Breaking Down the Kansas City Chiefs' 53-Man Roster

Farzin Vousoughian@farzin21Contributor IIISeptember 3, 2013

Breaking Down the Kansas City Chiefs' 53-Man Roster

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    In his first year as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Andy Reid has formed his first official 53-man roster. With training camp, preseason games, cuts and constructing the roster all in the rearview mirror, Reid prepares to take his team to Jacksonville as he gets ready to make his official debut with the Chiefs.

    Every NFL team's agenda is to prepare for Week 1 of the season. For Kansas City, that means it must get ready to face Jacksonville on the road this Sunday. With a full roster created, everyone has a good idea of how the Chiefs will do and what they will look like each week.

    In this slideshow, I will break down Kansas City's 53-man roster.

    As always, feel free to comment below with your thoughts on the roster.

    *Denotes rookie.


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    Starter: Alex Smith

    Backups: Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray*

    Alex Smith gets a fresh start in Kansas City after being replaced as the starting quarterback in San Francisco. Reid got a smart and experienced quarterback who fits his West Coast offense when the Chiefs traded for Smith this past offseason.

    The Chiefs will rely on Smith to help the passing game, which finished 25th, at best, with Cassel as the team's primary quarterback.

    Chase Daniel will remain as a backup quarterback in the NFL but could have his name called if Smith gets hurt. As for Tyler Bray, he will continue his football career in Kansas City as an undrafted player but will likely see very limited time this year.

Running Back

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    Starter: Jamaal Charles

    Backups: Knile Davis* and Cyrus Gray

    Compared to what he's dealt with in the past, Jamaal Charles will play under the most complex offense in his career. But it's an offense that fits him well. With his speed, defenses are going to have a hard time stopping the Chiefs.

    But Charles isn't the only scatback on Kansas City's roster.

    Knile Davis got to show off his speed in the preseason in multiple ways and will go into the regular season as Charles' top alternative. Cyrus Gray may even see a couple of touches in games this year to help the offense.


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    Starter: Anthony Sherman

    Backups: N/A

    While it remained a mystery as to who would be the team's fullback, it was for sure known that the Chiefs would bring back the fullback position after abandoning it for the majority of the 2012 season. After going through a myriad of fullbacks this offseason, the Chiefs decided that Anthony Sherman is the best player for the position.

    Chiefs fans hope Sherman can be active as a blocker and when he gets his chance to try to make plays with the football in his hands.

Tight End

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    Starter: Anthony Fasano

    Backups: Travis Kelce* and Sean McGrath

    Anthony Fasano caught five touchdown passes last year, which is more than Kansas City's leader in touchdown receptions. The Chiefs hope that Fasano can carry that individual success over to Kansas City and do better. But with Tony Moeaki placed on injured reserve, Fasano remains as the only tight end on the team with any professional experience.

    Sean McGrath did not accumulate any statistics in the two games he played for Seattle, while Travis Kelce looks to get his NFL career underway.

    Although Kelce is a rookie, he was highly regarded as one of the best tight ends in the nation last year. He could give Reid flashbacks of Brent Celek as he learns from Fasano and looks to get a lot of passes thrown his direction from Smith.

Wide Receiver

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    Starters: Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery

    Backups: Dexter McCluster, A.J. Jenkins, Chad Hall and Junior Hemingway

    After going through a slump during a two-win season, Dwayne Bowe is ready to bounce back under a new offense. While the Chiefs are without Jon Baldwin, Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster can easily make up for that and perhaps do even better.

    Chad Hall played in Philadelphia for two years and has a good understanding of how Reid wants to run an offense.

    Meanwhile, Junior Hemingway was on the practice squad for 16 of the 17 weeks in the league and hopes to get more time on the field. Given the depth chart, it could be hard for him to see time on the gridiron for the second straight season.

Left Tackle

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    Starter: Branden Albert

    Backup: Donald Stephenson

    It is uncertain if Branden Albert will return to Kansas City in 2013. He also has a lot to prove as he's gone through a roller-coaster career since being drafted in 2008. Nonetheless, Albert should be able to succeed after being granted his wish and being given the position he wanted to play.

    Donald Stephenson saw some action at both tackle positions and might step in again if injuries occur.

Left Guard

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    Starter: Jeff Allen

    Backups: N/A

    Jeff Allen played well as a rookie when he helped fill in during Rodney Hudson's absence. Now, Allen must prove he can step up, as he goes into the season as the primary left guard with very few backup linemen on the team.


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    Starter: Rodney Hudson

    Backup: Eric Kush*

    Rodney Hudson is still the team's top center, but there are some concerns surrounding him. Can he stay healthy? Will he live up to expectations as a center? If Hudson goes down to injury again, the Chiefs may allow Eric Kush to take over. Kush flourished at a small school in California, Pa., and could be a pleasant surprise if given the chance.

Right Guard

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    Starter: Jon Asamoah

    Backups: N/A

    In the last two years as Kansas City's right guard, Jon Asamoah is one of the more dominant and underrated guards in the league, committing only six penalties and allowing just five sacks. He will be a big asset to Smith and the running backs.

Right Tackle

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    Starter: Eric Fisher*

    Backup: Geoff Schwartz

    After letting Eric Winston go, general manager John Dorsey decided to draft Eric Fisher with the top pick. His versatility allows him to play the right tackle spot. Expect Charles to take advantage of Fisher's blocks and attack the right side quite often.

    Although Schwartz hasn't started a game since 2010, his versatility is his biggest strength. He can play both guard and tackle spots and is ready to fill in at any time.

Left Defensive End

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    Starter: Tyson Jackson

    Backups: Allen Bailey and Mike Catapano*

    Tyson Jackson stepped up late last season and could be viewed as one of the leaders by his teammates. Behind him, he has Mike Catapano, who was last year's Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year. His size and stature could create problems for opposing offenses.

    As for Allen Bailey, he hasn't made much of an impact in his two seasons with the Chiefs but will get another chance with a new coaching staff.

Nose Tackle

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    Starter: Dontari Poe

    Backup: Jaye Howard

    As a rookie, Dontari Poe had a good season. He came up with 38 tackles and batted down four passes. Jaye Howard, who came from the same draft class as Poe, was recently cut by Seattle and will get another shot in Kansas City after playing two games last year.

Right Defensive End

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    Starter: Mike DeVito

    Backup: Anthony Toribio

    With the departure of Glenn Dorsey, Mike DeVito will fill in as the team's new defensive end on the right side and should give Kansas City a stronger presence up front at defensive line. Anthony Toribio hasn't played much but could see time at nose tackle and defensive end this year.

Inside Linebacker

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    Starters: Derrick Johnson and Akeem Jordan

    Backups: Nico Johnson* and James-Michael Johnson

    Derrick Johnson has led the team in tackles the past three years and evolved into one of the best linebackers in the league today. Beside him is Akeem Jordan, who played for Reid in Philadelphia the past six years.

    As for the backups, the Chiefs have some strong depth in rookie Nico Johnson, who was part of three national championships at Alabama. The Chiefs also picked up James-Michael Johnson, who was recently cut by the Cleveland Browns and may fit better in Kansas City.

Outside Linebacker

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    Starters: Tamba Hali and Justin Houston

    Backups: Dezman Moses, Frank Zombo and Josh Martin*

    Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are two of the most premier and feared pass-rushers in the league today. Dezman Moses, who was surprisingly cut by Green Bay, will support the Pro Bowl linebackers. As an undrafted rookie, Moses came up with four sacks and forced one fumble. He also pulled through on special teams when he scored a touchdown by returning a blocked punt.

    Frank Zombo, another former Packer, and Josh Martin made some plays in the preseason that allowed them to earn their keep on the team.


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    Starters: Brandon Flowers and Sean Smith

    Backups: Dunta Robinson, Marcus Cooper* and Ron Parker

    Brandon Flowers has been solid in his coverage and run stop but has not had much support since Brandon Carr left. Now, Flowers has a lot of help.

    Sean Smith can help the Chiefs with their coverage, giving them a size advantage against receivers. Dunta Robinson also has a lot of starting experience with the Falcons and Texans and has a total of 17 interceptions throughout his career. Marcus Cooper and Ron Parker will see a little bit of time on defense, with most of their playing time occurring on special teams.

Strong Safety

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    Starter: Eric Berry

    Backup: Quintin Demps

    Eric Berry was voted into the Pro Bowl last year based on name recognition and may not return due to the new format. If he returns to his 2010 form and steps up as a veteran, then he could punch his third Pro Bowl ticket.

    The Chiefs were impressed with Quintin Demps' ability to shine on special teams and will keep him as a backup safety.

Free Safety

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    Starter: Kendrick Lewis

    Backups: Husain Abdullah and Sanders Commings*

    Kendrick Lewis enters his fourth year as the starting safety but must find a way to avoid injury. Husain Abdullah didn't play football last year due to religious reasons, but his past excites the Chiefs as he provides depth.

    Sanders Commings, who was drafted in 2012 as a center fielder by the Arizona Diamondbacks, can use his ball-locating skills as a defensive back in football. For now, most of his time will come on special teams.


    New backup: Bradley McDougald*, Sanders Commings sent to IR.

    It has been a wild ride for Bradley McDougald, who played nearby at the University of Kansas. The former Jayhawk made the team, but then released. Now, he re-signed with the team and is part of the 53-man roster.

    McDougald played well individually and managed to come up with some takeaways during his senior year under Charlie Weis. He had some flashes in the preseason and looks to build his way up through special teams and some limited playing time on defense.

    The Chiefs decided to place Commings on injured reserve. Commings missed nearly all of training camp after breaking his left collarbone.



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    Kicker: Ryan Succop

    Punter: Dustin Colquitt

    Holder: Dustin Colquitt, Chase Daniel

    Long Snapper: Thomas Gafford

    After Ryan Succop missed three of six field-goal attempts in the final four games of the 2012 season, he connected on all nine attempts this preseason. Dustin Colquitt returns as a reigning Pro Bowl punter, while Gafford gets ready for his sixth year with the Chiefs.

Return Specialist

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    Kick Returner: Dexter McCluster

    Punt Returner: Dexter McCluster

    For now, the Chiefs' depth chart has McCluster as the only player listed for return duties. McCluster did show flashes of a couple good punt returns during his rookie season but has been inconsistent.

    After what Demps and Davis showed in the preseason, and given the fact they made the team, special teams coordinator Dave Toub has some viable options.