Breaking Down The Chiefs May ’14 Roster

The NFL roster limit right now is 90 players, but that only counts the players under contract. After the moves since the draft and the undrafted free agent signings the Chiefs have announced they have 79 men under contract. That does not include the team’s six unsigned draft choices.

Here’s a look at the roster as it stood on Monday night. Players in italic are those that were part of the team at some point in the 2013 season. This year’s half-dozen draft choices are included in the count. Only the six undrafted free agents announced by the Chiefs have been included:

Quarterbacks (4)

Tyler Bray, Chase Daniel, Aaron Murray, Alex Smith

This will be all about the No. 3 spot as Bray and Murray compete against each other. It would not be a shock if come September all four quarterbacks remain on the 53-man roster.

Running backs (8)

Jordan Campbell (FB), Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray, Joe McKnight, Anthony Sherman (FB), De’Anthony Thomas, Charcandrick West.

Without injury Charles, Davis, Thomas and Sherman are locks for the 53-man roster. The wildcard will be McKnight; he’s a four-year veteran and has plenty of special teams abilities, including kickoff returns where in three years with the Jets, he averaged 29 yards a return and two touchdowns.

Wide receivers (11)

Donnie Avery, Dwayne Bowe, Weston Dressler, Frank Hammond, Junior Hemingway, Jerrell Jackson, A.J. Jenkins, Darryl Surgent, Fred Williams, Kyle Williams, Albert Wilson.

A guy that stands 5-7 and is coming out of the Canadian Football League (Dressler) is the most impressive addition of the off-season at the position. No wonder Dorsey and Reid are getting dinged from not bringing in more talent to raise the competition level at receiver.

Tight ends (5)

Anthony Fasano, Richard Gordon, Demetrius Harris, Travis Kelce, Sean McGrath.

No additions at this spot, putting a lot of pressure on growth from Harris and Kelce to become factors as receivers in the Chiefs offense.

Centers (2)

Rodney Hudson, Eric Kush.

There are others that could step in and play the spot if needed, but Hudson and Kush are the only centers. No increase in the competition level at this spot so far in the off-season.

Guards (5)

Jeff Allen, Zach Fulton, Ricky Henry, Otis Hudson, Rishaw Johnson.

Allen was the weakest link in the offensive line chain last year and the two guys that started opposite him are gone. Fulton will have a real chance to get playing time at right guard if he can make a quick transition to the pro game.

Tackles (3)

R.J. Dill, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Eric Fisher.

No proven additions here; even with Donald Stephenson more likely to play tackle than guard, where’s the improved competition?

Guard/Tackles (5)

Chandler Burden, Colin Kelly, Jeff Linkenbach, Donald Stephenson, Rokevious Watkins.

Linkenbach will have a chance at right guard, same with Watkins. If Linkenbach (RG) and Stephenson (RT) are in the starting lineup, there’s a very small number of games and starts on the bench at this time.

Defensive tackles (5)

Risean Broussard, Cory Grissom, Dominique Hamilton, Jaye Howard, Dontari Poe.

After Poe, there’s very little experience or production among the other four players; only Howard got on the field last season, in four games as a backup for the Chiefs.

Defensive ends (5)

Chas Alecxih, Allen Bailey, Mike Catapano, Mike DeVito, Vance Walker.

There has not been a lot of competition added at defensive end beyond the signing of free agent t who basically replaces the departed Tyson Jackson. The Chiefs will need an elevated performance from Bailey and/or Catapano.

Outside linebackers (7)

Dee Ford, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Ben Johnson, Josh Martin, Ridge Wilson, Frank Zombo.

As solid a position as there is on the Chiefs roster going into OTAs and mini-camps. Ford will get on the field this year, maybe at times with both Hali and Houston to create a triple-headed pass rushing monster.

Inside linebackers (6)

Alonzo Highsmith, Derrick Johnson, James-Michael Johnson, Nico Johnson, Joe Mays, Dezman Moses.

There doesn’t appear to be any additions or holdovers that are going to challenge Derrick Johnson at the right/weak inside linebacker spot. Mays is a nice addition to the lineup to open the season at the left/strong inside spot.

Cornerbacks (10)

Marcus Cooper, Brandon Flowers, Phillip Gaines, Vernon Kearney, Chris Owens, Ron Parker, Kevin Rutland, Sean Smith, David Van Dyke, DeMarcus Van Dyke.

If there’s a position on the 2014 teams where the competition figures to be the hottest it will be for the five or six cornerback spots on the 53-man roster. Six of those 10 corners have played in the NFL before and five of the 10 have started games. The Chiefs need somebody to step forward on the corner and challenge the first three at the position: Cooper, Flowers and Smith.

Safeties (6)

Husain Abdullah, Eric Berry, Malcolm Bronson, Sanders Commings, Jerron McMillian, Daniel Sorenson.

The free safety spot opposite Berry is open and Abdullah and Commings figure to get the first shots at joining the starting lineup. Abdullah had a very nice performance last season and has the necessary speed to play centerfield in the Chiefs secondary.

Special teams (3)

Dustin Colquitt, Thomas Gafford, Ryan Succop.

Expect a punter, kicker and/or snapper to be added to the active roster in the next few weeks and likely before training camp begins.

13 Responses to “Breaking Down The Chiefs May ’14 Roster”

  • May 12, 2014  - el cid says:

    Nice breakdown Bob. Will be interesting to see who steps up and who is along for the ride.

  • May 13, 2014  - napahank says:

    It is interesting to see you insert the question, “where is the competition added?” If somehow you could add multiple personnel to all 15 positions listed above that would mean adding 30 more players every year.

    In a perfect world, it would be nice to add 1 new first year starter and about 4 new starters in their second year. In this way you keep your team young but not so “overhauled” that you can’t build chemistry.

    I sense that a lot of players who were on the roster but got very limited or no real playing time in 2013 will be major contributors this year -barring injury. I would specifically apply this to Davis, Jenkins, Hemmingway, Williams, Kelce, Kush, Johnson, Stephenson, Bailey, N. Johnson, Parker, Abdullah and Commings.

    Looking at this list I see 13 players (with a year of NFL “experience” on the Chief’s 2013 roster) that meet or exceed any 2014 rookie player drafted in the second or third round.

    It is not the 2014 draft picks that will make the big difference for the 2014 Chiefs…it is these 13 players added to the list of starters/major contributors.

  • May 13, 2014  - Tenand6 says:

    Guessing a WR and OL pickup will join the roster before the season. Maybe a Safety, too. Chiefs could have used a few more early round picks.

  • May 13, 2014  - ChuckXX says:

    Bob; You forgot “Center” Cole Pensick from Nebraska. They signed him as a free agent after the draft. He would be the 3rd string Center and probably won’t make the final 53. But since he’s from Nebraska I thought I would mention that. Hope he beats out Kush.

  • May 13, 2014  - el cid says:

    Not to stir the pot but I read “not the 2014 draft picks that will make the difference for the 2014 Chiefs” and “could of used more early round picks”.

    If the 2014 picks do not make a difference, why draft them. At least the first couple. 32 teams in the NFL and we seem to be the only ones who are planning draftee to be difference makers in 2015 or later. Even the Super Bowl Champs added kid who would play in 2014. Just do not get it, we were not that strong last season that we can dedicate a draft for 2 years from now.

    As for picks, we only lost one 2nd round pick, if Dorsey wanted more early picks he could have traded away some from 2015, he did not. He is quoted as saying for every pick there were 4 kids to chose from and since they did not pick a WR or S, it suggests they did not like what was there.

  • May 13, 2014  - R W says:

    Good information from Bob, as usual. We really won’t know what kind of hand the 2014 draft has dealt us until about a couple of weeks into training camp with the pads on and the hitting has begun. Some of these guys will surprise, others will disappoint but hope springs eternal this time of year.

    I’m beginning to think that Aaron Murray may be red-shirted this upcoming season given his ACL will need some added healing time from his surgery last November. Then again, people heal at different rates so that will bear watching.

    Rambling on, will the real Kelce please stand up and come on down? An added legitimate downfield target for Alex Smith would be a sorely needed upgrade over last year’s production from the TEs. This upcoming schedule including the NFC West is going to examine many things on the Chiefs: Coaching, execution and player courage.

  • May 13, 2014  - Ernie Barney says:

    One area that I am excited about is the potential for a great pass rush. Lack of which really hurt the Chiefs late in the 13 season.

  • May 13, 2014  - TimR says:

    Nice breakdown, Bob. Based on where we drafted, and how the board looked when we picked, I can’t fault them too much at this point. It was necessary to choose some players that have the chance to transition out of large, underproducing contracts on defense AND some OL depth. When factoring how they view their own players, it would seem they feel they can productively get by this year. Don’t forget. There will be cuts from other teams. We very well could pick up a S, WR, OL, etc. What does concern me a bit though is Reid’s downplay of the WR position. He had GREAT teams in Philly that couldn’t get over the hump because he didn’t have playmakers on the perimeter. He finally got some in Jackson & Maclin, but the die was already cast on the rest of the roster. I’m just glad Dorsey is there to balance that view out because Green Bay always looked out for that WR position. My guess is that this year Dorsey gave the benefit of the doubt to Reid in the evaluations of what they felt like was needed most. If we have lackluster WR play from them in the passing game this year, look for Dorsey to pull rank in the evaluation process.

  • May 13, 2014  - Redcross says:

    napahank, good analysis. Draft picks typically get much better their second and third years. If they are not contributing as starters by year 3, they likely never will. Dorsey has said that players make their greatest jump in ability in their second year.

  • May 13, 2014  - txchief says:

    I’m eager to see what Sanders Commings, Eric Kush and Nico Johnson have to add after losing their rookie seasons to injury. They all could hold some promise to contribute. Kush may be able to play some guard, where the Chiefs are a little thin.

  • May 13, 2014  - Michael D says:

    tx, don’t forget about Kelce. Could be a three headed monster at that position.

  • May 18, 2014  - cychief24 says:

    Our Chiefs were a 2-14 train wreck of a puke-fest in 2012. Reid/Dorsey get us in the Playoffs the very next year. I will be giving them the benefit of the doubt for quite awhile.
    Our schedule is brutal in ’14 with the NFC West. Like Bob has said, the adults are in charge again.
    I’m in for the long haul. I believe Reid/Dorsey will get our Chiefs to where Carl/Marty got us and beyond. It may take some tough decisions and asking loyal Chiefs players to renegotiate for the good of the team.
    The key cog right now is Alex. Will he put a ring above money?

  • May 19, 2014  - ED J says:

    Seriously doubt the Chiefs carry 4 Qbs on 53 man roster. Special teams & depth just too important for this team. Its Daniel job on the hot seat. If Murray or Bray show their able to execute the playbook at a high level. That makes Daniel expendable and saves the team around 1.5 mill in cap space. And as limited as the cap space is for the Chiefs would make perfect sense to let him go if one of those two are ready.

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