5 Kansas City Chiefs Rookies Who Will Play Vital Roles in 2012

J.P. Scott@TheJPScottSenior Analyst IJune 19, 2012

5 Kansas City Chiefs Rookies Who Will Play Vital Roles in 2012

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    The Kansas City Chiefs enter the 2012 season with justifiably high hopes. A stacked roster and several superstars returning from injury have the Chiefs poised to make a run at the AFC West titles, and possibly a deep playoff run.

    With depth always a concern, here are five rookies, all taken in the draft, who will play vital roles in the success of the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs. 

DeQuan Menzie

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    Menzie is a versatile corner who will add depth to the corner position for the Chiefs. His ferocious tackling style with allow the Chiefs to use him as a safety when needed for run support. I expect him to compete with Stanford Routt at some point for a starting job. 

Junior Hemingway

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    Hemingway is a big-bodied receiver who can play as a No. 1 or 2 receiver. He will prove to be a valuable backup to Bowe or Baldwin and should see considerable playing time in 4-wide sets.

Cyrus Gray

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    Gray is closer to Jamaal Charles than Peyton Hillis in terms of running style.  As such, he may be used in the same packages as Charles.

    Coming off a solid but underrated college career, I see see Gray stepping into a semi-starting role if Charles should give way again. If given the opportunity, he has the ability to surprise people the way Arian Foster did two years ago.

Dontari Poe

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    Poe's job will be to eat up as many offensive linemen as possible to allow the rest of Kansas City's defense to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks in a pass-happy division.  

    His combination of size and strength will be a game plan changer for opposing teams, as it will almost always take more than one man to block him.

Devon Wylie

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    Wylie is a prototypical slot receiver with top end speed. He'll cause matchup nightmares every time he's on the field. It will be up to Matt Cassel to exploit them.

    He has all the tools to have an 80-catch, 1,000-yard campaign during his rookie season.