Kansas City Chiefs 53-Man Roster Final Take

Photo by Ethan Jackson

The final preseason game of the year is upon us as the Kansas City Chiefs are headed north to take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. As normal, with the 4th preseason game, none of the starters will even suit up for this one and both teams just want to get one final look at the back end of the roster before cuts this weekend. By 4:00 PM ET (3 PM central) on Saturday the Chiefs (and all NFL teams) must trim their rosters from 90 men down to 53 that will be used for the rest of the season. Up to an additional 10 players can be kept as part of the practice squad. Back at the beginning of August, I took a first look at how I thought the roster would shake out. After a month of football, a few injuries, and the vast majority of the preseason games; I’m going to take another stab at predicting the final 53 man roster for your Chiefs after Saturday. First thing to point out is that several guys are going to end up being placed on the Injured Reserve list and not count toward the roster – Marcus Kemp, Keith Reaser, and John Lovett have already been placed there. I fully expect both Breeland Speaks and Chad Henne to join them. Breeland Speaks probably will be designated to return at some point this season. With all that said here’s how I see the final 53 shaking out.

  • Quarterbacks (2) – Patrick Mahomes, Matt Moore
    • Kyle Shurmur will be kept on the practice squad as well, he could possibly make the final 53 if they choose to keep 3 Quarterbacks, but I find that highly unlikely.  Matt Moore was signed to replace the injured Chad Henne, he’ll be the #2 guy and be a solid veteran presence to back up Mahomes. Shurmur will be kept around to develop as he showed far more than Chase Litton did this preseason.
  • Running Backs (4) – Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson, Darrell Williams, Tremon Smith
    • Nothing changed from the original predictions here. Darwin Thompson has moved up the depth chart to be the #2 guy to start the season which is big for the rookie. Tremon Smith is too valuable on Special Teams to be left off the roster and Darrell Williams is a steady guy who will be a solid and reliable backup to the first 2.
  • Fullback (1) – Anthony Sherman
  • Wide Receivers (6) – Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, De’Anthony Thomas, Byron Pringle
    • The injury to Marcus Kemp brought De’Anthony Thomas back into the fold. He’s great on special teams and has a solid place on the roster now. Former K-State standout Byron Pringle should round out that 6th receiver spot. Not a lot of mystery at this position.
  • Tight Ends (3) – Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Dion Yelder
    • Yelder is a little nicked up right now, but with the injury to John Lovett it opens a place for him on the roster. Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Chiefs scraping the waiver wire to round out the TE position before it’s all said and done. However, Kelce and Bell appear to be safe.
  • Offensive Line (9) – Eric Fisher, Andrew Wylie, Austin Reiter, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mitchell Schwartz, Jeff Allen, Khalil McKenzie, Nick Allegretti, Cam Erving
    • The Chiefs offensive line is pretty set with the starting 5. They added Jeff Allen for depth along the line. Khalil McKenzie may or may not be ultimately kept. However, at the end of the day. They’ve put themselves in position to have several backups with flexibility and reliability. If there’s a surprise cut out of this group it would be Cam Erving. If he is cut, then expect Ryan Hunter to be kept instead.
  • Defensive Line (8) – Frank Clark, Chris Jones, Alex Okafor, Derrick Nnadi, Emmanuel Ogbah, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Khalen Saunders, Xavier Williams.
    • Breeland Speaks will be headed to IR, and I think the beneficiary of that on the line is Xavier Williams. He has been hampered by lingering injuries for much of camp and the offseason. Ultimately I think the Chiefs will keep more players in the secondary because of this, and the uncertainty at corner.
  • Linebackers (6) – Anthony Hitchens, Reggie Ragland, Damien Wilson, Ben Niemann, Darron Lee, Dorian O’Daniel.
  • Cornerbacks (6) – Bashaud Breeland, Morris Claiborne (will start the season on the Reserve/Suspended list), Kendall Fuller, Charvarious Ward, Herb Miller, Mark Fields, Rashad Fenton.
    • Yes, I know I listed 7 there, but with Claiborne starting the season suspended, they’ll keep 6 there and then between Herb Miller, Mark Fields, and Rashad Fenton – one of them will be the odd man out when Claiborne returns from being suspended.
  • Safety (5) – Tyrann Matheiu, Juan Thornhill, Daniel Sorenson, Armani Watts, Jordan Lucas.
    • Possibly the strongest unit on the defense. 5 guys that are all capable of playing at a high level if called upon. This might be the most stable group on the team next to Quarterback.
  • Kicker (1) – Harrison Butker
  • Punter (1) – Dustin Colquitt
  • Long Snapper (1) – James Winchester
  • Practice Squad – Guys that didn’t make the team but the Chiefs keep around for practice purposes.
    • Kyle Shurmer (QB), Justin Hamilton (DL), Jimmy Murray (C), David Wells (TE), Cody Thompson (WR), Rob McCray (LB).