Kansas City Chiefs: Ranking the Top 30 Players on the Roster

Farzin Vousoughian@farzin21Contributor IIIMay 21, 2013

Kansas City Chiefs: Ranking the Top 30 Players on the Roster

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    Under the direction of head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, the Kansas City Chiefs have a new identity.

    The Chiefs spent this offseason addressing a lot of glaring holes. All that is left for the Chiefs is to prepare through offseason team activities, training camp and preseason games before the regular season kicks off in September.

    In this slideshow, I will go over the top 30 players on the roster.

    Do you disagree with a certain placement? Do you think this is accurate? As always, chime in below with your thoughts!

Honorable Mentions

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    Husain Abdullah, FS

    Husain Abdullah started 15 games in Minnesota's secondary in 2010 and made an impact by coming away with three interceptions. The last time he played was in 2011, when he suffered a concussion against Green Bay.

    Abdullah will return to football this season after taking the 2012 season off for religious reasons. If he plays like he did in 2010, he'll be a big asset in the rotation or possibly the starter. For now, being away from the game for over a year could be a concern.


    Jalil Brown, CB

    Brown got some playing time as a cornerback, but his biggest mark came on special teams when he was quick closing in on punts, trying to bury opponents deep in their own territory.


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    30. Dontari Poe, NT

    As a rookie in 2012-13, Dontari Poe went through a learning curve and demonstrated some flashes. The new coaching staff would love to see him show some consistency in his second year.

    Poe will play for his second head coach and third defensive coordinator this season, which can be a difficult adjustment to make coming off a rookie season.


    29. Knile Davis, RB (Rookie)

    As a sophomore in 2010, Knile Davis put Arkansas on the map when he was second behind Cam Newton in rushing yards in the SEC. However, an ankle injury during fall camp in 2011 prevented him from playing.

    Davis has a lot of potential. He just needs to rebound from his injury and return to his 2010 form. The Chiefs will need him to improve on his ball security as well.


    28. Geoff Schwartz, G

    Geoff Schwartz started all 16 games for the Carolina Panthers in 2010, but was penalized five times and allowed six sacks. After being placed on injured reserve in 2011 due to hip surgery, Schwartz spent 2012 as a backup for the Minnesota Vikings.

    He has experience as a starter and the Chiefs have to find out if he can play well enough to be one again.


    27. Nico Johnson, ILB (Rookie)

    After playing under Nick Saban at Alabama, Nico Johnson hopes to make a name for himself with the Chiefs. He was part of Alabama's back-to-back national championships and has a winning mentality—something Kansas City needs in its turnaround year.


    26. Akeem Jordan, ILB

    Akeem Jordan is an unknown at this point. He comes from Philadelphia, where Reid previously coached. During his six seasons with the Eagles, Jordan started in 34 of 82 games, collecting 184 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.


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    25. Mike DeVito, DE

    Mike DeVito was quiet during his first three years with the New York Jets from 2007 to 2009. But in the last three seasons, he has made a little bit of noise. He has registered at least 27 tackles and two forced fumbles each season since 2010.

    If he can improve in Kansas City, the Chiefs will have a good defensive line.


    24. Donnie Avery, WR

    The Chiefs need some help in the passing game. Adding Donnie Avery could turn out to be the right move. With Indianapolis last year, he set career highs in receptions and yards. Kansas City should have a solid and sound passing game with Avery on board.


    23. Ryan Succop, K

    Ryan Succop probably deserves a little bit more credit than No. 23. There were four games last season when he was the lone scorer for the team. He also lifted the Chiefs by making all six field goals against New Orleans to pick up their first of two wins on the year.

    His biggest issue is consistency on short-range field goals. With the exception of his rookie season, when he finished in the top 10, Succop has placed either 20th or lower in the league in field-goal percentage.


    22. Tyson Jackson, DE

    Going into the 2012 season, Tyson Jackson had only two sacks in his entire career. During the season, Jackson picked up three and was quietly third on the team behind two Pro Bowl outside linebackers.

    Jackson showed some promise towards the end of last season, but still has some room for improvement.


    21. Jon Baldwin, WR

    Since 2008, the Chiefs have had Devard Darling, Mark Bradley, Amani Toomer, Bobby Wade, Chris Chambers and Steve Breaston as No. 2 wide receivers on the team. But all of them experienced a short-lived career in Kansas City.

    The Chiefs drafted Jon Baldwin in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft in hopes of ending that drought. However, Baldwin might join the list of failed No. 2 wide receivers in Kansas City if he can't turn his career around in 2013.


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    20. Travis Kelce, TE (Rookie)

    Travis Kelcie must avoid off-the-field issues in order to be a huge difference-maker for the Chiefs. After snagging 40 passes for nearly 600 yards and seven touchdowns during his senior year in college, Kelcie will very likely be a big target in the first week of the NFL season.

    19. Tony Moeaki, TE

    Out of all of the players on the team, Tony Moeaki might have the most to prove. Although he has a lot of potential, he's never played a full 16-game season in his three-year NFL career.

    With two other tight ends recruited this offseason, Moeaki has to be aware that his spot on the team could be in jeopardy. If he struggles in 2013, it may be his last year in Kansas City.

    18. Kendrick Lewis, FS

    Despite being a fifth-round pick, Kendrick Lewis became a key player right away and helped the Chiefs in 2010 and 2011. But in 2012, Lewis took a big step back during a disappointing season in Kansas City.

    With a strong secondary and a powerful group of pass-rushers to go with a better coaching staff, Lewis has all the tools he needs to bounce back this season.

    17. Jeff Allen, G

    Kansas City took a big blow early in the 2012-13 season when it lost center Rodney Hudson. Ryan Lilja made the shift from guard to center as Jeff Allen—then a rookie—filled in for Lilja's guard spot. Although the team only won two games, Allen was a pleasant surprise and came through for the team.

    He can build off the success he found his rookie season and be a really good guard for years to come.

    16. Anthony Fasano, TE

    The tight end spot is wide open in Kansas City. Perhaps Anthony Fasano is favored to be the primary tight end since he has the most experience. Another reason he could be the favorite is because of his impact, catching five touchdowns in each of the last two years.

    Last year, he set a personal high and caught 41 passes with the Miami Dolphins. Had he caught 41 passes with the Chiefs last year, Fasano would have been third on the team in receptions.

15. Dexter McCluster, WR

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    Dexter McCluster may be small, but he is the most versatile player on the team. He's capable of playing multiple positions on offense and can handle return duties on special teams.

    However, that task has not been successfully done while playing for the Chiefs. Can that change under a new coaching staff?

    Given Reid's track record of being a pass-first coach, McCluster's versatility may allow him to play a role he's never been given in Kansas City.

    If things go well, McCluster could be in the top 10 on this list by the time the season's over.

14. Dunta Robinson, CB

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    With Javier Arenas traded away, Dunta Robinson fits perfectly in Kansas City as the team's nickel cornerback. As a former member of the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons, Robinson has some experience as a blitzing corner.

    Robinson also manages to come away with takeaways and creates fumbles, which was rarely seen before with backup cornerbacks in Kansas City.

    In a role as a nickel corner, Robinson can find a lot of success.

13. Sean Smith, CB

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    With Brandon Carr gone and Stanford Routt being with the team for only half a season, the Chiefs reached out to Sean Smith. Smith's been in the league for four years, all with Miami, and stepped up over the past two.

    He's played and started all 16 games in the past two seasons, recording a pair of interceptions each year. Last season, Smith made a big impact by creating three fumbles.

    Kansas City's pass defense finished 12th in 2012 and can jump into the top 10 with Smith on board.

12. Jon Asamoah, G

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    When the Chiefs released Brian Waters in 2011, the door opened for Jon Asamoah to step in and become a big part of the team's offense.

    In his last two years as a starter, Asamoah has missed one game. But in the 31 games he's played and started, he's surrendered just five sacks and committed six penalties.

    An underrated guard in the league, he will come through and be a big reason for the offense's success this season.

11. Eric Berry, SS

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    Eric Berry made an impact right away as a rookie, but had to deal with the stress of missing an entire season after suffering a torn ACL in the first game of the 2011 campaign. In 2012, Berry struggled with consistency, but landed himself a spot in the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career.

    This year, Berry hopes to put the 2012 season behind him and excel in 2013 as one of the best safeties around. With a strong group of pass-rushers up front, Berry has all the reasons to be one of the top defensive players in the league in 2013.

10. Eric Fisher, T (Rookie)

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    Eric Fisher is this year's top draft pick and was heavily praised by the Chiefs' front office after he was taken.

    Running backs who like to attack the outside will take advantage of Fisher's blocks, which will translate into moving the chains and eventually reaching the end zone.

    Fisher is capable of playing either left or right tackle. He's willing to play anywhere Reid places him. Either way, the Chiefs' offensive line will improve with Fisher.

9. Branden Albert, T

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    Branden Albert appeared to be unhappy earlier this offseason. Although he's under the franchise tag, he's participating in team OTAs while he lets his agent handle contract negotiations.

    Despite missing three games, including both meetings with Denver, Albert played in 13 and allowed just one sack. Alex Smith will feel comfortable with Albert protecting his blind side this year.

8. Brandon Flowers, CB

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    Brandon Flowers immediately became the team's top cornerback after being drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft.

    He has been good with his coverage against wide receivers. What's prevented him from being labeled a household name among all cornerbacks is that he gets fewer interceptions than those considered to be elite.

    Like Berry, Flowers could see higher takeaway results because of the strong pass rush provided by the defensive front.

7. Alex Smith, QB

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    Despite having yet to play a game, Alex Smith has solidified himself as a leader on this football team.

    In his last 27 starts, including the postseason games, Smith has thrown 35 touchdowns and turned the ball over 14 times.

    Smith has clearly set his first four abysmal years in the NFL behind him and turned into one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL.

    Chiefs fans may disagree at the moment, but the price of a second-round pick—and possibly another—will be worth it.

6. Dwayne Bowe, WR

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    Dwayne Bowe is locked up for the next five years in Kansas City and eager to get the season underway after some of the positive moves made this offseason. His excitement showed in front of the media when he recently said that he will lead the league in receptions and touchdowns this year.

    With Reid as his coach and Smith as his quarterback, Bowe is excited and has a good chance to return to his 2010 form, when he led the league in receiving touchdowns with 15.

5. Dustin Colquitt, P

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    Dustin Colquitt has been one of the league's top punters since he joined the NFL. He is now recognized as a top-tier punter after being voted to his first Pro Bowl and was rewarded with a five-year deal worth over $18 million.

    The obvious goal is for the offense to improve and see less of Colquitt. But any time Colquitt's name is called upon on fourth down, fans know what to expect from him.

4. Justin Houston, OLB

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    From his rookie season to his sophomore campaign, Justin Houston made the biggest jump out of anyone on the team.

    Houston led the team in sacks and helped the Chiefs compete in some low-scoring games. One of three linebackers on the team voted to the Pro Bowl, he is expected to have a big third year in the league.

    Opposing offensive coordinators are challenged to devise a plan to protect their quarterback when facing the Chiefs. Houston is part of the reason, which will bode well for the Chiefs, and fans will be excited to see him continue his dominance.

3. Derrick Johnson, ILB

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    Derrick Johnson is one of the top inside linebackers in the game today. His biggest strength is stopping the run. Since turning his career around late in 2010, Johnson has been able to stop running backs, preventing them from breaking away with a big gain.

    Johnson is rarely seen intercepting passes, but when he does, he is capable of big returns that set the offense up in good field position. Or better yet, he can score himself.

2. Jamaal Charles, RB

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    Jamaal Charles is arguably the best player on the Chiefs. His breakaway speed is unlike any other in the NFL. Once he finds a hole, Charles uses his speed and agility to rush through and come away with big gains.

    Charles, who led the AFC in rushing last season, was the only bright spot in Kansas City's offense.

    Even though Reid's offense is designed to be more pass-oriented, don't be surprised if Charles is a top-five rusher again.

1. Tamba Hali, OLB

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    Tamba Hali is perhaps the most valuable player on the team. When the Chiefs made the switch to the 3-4 defense, Hali shifted from defensive end to outside linebacker and has become one of the most consistent pass-rushers in the league.

    He's capable of getting to opposing quarterbacks and preventing them from making the pass they want. Hali is one of the most feared pass-rushers in the NFL and has helped the Chiefs stay competitive, like Houston, in some low-scoring contests.

    Because of his impact, Hali's received an invitation to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three years.