Kansas City Chiefs Roster Cuts: Tyson Jackson and Other Potential Surprises

Jeremy Sickel@https://twitter.com/JeremySickelContributor IIIAugust 26, 2012

Kansas City Chiefs Roster Cuts: Tyson Jackson and Other Potential Surprises

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    The first round of NFL roster cuts is underway, and the Kansas City Chiefs wasted no time in paring down their depth chart.

    In an effort to get down to the mandatory total of 75 players, the Chiefs had to release 14 players, all of whom had less than two years of NFL experience and most being undrafted rookie free agents.

    Other than fullback Shane Bannon and wide receiver Jeremy Horne, there weren't any surprises. You can find the full list at KCChiefs.com.

    While making the initial wave of cuts is fairly uncomplicated, figuring out who the best 53 are by Friday's deadline is very difficult for a deep team such as the Chiefs.

    Tough decisions will need to be made and feelings will be hurt. There will also be some surprises that leave fans shocked.

    Here are four potential surprise casualties for the Chiefs when they release their next round of roster cuts prior to Friday's deadline.

Tyson Jackson

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    General manager Scott Pioli and the Kansas City Chiefs shocked many that follow the NFL by selecting LSU defensive lineman Tyson Jackson with the third overall pick in the 2009 draft.

    While it appears that Jackson has been solid early in his career at stopping the run, it isn't difficult to detect that he simply hasn't lived up to the lofty expectations set forth by Kansas City having been burned by so many defensive line prospects in the past.

    The Chiefs don't have a lot of depth in the trenches, but the 3-4 defense doesn't require as many defensive linemen on the roster. Allen Bailey, Amon Gordon, Ropati Pitoitua and Brandon Bair are plenty capable of filling in for Jackson.

    While money may force the Chiefs to keep him around, the pay cut that Jackson took to stay with the team in 2012 could make the organization feel better about parting ways with the former first-rounder.

Ricky Stanzi

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    If you have watched any of the three Kansas City Chiefs' preseason games, or followed any of the team's training camp notes, you would know that quarterback Ricky Stanzi is not doing himself any favors to be named the primary backup to starting quarterback Matt Cassel.

    To be honest, Stanzi isn't doing himself any favors to convince anyone that he is capable of even playing in the NFL, period.

    Though Stanzi is still young and there is plenty of time for him to develop, no one would blame the Chiefs for cutting bait early on the former fifth-round pick as long as general manager Scott Pioli continues to bring in young quarterbacks via the draft every year.

    While the Chiefs would be left with only Brady Quinn and YouTube sensation Alex Tanney behind Cassel on the depth chart, they could acquire a more veteran presence to help anchor the quarterback position this season.

Cyrus Gray

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    When the Kansas City Chiefs took Texas A&M running back Cyrus Gray in the sixth round of this year's NFL draft, it was thought that he would come right in as the third back on the depth chart behind Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis.

    However, after training camp and three preseason games, Gray could find himself on the outside looking in.

    Shaun Draughn has received plenty of looks this entire preseason and Nate Eachus (10 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown) emerged in Friday night's 44-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks as someone of value to the Chiefs.

    While it will ultimately come down to just how many running backs the Chiefs plan on keeping on the 53-man roster, Gray may need to have a big game or do something that sticks out to the coaching staff to make this team.

Jake O'Connell

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    The return of Tony Moeaki and the offseason acquisition of Kevin Boss tightens up the tight end position for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012.

    The Chiefs released rookie Tim Biere in the first round of cuts, leaving four tight ends on the roster (Moeaki, Boss, Jake O'Connell and Steve Maneri). With three tight ends expected to enter the 2012 season on this team, O'Connell and Maneri will be battling for the last spot.

    While neither O'Connell nor Maneri will be expected to do much in the way of catching passes this season, their ability to extend the offensive line as an extra blocker is key.

    The fact that the Chiefs look like they are willing to go this season without a true fullback after cutting Shane Bannon actually bodes well for both O'Connell and Maneri to make the team when the Chiefs pare down to 53 players by Friday's deadline.

    It will honestly come down to preference, but these two tight ends and running back Cyrus Gray could be fighting for the same spot, with O'Connell joining Gray as a potential surprise roster casualty.


    Contact Jeremy at jeremy@popflyboys.com, on Twitter @KCPopFlyBoy and at popflyboys.com.