-man roster sorted by general manager.
Carl Peterson: 7
Scott Pioli: 16
John Dorsey: 30
More than half of the roster has been flipped in the last eight months by Dorsey. Which makes sense given that the team was 2-14 last year.
To keep track of some of the major changes to the Chiefs roster, we’ll follow the Chiefs’ 11 rookies for the rest of the season to see how they progress.
1. Knile Davis
Davis exits the preseason with the best combination of production and health. He’s looked his best in the return game, and has shown flashes as a strong backup running back. Consistence, experience, ball security, and health will be Davis’ biggest question marks in 2013.
2. Nico Johnson
Had it not been for an ankle sprain against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Johnson would have ranked number one on this list. Alas, health bumps him down a peg.
Nico has been everywhere defensively, and has helped fortify a position many Chiefs fans were concerned about heading into training camp. He still has a lot of development left, especially in the passing game, but Nico has proven to be worth the fourth round selection.
An undrafted rookie out of Kansas, McDougald made the team out of camp before being cut the next day. It would prove to be a procedural move as KC signed him back shortly after placing Sanders Commings the IR. McDougald had 13 tackles and a pass defended in limited preseason snaps and flash a strong upside. Given another year, McDougald could be a very solid piece in Kansas City’s secondary.
4. Tyler Bray
The final game of the preseason had people clamoring for Bray to be the second string quarterback for the Chiefs. His three touchdown passes in three quarters showed off his strong arm and quick release. He still has a lot of development left, but the raw tools are there. Chiefs fans are anxious to see how much he learns over the next year.
5. Eric Fisher
Injuries and a slow transition to the right side hurt Fisher’s stock. Much is expected out of the number one overall pick, and people are already getting antsy about his below average production in the preseason. A strong game against Jacksonville would go a long way for him.
6. Travis Kelce
A knee injury, drops, and problems with blocking assignments have Kelce lagging behind. Kansas City needs him to catchup quickly as they don’t have many receiving threats outside of Dwayne Bowe.
7. Josh Martin
Martin made the club after proving his worth in the final preseason game. His statsheet stuffing finale included a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovered, pass defended, and four tackles. At age 21, Martin has a lot of room left to grow.
8. Eric Kush
Kush made the team as the Chiefs backup center. The offensive line was not very good during the preseason, Kush did turn in a solid performance in the fourth preseason game. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chiefs looked to free agency if something happened to Rodney Hudson.
9. Mike Catapano
Catapano dealt with injuries for much of the preseason. A 270-pound outside linebacker from Princeton will serve as an apprentice to Tamba Hali and contribute on special teams.
10. Marcus Cooper
A waiver-wire pickup from San Francisco, Dorsey must have been impressed by his abilities after watching him at Arrowhead in week two of the preseason. He had just two tackles and one pass defended during the preseason. It is difficult to know if that is a good or bad thing without seeing him on tape.
11. Sanders Commings
Comings has been out since July 23 with a broken collarbone. It is unknown what he will be bringing to the table for the Chiefs.