The preseason came to a close on Thursday evening, and Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey and Head Coach Andy Reid will have arguably one of the toughest cuts to date with the depth on this roster.
A consideration to keep in mind is that former Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson is now with the Philadelphia Eagles and has previously worked with some of these players in a similar system. The Eagles are one of teams that may have heavy interest in former Chiefs that hit the waiver wire on Saturday.
Quarterbacks (3): Alex Smith, Nick Foles and Tyler Bray
Cut: Aaron Murray and Kevin Hogan
Bray gets the nod over Hogan because of the experience in the system and the most promising deep ball. Murray struggled with his accuracy and decision making throughout the preseason.
Running Backs (5): Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, Darrin Reaves and Anthony Sherman
Trade Opportunity: Knile Davis
Reaves has played his way onto the roster with tough running ability and good hands. Davis was given an opportunity to showcase himself during the final preseason game but lacked the explosiveness of the running backs listed above on the roster.
Wide Receiver (6): Jeremy Maclin, Rod Streater, Chris Conley, Tyreek Hill, Demarcus Robinson and Albert Wilson
Trade Opportunity: De’Anthony Thomas
Cut: Da’Ron Brown and Frankie Hammond
The numbers will be interesting at the fifth and sixth spot. Robinson had a strong preseason on special teams and is too high of a pick to expose to waivers. Wilson showed a lack of effort and would be an intriguing trade candidate for a similar system. Thomas gave a strong performance during the preseason but his injury history pushes him elsewhere in a trade. Hammond has a strong performance in the final game and has found a way onto the roster the past three seasons but there is enough depth to head in a different direction.
Tight End (3): Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris and Ross Travis
Cut: James O’Shaughnessy and Brian Parker
The tight end position appears to be set based on the reps during training camp. O’Shaughnessy hasn’t looked this preseason in terms of explosiveness.
Offensive Line (7): Eric Fisher, Parker Ehinger, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitchell Schwartz, Zach Fulton and Jah Reid
Cut: Jarrod Pughsley, Daniel Munyer, Jordan Devey, and Zach Sterup
The Chiefs could use a veteran swing tackle and allow Reid to move into the primary backup guard position. Sterup showed promise during the preseason but the four-game suspension could cost him an opportunity on the practice squad.
Defensive Line (7): Dontari Poe, Jaye Howard, Allen Bailey, Chris Jones, Nick Williams, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and David King
Cut: Jimmy Staten
Williams, Nunez-Roches and King all had strong performances during the preseason and the defensive line will need all the pass rushing help it can find it their rotation.
Outside Linebackers (5): Tamba Hali, Frank Zombo, Dee Ford, Dezman Moses and Dadi Nicolas
Cut: Andy Mulumba
The Chiefs will likely watch the cuts closely for pass rushing help. Moses and Nicolas can both make an immediate impact on special teams and help in pass rushing down as part of a rotation. Zombo provides a good special teams player, solid run defender and a fifth inside linebacker if needed.
Inside Linebacker (4): Derrick Johnson, Justin March, Ramik Wilson and D.J. Alexander
Cut: Terrance Smith
The linebacker position seems to work itself out with Josh Mauga going to injured reserve.
Cornerback (6): Marcus Peters, Phillip Gaines, Steven Nelson, D.J. White, KeiVarae Russell and Kenneth Acker
Cut: Marcus Cooper and Deveron Carr
White and Russell will provide youthful depth in the secondary. Acker will provide insurance for Gaines at the outside cornerback position and an ability to play special teams. The addition of Acker may have forced Cooper out the door.
Safety (4): Eric Berry, Ron Parker, Daniel Sorenson and Eric Murray
Cut: Brock Vereen, Jamell Fleming, Jeron Johnson, and Shak Randolph
The safety position will be a unique spot because there is quality for a fifth safety with Vereen but the numbers are needed at other positions.
Specialist (3): Dustin Colquitt, Cairo Santos and James Winchester
The Chiefs have no competition at this position and all had good performances during the preseason.
Practice Squad (7): QB Kevin Hogan, WR Da’Ron Brown, OT Zach Sterup, OG Garrick Mayweather, DL Jimmy Staten, ILB Terrance Smith and S Shak Randolph
All the players listed above have shown promise during training camp and in the preseason games. Hogan provides an athletic quarterback that has both accuracy and anticipation. Brown is a promising wide receiver that needs more time to develop precision in his routes.
Sterup has solid technique but needs to be coached on his footwork and improve his strength. Mayweather was in the previous cutdown but has a good base to work with. Staten performed provides a potential defensive lineman that can bump out to the 53 if there is an injury.
Smith needs a year to develop his strength but the speed and coverage ability is promising. Randolph continued to improves throughout the month of August and provides a fifth safety in case of an injury. There are ten spots on the practice squad, so three have been left open for potential roster cuts around the league.
Keep an eye out: Swing tackle, pass rushing linebacker, inside linebacker and wide receiver
The Chiefs could use an additional veteran swing tackle if one became available on the open market. With the loss of Houston and the lack of progress for Ford, the Chiefs may need to find an additional pass rusher to help them in pass rushing situations. The loss of Mauga may force the Chiefs to look for a veteran run stuffer that can take on blocks effectively. If a veteran wide receiver comes available on the open market it would be a beneficial addition for the sixth spot.