The Kansas City Chiefs are ready to put their 2-14 season behind them and take on the challenge ahead this year. With Andy Reid as the new head coach, the Chiefs look to establish a new identity to try and compete in a very competitive AFC West division.
As the Chiefs look to rebound, they want to build off the talent they have. Despite a bad season, the Chiefs did not send six players to the Pro Bowl on accident. Along with some newcomers, the Chiefs appear to have compiled a more relevant team in 2013.
Here is the projected 53-man roster for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Alex Smith, Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray
The three quarterbacks the Chiefs had last year have been swapped with three new ones.
Alex Smith will get a fresh start in Kansas City. If Smith struggles or suffers another injury, Chase Daniel will have an opportunity to show he can play in the NFL.
Keep a close eye on Tyler Bray, who could take Ricky Stanzi’s spot on the team.
Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray and Shaun Draughn
There are no surprises here. Jamaal Charles is the best player on the offense and he will serve a unique role with Reid as his coach. Charles has also had to carry the ground game due to a lack of production from Thomas Jones and Peyton Hillis.
Charles hopes Knile Davis can come in and make an impact as a rookie.
The fullback position is a tossup between Braden Wilson, Toben Opurum and Anthony Sherman. But since Wilson was drafted by the team, it would be best if he came out on top in training camp. It is likely that Opurum or Sherman stay on the practice squad.
Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, Jon Baldwin, Dexter McCluster, Devon Wylie and Terrance Copper
The receiving corps in Kansas City is thin. Behind Dwayne Bowe, there isn't a lot of fire power. Hopefully the Chiefs receiving game will improve with Smith throwing the football and with the addition of Donnie Avery.
Bowe showed that he can be one of the best receivers in the league and he’d like to show he can do it again.
As for Jon Baldwin, this could be his make-or-break season.
Anthony Fasano, Tony Moeaki and Travis Kelce
Anthony Fasano brings a lot of experience with him to Kansas City and can help Tony Moeaki carry the load. The Chiefs also have a viable tight end in Travis Kelce, who is a rookie out of Cincinnati.
In the end, don’t be surprised if all three tight ends get significant playing time in 2013.
LT Branden Albert
LG Jeff Allen
C Rodney Hudson
RG Jon Asamoah
RT Eric Fisher
T Donald Stephenson
G Geoff Schwartz
G Ryan Durand
C Eric Kush
Outside of the left guard spot, the starters on the offensive line should be obvious. The tackles are solidified while Jon Asamoah continues to impress at guard.
The biggest concern is Rodney Hudson and specifically, if injuries cause him to go down again. If so, the Chiefs will be using some inexperienced offensive linemen and perhaps might need to shift players to different spots. The Chiefs have some versatility in backups Donald Stephenson and Ryan Durand if they need help.
LE Tyson Jackson
NT Dontari Poe
RE Mike DeVito
NT Jerrell Powe
NT Anthony Toribio
DE Austen Lane
Tyson Jackson improved in the second half of last season while Mike DeVito comes in to help the defensive line. Keep an eye on Austen Lane, who joined the team over the summer. Lane will rotate with the defensive ends and could impress a lot of people.
As for the interior defensive line, it is Dontari Poe’s spot. Poe has Jerrell Powe and Anthony Toribio behind him, but they haven’t done much in the past.
OLB Tamba Hali
OLB Justin Houston
ILB Derrick Johnson
ILB Akeem Jordan
OLB Mike Catapano
OLB Edgar Jones
ILB Nico Johnson
ILB Zac Diles
The Chiefs will for sure start Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, all returning players who made the Pro Bowl last season.
Akeem Jordan could get the edge because of his experience and knowledge of Reid’s defense, but expect Nico Johnson to get on the gridiron quite a lot this season to try and help the defense. At some point during the season, Nico Johnson could soar as the starter on the team.
CB Brandon Flowers
CB Sean Smith
S Eric Berry
S Kendrick Lewis
CB Dunta Robinson
CB Neiko Thorpe
CB Jalil Brown
S Sanders Commings
S Tysyn Hartman
S Husain Abdullah
Sean Smith might beat out Dunta Robinson because of his unique height advantage for a cornerback, but both players will see a lot of playing time.
For the defensive backs, they should collect a lot of interceptions this year. The outside linebackers, plus a few other players, are capable of applying pressure and will force opposing quarterbacks to throw ill-advised passes. This allows the defensive backs to get some interceptions, which will help the team immensely.
K Ryan Succop
P Dustin Colquitt
LS Thomas Gafford
No surprises here: Dustin Colquitt comes back after a Pro Bowl season as Ryan Succop tries to improve. Thomas Gafford has been a consistent snapper.