Whether it is suffering from hype or just a down game, these are three Kansas City Chiefs players whose stock decreased in Preseason Week 1
No. 3: Darwin Thompson
Running back Darwin Thompson is a small guy in a league of giants, and an easy underdog to root for. That being said, 2021 may mark the end of his time with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even before the game, Thompson’s spot on the roster was looking unlikely. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, and likely Jerick McKinnon ahead on the depth chart, there may not be a spot for him at all.
Thompson’s work ethic and drive to make the team are apparent after starting training camp on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, but on-field performance needs to be there to increase his case.
It looked like an uphill battle for Thompson entering the game, and between McKinnon’s performance and Thompson’s mental blunder, that battle continues.
Every down and rep counts for several players in the preseason.
All fans will perceive of Thompson’s opening performance is that he is a sloppy player who cost his team 15 yards and only gained 16 overall yards.
Will the coaches think the same thing or give him another chance?
No. 2: Noah Gray
If there was zero hype around tight end Noah Gray, he would not appear on this list. Yet here he is.
The 2021 fifth-round pick out of Duke was a training camp darling and many considered him TE2 behind franchise great Travis Kelce. Those expectations will certainly cool down, after Saturday’s game.
Gray had two targets, but no receptions and little offensive impact overall.
Unlike Thompson, Gray’s roster spot is NOT likely in danger.
When considering his rookie status and the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to select Gray, both make his 53-man roster spot a near certainty. Gray also saw first-team kickoff reps against San Francisco, a good sign for the regular season.
His Saturday performance certainly cools down his regular-season outlook though.
No. 1: Devon Key
Safety Devon Key is yet another victim of the hype entering Saturday’s game. Unlike Gray though, Key’s roster spot is not a certainty.
Key, an undrafted rookie out of Western Kentucky, was an unknown before training camp but came onto the scene quickly.
"“Smart, can make the calls on the back end, has enough skill to get off the hash and do some things or out in the middle of the field where he can do some things outside. And good instincts to go with the smarts.”"
Unfortunately, Key’s first live-game impression was getting turned around and allowing an 80-yard touchdown pass. Not great to say the least.
While Key did make key tackles down the stretch, that one mistake will reign supreme until he makes another highlight. Key certainly has the support of his peers and coaches. With safety Armani Watts having a solid game on Saturday, their battle for that fourth safety spot will be one to watch down the stretch.