Projecting the Chiefs 53-Man Roster


Aug 9, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on the sidelines during the third quarter of their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Roster cut day is fast approaching as teams have to be down to 53 men by August 31. That means the Chiefs are going to have to let go of 23 players currently on the roster. Here’s what I think the Chiefs will do over the next four days.


Aug 16, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Tyler Bray (9) before the snap during the second half of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium. San Francisco won 15-13. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback (3): Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray

The Chiefs did the predictable and correct thing by letting go of Ricky Stanzi and handing the third quarterback spot to Bray. It is obviously clear the tools Bray has to work with are far superior to Stanzi’s. If Bray can develop a better mental approach to the game then the Chiefs will have the steal of the 2013 draft.

Running Back (3): Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Shaun Draughn

It was hard for me to leave Cyrus Gray off the team but I think the Chiefs are going to go with something more reliable. Draughn is more likely to stay healthy and Gray has had issues with injuries his entire career. Given Charles and Davis’ health concerns (and pasts), it may make more sense to stay with Draughn.

Fullback (1): Anthony Sherman

Sherman is the veteran stability who is also good in special teams. Braden Wilson is the draft pick who is an excellent blocker. Toben Opurum has the most upside of the three as both a blocker and a runner. It’ll be interesting to see what the Chiefs do here as Wilson and Opurum should be available for the practice squad.

Aug 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Cyrus Gray (left) and wide receiver Frankie Hammond (85) congratulate wide receiver Rico Richardson (83) after Richardson caught a fifteen yard game winning touchdown in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Kansas City Chiefs won 26-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver (6): Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins, Dexter McCluster, Devon Wylie, Junior Hemingway

This is the toughest position to figure out. It would seem Bowe, Avery, Jenkins, and McCluster would be locks for the roster for various reasons. Devon Wylie and Junior Hemingway could each be cut and I would be surprised, especially if a veteran wide receiver is available to the Chiefs after all of the cuts.

Six makes the most sense here given the Chiefs needs in the secondary. (We’ll get there later.) Although Rico Richardson could easily be the seventh receiver kept. Jamar Newsome may also be an option, too.

The long and short of it is the Chiefs could really use an upgrade or two at wide receiver if said upgrade were to become available.

Tight End (3): Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce, Tony Moeaki*, Demetrius Harris

As of this writing, we don’t know the fate of Moeaki. I’m assuming if he hits the injured reserve that he’ll be out for the season. It would seem likely Sanders Commings is the designated person to be eligible to return from the IR. As a result, either Moeaki occupies a roster space but doesn’t play be cause he is hurt or he misses the entire season on the injured reserve.

It would seem the latter is more likely.

Offensive Line (8): Branden Albert, Eric Fisher, Donald StephensonJeff Allen, Jon Asamoah, Geoff SchwartzRodney Hudson, Eric Kush

Depth is a concern, especially in the middle of the line, but the Chiefs could be in worse shape.


Aug 16, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Marcus Cooper (33) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike DeVito (70) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive End (4): Tyson Jackson, Mike DeVito, Austen Lane, Allen Bailey

If Lane and Bailey can provide a pass rush of the bench then the Chiefs should be able to patch things together okay for the 2013 season. Still, the Chiefs lack a strong pass rush from the edge of the defensive line.

Nose Tackle (3): Dontari Poe, Jarrell Powe, Anthony Toribio

There is a lot of poundage here. Poe has had a very good camp and preseason. Hopefully that transfers into the regular season. He’s the only guy on the defensive line who can rush the passer on a consistent basis.

Outside Linebacker (4): Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Edgar Jones, Frank Zombo

There’s not a lot of depth here either, so the need for the Houston and Hali to stay healthy is key. Zombo has shown some pass rushing skills in preseason but he is obviously nowhere near the caliber of player as Hali and Houston.

Inside Linebacker (4): Derrick Johnson, Akeem Jordan, Nico Johnson, Zac Diles

Oddly, this is somehow one of the deepest parts of the roster for the Chiefs. Jordan and Nico will likely be off the field in nickel situations so the Chiefs can go three deep at middle linebacker and feel pretty decent about it. Diles is good on special teams and brings veteran depth.

Aug 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith (27) breaks up a pass in the end-zone intended for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (left) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback (5): Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson, Jalil Brown, Sanders Commings

This get slim very fast after Flowers, Smith, and Robinson. Commings can’t go on the IR until September 3 which comes after all of the cuts. So Brown will likely stay on the roster as depth until Commings can play.

Safety (6): Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Quintin Demps, Husain Abdullah, Tysyn Hartman, Bradley McDougald

The Chiefs will have to use their safety depth to help make up for what they don’t have at cornerback. McDougald makes the team for this reason. That and because he probably wouldn’t clear through waivers.


Dustin Colquitt, Ryan Succop, and Thomas Gafford.


Miguel Chavis, Mike Catapano, Rico Richardson, Braden Wilson, Neiko Thorpe, Toben Opurum, Josh Martin, Jordan Roberts

Richardson may see more time on the active roster than on the practice squad. Catapano, Chavis, Thorpe, and Martin could end up being the depth the Chiefs are looking for, but probably not until next season.

Opurum could be in that defensive mix if they decided to convert him to linebacker, but he has shown more promise as a fullback in the limited preseason action he has seen.

Roberts provides running back depth and Wilson could replace Sherman if needed.

So what do you think? Anybody left off the 53-man that should be on there?