Chiefs 53-man roster projection following preseason finale

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3of the 2021 NFL preseason.

This was the last live look at the roster ahead of 53-man roster cuts. The Chiefs have already been through the first and second wave of the NFL’s gradual roster cuts. The final cuts for the Chiefs are due by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 31.

With that in mind, we’re taking a final crack at projecting the 53-man roster. This is our fifth projection of the year, following our way-too-early projection, pre-training camp projection, preseason Week 1 projection, and preseason Week 2 projection.

Here’s a look at our latest projected 53-man roster for the Chiefs:

Quarterback: 2

AP Photo/Ed Zurga

  1. Patrick Mahomes

  2. Chad Henne

Released: Shane Buechele. I'm not convinced that Shane Buechele makes it through waivers after the preseason he's had, but I also don't really see a need or a way to keep him on the 53-man roster. He clearly needs some refinement and would benefit from a season on the practice squad in Kansas City. I think you hold your breath and risk it if you're the Chiefs.

Running back: 4

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire

  2. Darrel Williams

  3. Jerick McKinnon

  4. (FB) Michael Burton

Released: Darwin Thompson & Derrick Gore. As much as I'd like to find a way for Derrick Gore to make this team, I just don't see how it happens. He should catch on with the Chiefs' practice squad assuming he makes it through waivers. Given how often running backs get injured in this league, I'd expect Gore to make it to the 53-man roster eventually.

Tight end: 4

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

  1. Travis Kelce

  2. Blake Bell

  3. Jody Fortson

  4. Noah Gray

Released: None. No changes here. If anything the Chiefs proved on Friday that they can effectively utilize all four tight ends. I'm not just talking about the Blake Bell touchdown when all four were on the field at once. They're all excelling on both offense and special teams, receiving and blocking.

Wide Receiver: 6

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

  1. Tyreek Hill

  2. Mecole Hardman

  3. Demarcus Robinson

  4. Byron Pringle

  5. Marcus Kemp

  6. Daurice Fountain

Released: Cornell Powell, Gehrig Dieter, Maurice Ffrench, Darrius Shepherd, Dalton Schoen. The Chiefs have made it abundantly clear that they don't think Cornell Powell is worthy of a 53-man roster spot this offseason. He's been relegated to playing late in preseason games. He didn't play any with the top special teams unit in Kansas City. He was infrequently targeted with just six targets. Marcus Kemp and Daurice Fountain have undeniably outplayed Powell and if you're keeping six receivers, they're on the roster over him. If you're Brett Veach, you're releasing the 2021 fifth-round draft pick and hoping he clears waivers. If he doesn't, you're no worse for wear. They'll have to readdress the position in the draft next season anyways.

Offensive line: 10

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

  1. LT Orlando Brown Jr.

  2. LG Joe Thuney

  3. C Creed Humphrey

  4. RG Trey Smith

  5. RT Lucas Niang

  6. OL Mike Remmers

  7. OL Nick Allegretti

  8. OL Andrew Wylie

  9. OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

  10. OL Austin Blythe

Released: Prince Tega Wanogho, Wyatt Miller, Yasir Durant & Darryl Williams. PUP: Kyle Long. The Chiefs have a bit of a roster crunch here due to injuries to Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Austin Blythe. I anticipate that they initially roll with 10 offensive linemen, placing LDT and Blythe on injured reserve on September 1. If he is not claimed on waivers, I'd bet the Chiefs bring back Prince Tega Wanogho after those transactions. It's certainly a risk with Wanogho playing well at left tackle, but it might be one the team has no choice but to make. They could opt to release and re-sign a vested veteran instead, but we'll see if they have the financial flexibility to do so.

Defensive tackle: 4

AP Photo/Ed Zurga

  1. Derrick Nnadi

  2. Jarran Reed

  3. Tershawn Wharton

  4. Khalen Saunders

Released: Tyler Clark. No changes here, but Tyler Clark did have his more impressive performance of the preseason. If he's not claimed during roster cuts he should be a shoo-in for the practice squad for Kansas City.

Defensive End: 6

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Chris Jones

  2. Frank Clark

  3. Alex Okafor

  4. Mike Danna

  5. Tim Ward

  6. Joshua Kaindoh

Released: Demone Harris, & Austin Edwards. Non-football injury list: Malik Herring. No changes from my previous projection here. I think six is the magic number for Kansas City. I do wonder if Demone Harris might get a spot over Tim Ward after Ward was left playing late in Friday's game against the Vikings.

Linebacker: 5

AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

  1. Anthony Hitchens

  2. Willie Gay Jr.

  3. Nick Bolton

  4. Ben Niemann

  5. Dorian O'Daniel

Released: Darius Harris, Omari Cobb, & Emmanuel Smith. As unimpressive as his play has been on defense, Dorian O'Daniel remains in the starting unit on special teams. This feels like it'll be one of those cases of Dave Toub getting his way. Harris and Cobb should make the practice squad, all things considered.

Cornerback: 5

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Charvarius Ward

  2. L'Jarius Sneed

  3. Rashad Fenton

  4. Mike Hughes

  5. DeAndre Baker

Released: BoPete Keyes, Chris Lammons, Dicaprio Bootle & Zayne Anderson. With a bit of a roster crunch on the offensive line to get players on injured reserve, the Chiefs are likely going to have to risk somebody on waivers. Keyes is a former seventh-round pick who hasn't done much in his NFL career thus far. It seems unlikely that someone would claim him, but even if they do the drop-off to a player like Bootle isn't much. After a transaction is made on the offensive line, I'd expect Keyes to return to the 53-man roster.

Safety: 4

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Tyrann Mathieu

  2. Daniel Sorensen

  3. Juan Thornhill

  4. Armani Watts

Released: Devon Key, Marlon Character & Rodney Clemons. A second interception for Armani Watts should earn him a spot on the 53-man roster. Devon Key looked a little overmatched at times in the preseason. Look for him to catch on with the Chiefs' practice squad assuming he clears waivers.

Specialists: 3

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  1. K Harrison Butker

  2. P Tommy Townsend

  3. LS James Winchester

No competition and no injuries make for no changes to our projections for this position group.

1

1