Predicting the Final Kansas City Chiefs' 2012 53-Man Roster

Farzin Vousoughian@farzin21Contributor IIIMay 14, 2012

Predicting the Final Kansas City Chiefs' 2012 53-Man Roster

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    As the 2012 draft class makes their transition into the NFL, football fans have a good feel of what their team will look like going into Week 1 of the regular season.

    For the Kansas City Chiefs, general manager Scott Pioli is always after finding the right players who can help his team compete. The Chiefs want to compete for the AFC West after falling one game short of the division last season.

    With Romeo Crennel getting his second chance at being an NFL head coach, it will be interesting to see how he and the rest of the Chiefs coaching staff put together the 53-man roster.


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    Quarterback (three)

    No major surprises here. Matt Cassel will return in 2012 to get another chance. With an overall improved offense and strong depth, Cassel has no excuses to not succeed with this Chiefs team. The team's success rests in his hands.

    Brady Quinn has not played a game in over two years, but has familiarity with Brian Daboll's offense during his tenure in Cleveland. Ricky Stanzi did not take a regular season snap last year during his rookie season, as his NFL debut still awaits. Expect both Quinn and Stanzi to play at some point this season.

    After Cassel's injury, it would be wise for the Chiefs to walk into Week 1 with three quarterbacks.

Running Back

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    Halfback (five)

    Running Back (four)

    • Jamaal Charles
    • Peyton Hillis
    • Dexter McCluster
    • Cyrus Gray *


    Fullback (one)

    • Shane Bannon

    * Denotes rookie

    Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis were on separate teams while struggling and missing games due to injury. Charles had it the worst after suffering an injury in Week 2 of last season, forcing him to miss all of 2011.

    Dexter McCluster, like any running back, will line up away from the backfield in passing plays, but his primary duty will be in the rushing department. And why not? McCluster contributed with the highest yard per carry average on the team when Charles was absent and Thomas Jones struggled to move with the football.

    In a league where multiple tailbacks are used, Cyrus Gray will probably get some handoffs.

    Shane Bannon spent the 2011 season on the practice squad, but could get a chance to play this year as the Chiefs let Le'Ron McClain go.

Wide Receiver

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    Wide Receiver (six)

    • Dwayne Bowe
    • Jonathan Baldwin
    • Steve Breaston
    • Devon Wylie *
    • Terrance Copper
    • Junior Hemingway *

    * Denotes rookie

    The Chiefs need to try and sign Dwayne Bowe as soon as possible and get him back on track with Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston.

    Baldwin's inactivity in training camp prevented him from having the rookie season he wanted while Breaston was the No. 2 receiver last season. If all three of these receivers go into the season opener healthy, Cassel and the Chiefs offense has a chance to surprise a lot of fans this year.

    Terrance Copper is 30 years old, while no player on the team is currently over the age of 30. The Chiefs could use him and his veteran experience on the team, while Devon Wylie and Junior Hemingway can learn from their teammates.

Tight End

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    Tight End (three)

    • Kevin Boss
    • Tony Moeaki
    • Jake O'Connell

    Kevin Boss brings a championship attitude to the team and can help Tony Moeaki ease his transition from missing a full season after tearing his ACL.

    Moeaki has the potential to be a top-10 tight end in the league. Therefore, it is going to be important for him to stay healthy. Otherwise, the Chiefs may part ways with him if he suffers another injury that forces him to miss a lot of games.

    Jake O'Connell would be good to keep on the team because he was a tight end who contributed as a blocker when the Chiefs ranked first in the NFL in rushing. Depending on what happens with Dallas Clark, who recently visited the Chiefs, could affect whether or not O'Connell earns a spot on the team.

    However, Clark has started 111 games through nine seasons and wants to continue to be the primary starter for a team. He may not get that opportunity in Kansas City, allowing O'Connell to feel safe about his spot.

Offensive Line

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    Offensive Line (10)

    Offensive Tackle (four)

    • Branden Albert (left tackle)
    • Eric Winston (right tackle)
    • Donald Stephenson *
    • David Mims


    Offensive Guard (four)

    • Ryan Lilja (left guard)
    • Jon Asamoah (right guard)
    • Jeff Allen *
    • Darryl Harris


    Center (two)

    • Rodney Hudson
    • Rob Bruggeman

    * Denotes rookie

    Branden Albert will stay at left tackle as the Chiefs pick up one of the best offensive line signings in right tackle Eric Winston, who has not missed a start since November of 2006.

    As for the guards, Jon Asamoah will get more recognition this season for his ability to play if the Chiefs can have a better season. Ryan Lilja will get one more chance, as fans were longing for the team to draft David DeCastro.

    Jeff Allen is a versatile offensive lineman and could be the team's top filler and the top option to go to if the team needs a new starter.

    The biggest change fans will want to keep an eye on is the center position. Casey Wiegmann has not been re-signed. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the Chiefs have moved forward and want to begin working with Rodney Hudson as the team's new center. Hudson, like Allen, has some versatility and now has a shot at establishing a career at center.

Defensive Line

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    Defensive Line (six)

    Defensive End (four)

    • Glenn Dorsey (right end)
    • Tyson Jackson (left end)
    • Allen Bailey
    • Amon Gordon


    Nose Tackle (two)

    • Dontari Poe *
    • Jerrell Powe

    * Denotes rookie

    The Chiefs like what they have in Glenn Dorsey, who is very good against the run while the team has struggled as a unit. That is why Dontari Poe was taken in the first round. Tyson Jackson has not been great, but he has a chance to be part of something special with a strong defensive line.

    Allen Bailey and Amon Gordon had flashes as backups and could do so again this year. Meanwhile, Chiefs fans who like Jerrell Powe might be happy to hear that Powe will likely get more playing time this season.


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    Linebacker (eight)

    Inside Linebacker (four)

    • Derrick Johnson
    • Jovan Belcher
    • Brandon Siler
    • Cory Greenwood


    Outside Linebacker (four)

    • Tamba Hali (right outside linebacker)
    • Justin Houston (left outside linebacker)
    • Andy Studebaker
    • Cameron Sheffield

    The Chiefs could have one of the best linebacking corps in the league with Pro Bowlers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali returning.

    Johnson had the season of his career and could do even better with Poe as the team's new nose tackle. Beside Johnson, Hali is one of the more dominant pass-rushers in the league and has some help with Justin Houston stepping up as a rookie during the second half of the 2011 season.

    The most intriguing part is seeing how Brandon Siler performs after he signed with the Chiefs last year, but never played. If Siler can impress Crennel in the preseason and early in the season, the Chiefs could start him over Jovan Belcher. But for now, Belcher is likely to be one of the two starters inside going into Week 1.

    The Chiefs don't have the greatest depth at this position, while their starters appear to be very good. Therefore, an injury at linebacker could be crucial for the team.

Defensive Back

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    Defensive Back (nine)


    Cornerback (five)

    • Brandon Flowers
    • Stanford Routt
    • Javier Arenas
    • Travis Daniels
    • Jacques Reeves


    Safety (four)

    • Eric Berry
    • Kendrick Lewis
    • DeQuan Menzie *
    • Donald Washington

    * Denotes rookie

    Stanford Routt will be teaming up with Brandon Flowers as Brandon Carr goes on to sign with the Dallas Cowboys. While Routt is a good player and has issues avoiding penalties, Crennel and defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas can help Routt improve in that area.

    Kendrick Lewis was the team's top safety, appearing and starting in all 16 games while the secondary was banged up. Lewis also performed well to help make up for Eric Berry's absence.

    Berry had a phenomenal rookie season. His season-ending injury during the opener in 2011 was a devastating one, and it seemed to take a toll early on. But the Chiefs defense improved as the season progressed. The Chiefs defense will go into 2012 with that same improvement, with Berry on the roster.

    With a strong defensive front that will apply a lot of pressure, Berry and company have a shot at leading the league in interceptions, which not many football fans will see coming.

Special Teams

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    Special Teams (three)

    Kicker (one)

    • Ryan Succop


    Punter (one)

    • Dustin Colquitt


    Long Snapper (one)

    • Thomas Gafford

    After starting off the season making only one of four field goals, Succop bounced back, moving on to make 21 straight field goals. His improvement earned him a new contract after the Chiefs dealt with struggling kickers in Lawrence Tynes, Justin Medlock and Dave Rayner.

    Dustin Colquitt continues to perform at a high level when his number his called. But now that the Chiefs offense has improved, seeing less of him is more likely, and it is a good thing.

    Thomas Gafford has never created serious issues with snaps on field goals and is one of the more reliable long snappers in the league today.


    Returners (five)

    • Dexter McCluster
    • Javier Arenas
    • Devon Wylie *
    • Cyrus Gray *
    • Steve Breaston

    * Denotes rookie

    The Chiefs have a lot of options on special teams for returners. McCluster and Javier Arenas hope to showoff the ability that they have. Otherwise, the doors for rookies Gray and Devon Wylie will open. The Chiefs can also consider Breaston if the team suffers a lot of injuries.