Kansas City Chiefs: Predicting the 53-Man Roster

TJ GerrityCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 24:  Detail of a Kansas City Chiefs helmet during the game against the Atlanta Falcons on October 24, 2004 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Falcons 56-10.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Todd Haley has said all along that players will have to "earn the Arrowhead stickers" on the sides of their helmets, and they will get them when they make the team. Up until this point, nobody has an Arrowhead on their helmet.

Does that mean that nobody is guaranteed a spot on the team? Well, that's what Haley wants everyone to think.

As of today, all teams were required to trim five players from their squads. Being released from the Chiefs includes former starters Alphonso Boone and Amani Toomer, which is surprising, but also a class act by Haley and Pioli. If they believed they weren't going to make the team anyway, cutting them today will give them a better chance to make another team.


Quarterback: 3

1. Matt Cassel

2. Brodie Croyle

3. Matt Guiterrez

Quick Hit - Thigpen may be the better playmaker than both Croyle and Guiterrez, but he doesn't fit the system. He looks awful in practice, and only looks good in games when he's running. With Chan Gailey out as Offensive Coordinator, Thigpen's chances of making this team dwindles, as the offense that let him thrive is now gone.


Running Back: 4

4. Larry Johnson

5. Jackie Battle

6. Jamaal Charles

7. Mike Cox

Quick Hit - Kolby Smith was placed on injured reserve today, and Javarris Williams will more than likely be released along with Dantrell Savage, as neither can help that much on special teams. Jackie Battle lost weight this year and has impressed Haley enough to earn a spot on the depth chart behind LJ.


Wide Receiver: 6

8.  Dwayne Bowe

9.  Mark Bradley

10. Bobby Engram

11. Quinten Lawrence

12. Ashley Lelie

13. Terrance Copper

Quick Hit - This is probably the hardest position to predict. Devard Darling would have been on this list as a starter opposite Bowe most likely, but with his injury, he was placed in Injured Reserve for the year with his torn ACL.

Terrence Copper is starting Thursday night along side Mark Bradley, and that is the only reason I have him making the team. Most likely the starters will be Bowe and Bradley. Copper, in my opinion, has had too many drops in preseason to make this squad. But, for some reason, Haley seems to like him.

Ashley Lelie probably only makes the roster as a replacement for Darling, both of whom are considered speed guys. Lelie, in his limited playing time during the third preseason game looked good, and most importantly, didn't drop a pass. He was in sync with the offense and deserves a spot.

If Haley and Pioli happens to find a return man who is cut from another team, look for the Chiefs to cut a player from this group. In order of likely hood: Copper, Lelie, and Lawrence


Tight End: 3

14. Brad Cottam

15. Sean Ryan

16. Jake O'Connell

Quick Hit - Tony Curtis and Tom Crabtree never really had a chance to make this team. If a better blocking tight end is released from another team, O'Connell's job might be in danger, but otherwise, this position is pretty set. Also something to look for - Haley has worked out long snapper Thomas Gafford at tight end in practice. If he feels that Gafford can make a contribution in this area, O'Connell will be out on the streets, in order to create a roster spot elsewhere.


Offensive Linemen: 9

17. Branden Albert

18. Brian Waters

19. Rudy Niswanger

20. Mike Goff

21. Damion McIntosh

22. Barry Richardson

23. Andy Alleman

24. Ike Ndukwe

25. Wade Smith

Quick Hit - Most teams will carry 10 offensive linemen, but the reserve linemen the Chiefs have can all play multiple positions. Richardson will be the primary back-up at both tackle positions. Both Smith and Alleman can play guard and center, and Ndukwe can play both tackle and guard.

If one of these guys goes down for a significant period of time, look for Herb Taylor to be the first called up (if another team doesn't pluck him up first)


Defensive Linemen: 6

26. Tyson Jackson

27. Ron Edwards

28. Glenn Dorsey

29. Alex Magee

30. Tank Tyler

31. Wallace Gilberry

Quick Hit - Until Wednesday, I had Alphonso Boone on this roster as the key reserve on the defensive line. Because of this cut, Wallace Gilberry will more than likely take his spot. Gilberry, in all probability, won't make the team for long, as the Pioli will more than likely pick up somebody's leftovers after the Saturday deadline for roster cuts.


Linebackers: 9

32. Tamba Hali

33. Derrick Johnson

34. Zach Thomas

35. Mike Vrabel

36. Corey Mays

37. Jovan Belcher

38. Andy Studebaker

39. Turk McBride

40. Demarrio Williams

Quick Hit - This might be the deepest position the Chiefs have, and have some quality back-ups at all four positions. If Corey Mays keeps up his play, he might even take over Zach Thomas' starting position. The bottom two LB positions are going to be a race with three different guys.

Monty Beisel is also in the race to make the squad. Williams is the better LB, but Beisel is the better special teams player. If Haley believes that Zach Thomas can stay healthy the rest of the year, he could go with Beisel because of his special teams contributions. If not, Williams provides the better backup.

Cornerbacks: 6

41. Brandon Flowers

42. Brandon Carr

43. Maurice Leggett

44. Donald Washington

45. Travis Daniels

46. Ricardo Colclough

Quick Hit - The two starting CBs (Flowers and Carr) and nickel back (Leggett) are pretty set in stone. Washington, as a fourth round pick, will obviously make the roster with potential to be a starting cornerback some day. He's an amazing athlete who just needs a little work on technique. Daniels and Colclough are decent enough backups with excellent special teams contributions.

Safeties: 4

47. Jarrad Page

48. Bernard Pollard

49. Mike Brown

50. Jon McGraw

Quick Hit - The odd man out in this is DeJuan Morgan, who is not as good of a special teams player as Jon McGraw. Mike Brown was brought in by this regime, so his spot on this roster is pretty secure. If Thomas Gafford ends up working out as a reserve tight end, Haley might make room on this roster for Morgan as a developmental player.

Special Teams: 3

51. Dustin Colquitt - Punter

52. Ryan Succup - Place Kicker

53. Thomas Gafford - Long Snapper


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