3 Chiefs Position Battles to Watch at OTAs

Jared Wiley had eight receiving TDs for TCU in 2023
Jared Wiley had eight receiving TDs for TCU in 2023 / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chiefs officially began OTAs (offseason team activities) this week, giving the coaching staff their first opportunity to evaluate the entire roster together and not just rookies.

These are optional, non-padded practices at this point, so not everyone is participating. It's difficult to evaluate offensive and defensive linemen without pads, but we can still get a look at pass-catchers and defensive players in the secondary that rely less on physical play.

Left tackle remains the most important position battle heading into camp, though we'll save analysis on that for padded practices. For now, let's look at three other position battles to pay attention to at OTAs.

3 Chiefs Position Battles to Watch at OTAs

1. Third-String Running Back

Reports indicate the Chiefs like where their running back room stands, but it's currently without Jerick McKinnon or La'Mical Perine. The former may be re-signed in free agency, though it's starting to feel likely that a new third-string back will emerge behind Isiah Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Keaontay Ingram and Deneric Prince have a shot, as do undrafted rookies Emani Bailey and Carson Steele. Both Pacheco and Edwards-Helaire have dealt with injuries in the past, so having a quality third-stringer is important in case of emergency.

We'll get our first idea of how the coaches view the competition in OTAs. I'm particularly excited to see what Bailey and Steele can do, though I'd imagine both Ingram and Prince would be ahead on the theoretical depth chart.

It's impossible to draw definitive conclusions until we see everyone in full pads. A guy like Steele, who punishes defenders with physical contact, is going to look better with pads than without them. He lives for contact, whereas a shiftier player like Bailey could shine.

All in all, this is the positional battle I'm most excited to watch unfold. McKinnon came up big numerous times over the last few years. If he's not coming back, this'll be the first real sign of who may ultimately replace his snaps. Edwards-Helaire is on a one-year deal, so this battle may give someone the inside track to take the backup role in 2025.