Pre-training camp roster
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Jarrod Thurman @JarrodChiefsFCS
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
Training camp is upon us. By the time you read this, rookies will have reported to training camp with veterans reporting on July 26th. They will be prepping for the upcoming season, as well as preparing for the preseason game against the Bears on August 13th. So I’m going to give a brief overview of the roster. If you want a detailed overview, check out some of our position-specific articles.
Shane Buechele, Dustin Crum, Chad Henne, Patrick Mahomes
The Chiefs will be bringing a total of 4 quarterbacks into training. The only new quarterback this year is Crum, who is also a rookie. Buechele (if there is such a thing) is without a doubt the long-term solution for backup since Henne is 37. The Chiefs will likely start the season with 2 or 3 quarterbacks. If they only have 2, there’s a good chance the third quarterback will be on the practice squad.
Michael Burton, Jerrion Ealy, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tayon Fleet-Davis, Derrick Gore, Ronald Jones, Jerick McKinnon, Isiah Pacheco
Burton is technically a fullback but he works out with the running backs. There are multiple new faces at running back with Ealy, Fleet-Davis, Jones, and Pacheco. Jones is the only new player that isn’t a rookie. Including Burton, we should see anywhere from 4-6 make the roster.
Omar Bayless, Corey Coleman, Daurice Fountain, Josh Gordon, Mecole Hardman, Gary Jennings Jr., Skyy Moore, Aaron Parker, Cornell Powell, Justyn Ross, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson
There hasn’t been a position with more turnover on the roster than wide receiver. Every name listed except Josh Gordon, Mecole Hardman, and Cornell Powell is new to the team, and Gordon and Powell were on the Practice Squad during the playoffs. Only Moore and Ross are rookies. This position is why a lot of analysts think the Chiefs will take a step back this year. Typically the Chiefs keep 5 or 6 receivers.
Blake Bell, Matt Bushman, Jody Fortson, Jordan Franks, Noah Gray, Travis Kelce, Mark Vital
Tight end is a crowded position this year. Franks is the only new player, but Bushman was on the practice squad and Fortson finished the season on injured reserve. Bell is a local kid from Wichita, Kansas, and is the son of former Seahawks player Mark Bell and the nephew of former Chief Mike Bell. Kelce will look to extend his record-breaking (among tight ends) streak of 6 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons as he continues to establish himself among the all-time greats. We’ll likely see 3 or 4 make the roster.
Nick Allegretti, Chris Glaser, Trey Smith, Joe Thuney, Andrew Wylie
Now for the position I played during my career, guard. Glaser is the only new face among the guards. Smith was one of the best rookie offensive linemen last season and will look to put himself among the league’s best players at the position. Allegretti is a former wrestler and you can see that aggressiveness when he’s playing. We’ll see 2-4 make the roster. One of the best ways for a lineman to make the roster is being able to play multiple positions on the line, so who makes it will depend on who can play other positions.
Creed Humphrey, Austin Reiter
Reiter is technically a new face as he didn’t play for the Chiefs last season, but he was on the Super Bowl champion 2019 team. Humphrey established himself in his rookie year as one of the league’s best centers at only 22. He was a consensus selection for All-Rookie at center and is on most, if not all, best players under 25 rosters I’ve seen since the season ended. Center is a position we sometimes see the Chiefs take only 1 into the regular season and they will typically use a guard as a backup, but I won’t be surprised if Reiter makes the roster as well.
Orlando Brown, Mike Caliendo, Geron Christian, Vitaliy Gurman, Roderick Johnson, Darian Kinnard, Lucas Niang, Prince Tega Wanogho
Caliendo, Gurman, and Kinnard are all rookies. Brown had been negotiating a contract all offseason and rejected the Chiefs’ final offer before the deadline for long-term deals came for franchise-tagged players. Since Brown hasn’t signed his tender yet, he is technically not under contract and doesn’t have to report for camp until he wants to sign it. This is a position where we will see probably 3 or 4 make the roster, again like guard, depending on the ability to play other positions on the line.
Cortez Broughton, Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, Khalen Saunders. Taylor Stallworth, Tershawn Wharton
Only Stallworth is a new face. Jones will be looking to return to his old form this year and be the anchor of the interior part of the line after the experiment with him playing defensive end failed last year. We’ll probably see the Chiefs keep 3 or 4 players on the roster at defensive tackle.
Frank Clark, Mike Danna, Austin Edwards, Malik Herring, Joshua Kaindoh, George Karlaftis, Kehinde Oginni Hassan
Karlaftis was one of the Chiefs’ first-round selections. The “Greek Freak”, the football version not Giannis Antetokounmpo, should be able to make an impact right away. Oginni Hassan is another new face as well. The Chiefs will keep probably 4 defensive ends and at least 1 or 2 will probably go to the practice squad.
Nick Bolton, Shilique Calhoun, Jermaine Carter, Leo Chenal, Jack Cochrane, Willie Gay, Darius Harris, Elijah Lee, Mike Rose
Bolton was probably the best defensive rookie not named Micah Parsons last season. Gay is likely motivated by the ridiculously low Madden rating he received and should have a great season. Carter, Chenal, Cochrane, Lee, and Rose are all new players. Five or six linebackers will likely make the roster.
Zayne Anderson, Deon Bush, Bryan Cook, Brandin Dandridge, Nasir Greer, Nazeeh Johnson, Devon Key, Justin Reid, Juan Thornhill
Safety is a position that has a large number of players but very few roster spots that will be open come August 30th when teams have to be down to 53 players. Cook, Dandridge, Greer, Johnson, and Reid are all new faces, with Cook and Greer being rookies. Reid was signed as a replacement for Tyrann Mathieu. Thornhill has shown some success at safety so far in his young career. Three or four safeties will make the roster. The one or two backups that make it will be determined by if they can play cornerback if necessary and if they can contribute on special teams.
Deandre Baker, Dicaprio Bootle, Rashad Fenton, Lonnie Johnson, Chris Lammons, Trent McDuffie, L’Jarius Sneed, Jaylen Watson, Joshua Williams
Johnson, McDuffie, Watson, and Williams are all new faces and Johnson is the only new face that isn’t a rookie. McDuffie was the Chiefs’ other first-round draft selection and should contribute right away after carrying an early first-round grade in the draft. The Chiefs acquired Johnson via a trade in the offseason as well. Sneed has shown a lot of potential so far in his career, but so far has missed 9 games in his 2-year career so far with injuries. Cornerback is a position we usually see 5 or 6 on the roster heading into the season. That 5th and 6th cornerback will depend on who can contribute on special teams usually.
Harrison Butker, Tommy Townsend, James Winchester
The forgotten players on the roster are the specialists, and the Chiefs have a solid group. Butker is the 2nd most accurate kicker in NFL history behind only Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. Townsend, we don’t need often but when we do he has a leg to pin opponents deep on their side of the field. Winchester has been the Chiefs’ long snapper for several years and is effective. You rarely see bad snaps on field goals or punts from him. If Butker gets injured in-game, Justin Reid is a likely player we see as an emergency kicker.
These are the 90 players that make up the Chiefs roster as of the start of training camp. The sad part is, 37 of these players will be cut by August 30th, but that is the business of football. Football season is almost here.