Bye Week Chiefs: One through 50

As the Chiefs have scattered around the country to spend time with friends and family, those folks are filling them up with a lot of back slaps and high-fives on the team’s 3-0 start. How they handle that – especially the younger players – will go a long way to deciding whether they can shock everyone and go 4-0 with a victory over the Colts in Indianapolis next weekend.

So far three games into the 2010 season, they have achieved far more than anyone could have imagined. They’ve done it by playing better on game day than any of their three opponents. Yes, those opponents are 1-8 on the season, but both San Diego and San Francisco are talented teams.

The Chiefs are showing they have some talent too. As October begins here’s my updated ratings on the active roster, one through 50. For this edition of the ratings I’ve left out the specialists. We’ll include them back in later. I’ve also put more weight on what they’ve shown in three games and not so much weight on the big picture and where they may be going in their careers.

Here it goes, no wagering please.

  1. CB BRANDON FLOWERS (RIGHT)– Whether against the run or the pass, he’s played at a top level in all three games this season to date. Flowers is climbing the ladder among AFC cornerbacks and if he continues in the direction he’s going to be Pro Bowler sooner rather than later.
  2. OLB TAMBA HALI – After three sacks, he must continue to put pressure on the passer.
  3. RB JAMAAL CHARLES – Obviously the most explosive offensive threat on the team.
  4. LT BRANDEN ALBERT – Nobody is talking about Albert; a sure sign he’s getting the job done.
  5. ILB DERRICK JOHNSON – He’s moved on from last year and he’s flying around making plays.  
  6. LG BRIAN WATERS – Healthy and in the shape of his life, he’s playing his best football in years.
  7. WR/RB DEXTER MCCLUSTER – A talent that when full go will leave burn marks on the NFL.
  8. RB THOMAS JONES – Veteran continues to be reliable on field and especially in the locker room.
  9. ILB JOVAN BELCHER – Second-year undrafted linebacker is the gem of the ’09 rookie class so far. Of course the ’09 draft class has been a bust – save Ryan Succop – but Belcher is one of the reasons the Chiefs are stopping the run. He’s flowing to the gaps and arriving with a thud, doing all the things you want from an inside linebacker. Among developing players, he may have come the farther than anyone. This might be a bit high for him after just three games as the starter, but Belcher’s arrow is point up, up, up.
  10. TE TONY MOEAKI – The Iowa product could end up being the best choice of the ’10 draft class.
  11. CB JAVIER ARENAS – Continues to show that on any return, he’s capable of going all the way.
  12. WR DWAYNE BOWE – Despite the lack of catches, he’s getting the job done for the offense.
  13. RG RYAN LILJA – After last year’s revolving door at right guard, Lilja has come in and stabilized the position, while providing another aspect for the offense with his mobility. More and more the Chiefs are moving their interior linemen in the running game with sweeps and traps. That’s right up Lilja’s alley and with his experience in pass protection from Indianapolis he’s getting the job done.
  14. C CASEY WIEGMANN (left) – The 15-year veteran continues to amaze with his ability to handle the NT.
  15. QB MATT CASSEL – He’s been up and down in throwing the football and needs more consistency.
  16. SS ERIC BERRY – No. 1 draft choice is inconsistent now, but flashes the skills and will move up soon.
  17. OLB MIKE VRABEL – The veteran doesn’t have the speed, but he has the brains and guts on the edge.
  18. DE GLENN DORSEY – In his third year he continues to make improvement, although in baby steps.
  19. CB BRANDON CARR – With Flowers on the other side, he’s sees more than his share of balls.
  20. DE WALLACE GILBERRY – Despite a back problem, he continues to consistently pressure the passer.
  21. DL SHAUN SMITH – There was no indication during the off-season program that Smith had any chance to make the roster. He appeared out of shape and was running with the third team. For whatever reason, once training camp started, Smith became a force. There are questions about his overall conditioning because he tends to disappear late in the game, but the injury to Tyson Jackson has forced him on the field more. If he can get back to sharing time, he could be even more effective against the run.
  22. FS KENDRICK LEWIS – Rookie appears to have become the starter at FS; has shown he will hit.
  23. WR CHRIS CHAMBERS – So far he’s been very quiet in the passing game; trouble getting open?
  24. OLB ANDY STUDEBAKER – Despite a new contract, he hasn’t seen much time on defense so far.
  25. G JON ASAMOAH – He’s part of the goal line/short yardage package; he’ll catch a ball soon.
  26. FB TIM CASTILLE – Not many opportunities at FB, but he’s a solid blocker and special teams player.
  27. C RUDY NISWANGER – Last year’s starter gets only snaps on FGs and PATs right now.
  28. NT RON EDWARDS – His sack last week against the 49ers was a revelation; do it more.
  29. RT BARRY RICHARDSON – After the first two pre-season games, Richardson’s chances of making the team figured to be slim and none. But when Ryan O’Callaghan got hurt, it was his opportunity and the third-year man out of Clemson has taken advantage of the chance. He’s played more snaps in the last five games (two pre-season and three regular season) than any player on the roster. There’s growth and improvement.
  30. ILB DEMORRIO WILLIAMS – His role as a sometimes nickel pass rusher hasn’t produced much.
  31. QB BRODIE CROYLE – He keeps his head in the game and prepares well, just what No. 2 must do.
  32. ILB CORY GREENWOOD – The Canadian import continues to get things done on special teams.
  33. FS JONMCGRAW – A hamstring injury has slowed him and cost him a game and playing time.
  34. RT RYAN O’CALLAGHAN – The groin injury he suffered Aug. 24 still hasn’t healed; not good.
  35. TE LEONARD POPE – Supplanted by Moeaki as the starter, but he gets plenty of blocking time.
  36. S RESHARD LANGFORD – Ankle injury has slowed him down; kicking game contributions only.
  37. WR TERRANCE COPPER – Gets the job done in the kicking game as well as anybody on the roster.
  38. CB TRAVIS DANIELS – No. 4 cornerback who gets time when Arenas needs a blow.
  39. DE TYSON JACKSON – His knee injury cost him two games and the defense got better; not good.
  40. S DONALD WASHINGTON – He’s gotten time in the nickel defense and hasn’t been exposed.
  41. ILB COREY MAYS – Starter last year at ILB, but now a special teamer only
  42. WR JEREMY HORNE – Rookie free agent has been active for two games due to special teams.
  43. RB JACKIE BATTLE – Pretty much relegated to special teams duty and carries in a blow out.
  44. TE JAKE O’CONNELL – Second year TE gets a lot of special teams time and in three TEs sets.
  45. DT ANTHONY TORIBIO – Waiver claim has played in two games and shows basic skills.
  46. LB JUSTIN COLE – Undrafted rookie LB hasn’t been able to get on the field yet for a game.
  47. FB MIKE COX – Third-year back faces tough fight every week to be active for special teams use.
  48. LB CHARLIE ANDERSON – Recently signed, he hasn’t gotten on the field yet.
  49. DE ALEX MAGEE – Last year’s third round pick has been inactive for two of three games. Not good.
  50. CB JACKIE BATES – Smallish first-year corner hasn’t gotten a chance in game action yet.

11 Responses to “Bye Week Chiefs: One through 50”

  • October 2, 2010  - Zac says:

    Love the review Bob. Always good to see everyone on the roster listed so we can get an overview of not only the starters but some of the bit players as well. Love little things like this that help us get to know everyone on the team.

  • October 2, 2010  - aPauled says:

    I was getting worried when I didn’t see Belcher’s name earlier. I would rate him ahead of Jones and McCluster at #7. Belcher is amazing at the Strong side ILB considering his size and experience.

    Brandon Flowers is the unquestioned #1. Nice start on his way to the Pro Bowl this year. DJ may have challenged after game 2, but didn’t standout against SF.

    Brandon Carr should probably be a little higher.

    Bowe is probably a little high considering his talent and having made only 1 play this season. Gotta get those Stone Hands softened up.

  • October 2, 2010  - Roger says:

    Bob, good report! Would like to see how you ranked each of those players earlier in the season to see if they have come up or down in your estimation.
    ext time could you put previous ranking in there?

  • October 2, 2010  - Nate says:

    Good report Bob! It’s kind of funny how we all think. Javon Belser is the best player from last years rookie class, yet we don’t give Pioli credit for him in our evaluation of last years draft. To find a gem like him from a small school like Maine, is tremendous. Succup, Belser,Ty Jackson (starting to look like a player) and Donald Washington. (Washington was in the game as a DB on the final goal line stand in the win agains’t San Diego) I think maybe we have all been too quick to call last years draft a bust. It wasn’t great but here are 4 players who are making plays and have real potential to get better in the future.

  • October 3, 2010  - TDKC says:

    T Jack showed up in the SD game. It was the first time I actually thought he might not be a bust. I guess we’ll see when he recovers and is back on the field. I’d sure like to see him put Manning on his butt.

  • October 3, 2010  - Walter says:

    I’m beginning to wonder about Chris Chambers. After signing last year, he and Cassel hooked up often. They continued the trend during training camp. Now he’s almost invisible. Has he signed yet another contract and gone in the tank? I sure hope not.

  • October 3, 2010  - Edward says:

    I’m with you Nate way too early to call 2009 draft class a bust. You really can’t evaluate how good that class is until at least 2012. Magee is still devloping. Jackson in his first game showing them flashes like I thought he would so far this season. Belcher is stepping his game up. Washington has been getting some reps and still work in progress. And Succop has still been solid. Though he needs to tighten up on them short yardage kicks this season. Either way its too early to label this 09 class a bust.

  • October 3, 2010  - Edward says:

    And I also think the defense getting better in Jackson absence is no reflection him just because he was out due to injury. That to me means everyone else just stepped up. Also who’s to say if he was there we still wouldn’t have played well.

  • October 3, 2010  - Edward says:

    They looked preety good that first game to me.

  • October 4, 2010  - Michael O says:

    I’m surprised they aren’t looking to improve the bottom of the roster. I’ve seen a few young players cut from very good teams. We should be claiming some of these players. i.e. Shelley Smith OG from the Texans.

  • October 4, 2010  - el cid says:

    Got to believe Pioli is at least looking at the leftovers to add depth. ie 3 LB in for a look even though two were as old as Job. Do not know Smith, but must not have been an answer.

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