KCCD Editor: Jinx Allessio
Below is my analysis of the latest edition of our 53-man Chiefs roster projection here at KCCD.
On January 13, 2009 Clark Hunt announced the hiring of Scott Pioli to be the General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. Since that day, the Chiefs roster has been so excessively churned that Scott Pioli could be subject to an investigation from the SEC.
The 2012 roster will have only a handful of players that were on the roster the day Scott took the reins of the organization. The cupboard was far from bare yet depth in the trenches and skill positions left much to be desired for.
The quarterback position for the year 2012 is set with the three that will emerge from camp. Stanzi and Quinn will battle for the backup role throughout camp. What happens beyond 2012 sings of a different tune as only one of the three quarterbacks on the 2012 Chiefs roster will be in the Red and Gold in 2013. Throughout the season you will see many articles addressing the quarterback position on KCCD.
The positional grouping that is the hardest to decipher what will occur is the defensive backfield. The depth invited to camp at defensive back will lead to some interesting camp battles as the primary position of concern will be back up safety.
Abe Elam was signed to provide depth at safety and will find a place on the squad. The injuries to Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis led to a positional change for one of the most seasoned bodies in the secondary; Travis Daniels who has spent time in OTA’s at S and also saw time at S in a pinch late in the ’11 season. Daniels is not the fleetest of foot but brings experience, work ethic and leadership to the Chiefs secondary and will win the backup position. Some dark horse candidates to make the squad are rookies Neiko Thrope and Terrance Parks. The Chiefs have plenty of depth at cornerback with the luxury of having two players who have a lot of experience covering out of the slot in Javier Arenas and DeQuan Menzie.
The defensive line is the positional grouping is an area that has not lived up to expectations since Pioli’s arrival in Kansas City. Who makes the squad is not that hard to project yet could lead to several interesting subplots that could arise before the season starts.
In an effort to not sound cliché this is a make or break year for both Tyson Jackson and Glen Dorsey. Glen Dorsey is on a contract year and Tyson Jackson is due approximately $14.75 million in 2013. Could Glen Dorsey be traded, even though he was easily the most consistent run stopper on the team in 2012? The signing of Ropati Pitoitua was one of the more curious moves of this offseason. How can someone who played approximately 37% of snaps for the Jets in 2012 be signed as just a camp body? Does the signing spell the end of Tyson Jackson in KC? I don’t believe that occurs but it is a development to keep an out of for during the preseason evaluation of Ropati Pitoitua.
The odd man out under contract is Brandon Bair, he cannot be stashed on the practice squad because another team will pick him up quickly. Does that not add another element to the previous sub-plot? Let Jackson go, save a large amount of cap room and keep Pitoitua and Bair? Like I said I don’t foresee that happening but interesting nonetheless.
There are not too many other battles I project causing a stir unless a wide receiver emerges to push Jeremy Horne or Terrance Copper off the team. For another receiver to make the squad they will have to contribute significantly towards special teams to unseat either Horne or Copper.
There are a few players I project that could be on the cusp of making the team with stellar performances during training camp.
One player is UDFA Linebacker from Louisville Dexter Hayman. Hayman is a fluid athlete who has the ability to drop in coverage and the Chiefs sorely missed having someone who can cover the intermediate middle of the field. Not only is Hayman a natural, fluid athlete but he is a player that does a bit of everything as he was one of only a handful of players in NCAA to lead his team in tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions. If he does not make the squad he is a prime candidate for the practice squad with the chance of a midseason call up.
Another player I am excited to see perform this preseason is Junior Hemingway. As previously mentioned the final wideout spots belong to Horne and Copper but Hemingway is a player who could really shine during preseason. Hemingway is a big handed receiver who possesses above average body control and with some time and fine tuning could see himself on the 53 man roster. I envision he ends up on the practice squad. A sleeper to making the squad at wide receiver is Brandon Kinnie. If he does not end up on the roster or practice squad, another team will be getting a player who has upside to be a contributing wide receiver in the NFL.