By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
|4||Alex Tanney||6-4||220||24||Monmouth (Ill.)|
|9||Brady Quinn||6-3||235||27||Notre Dame|
Cassel enters the season as the unquestioned starter but needs to get comfortable quickly in a new offensive system. The real intrigue here will be the battle for the number two spot. Quinn has more experience, but the Chiefs may well go with Stanzi, who has more upside at this point in their respective careers. Whatever their decision, the Chiefs figure to be better off than they were last season, when Tyler Palko emerged from camp as their top reserve.
Running backs (7)
|32||Shaun Draughn||6-0||205||24||North Carolina|
|42||Cyrus Gray||5-10||198||22||Texas A&M|
|49||Taylor Gentry||6-2||250||22||North Carolina State|
One of the biggest priorities at camp is to get Charles back to where he was before last seasons knee injury. Another is to figure out how to maximize the talents of both Charles and Hillis, who had his best pro season playing for new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll two seasons ago, when Daboll was with the Browns. In the Chiefs perfect world, theyll get the ball to Charles and Hillis a total of 500 times, which leaves little but special-teams work for the rest of these guys.
Wide receivers (13)
|10||Terrance Copper||6-0||207||30||East Carolina|
|19||Devon Wylie||5-9||187||23||Fresno State|
|82||Dwayne Bowe||6-2||221||27||Louisiana State|
|84||Jamar Newsome||6-1||201||24||Central Florida|
The Chiefs have a lot of bodies here, but not a lot of experience or depth, and the situation wont get better until Bowe signs his one-year contract offer and arrives. Minus Bowe, the Chiefs have just four players with significant NFL experience, and one, Copper, is around mainly for his special-teams skills. Whether Bowe shows or not, the Chiefs need major improvement from Baldwin, their first-round pick from last year. They also need to stay away from injuries to their top guys.
Tight ends (5)
|80||Kevin Boss||6-6||255||28||Western Oregon|
|85||Jake OConnell||6-3||250||26||Miami (Ohio)|
The Chiefs were left with practically nothing here last year after they lost Moeaki for the season with a knee injury. So they went out and signed Boss, and now, with Moeakis return, they have two NFL-caliber tight ends. Both will play a lot, and Daboll may make liberal use of two tight-end formations. Maneri is a converted tackle and will probably make the roster because of his blocking skills, but he showed surprisingly strong receiving skills during offseason practice.
Offensive linemen (14)
|61||Rodney Hudson||6-2||299||23||Florida State|
|65||Ryan Lilja||6-2||290||30||Kansas State|
|67||Rich Ranglin||6-2||315||27||Cent. Connecticut St.|
|68||Cam Holland||6-2||320||23||North Carolina|
|70||David Mims||6-8||335||24||Virginia Union|
|77||Luke Patterson||6-4||295||24||Texas A&M|
The Chiefs have the makings for one of their better lines in recent years, but it might take them some time to get there because Hudson (center) and Winston (right tackle) are new starters. But Winston is a clear upgrade over last years starter, Barry Richardson. Albert finally became a reliable left tackle last season. Guards Lilja and Asamoah need to improve from last season. The top backups at guard and tackle, Allen and Stephenson, are rookies.
Defensive linemen (11)
|60||Jerome Long||6-5||285||22||San Diego State|
|70||Ethan Johnson||6-4||300||22||Notre Dame|
|72||Glenn Dorsey||6-1||297||26||Louisiana State|
|77||Ropati Pitoitua||6-8||315||27||Washington State|
|94||Tyson Jackson||6-4||296||26||Louisiana State|
Much depends on how quickly Poe, the teams first-round draft pick, can help. He got an extensive look in offseason practice as a pass rusher, suggesting thats where the Chiefs believe he will be of most help early in the season. Eventually, though, theyll need his assistance against the run, too. The Chiefs are also expecting Bailey to make progress as a pass rusher. He played but had little impact in that area as a rookie last season.
|51||Gabe Miller||6-3||257||24||Oregon State|
|91||Tamba Hali||6-3||275||28||Penn State|
In Hali and Johnson, the Chiefs sent a pair of linebackers to the Pro Bowl for the first time since the 1972 season. Houston, who became a starter last season as a rookie, may have as much ability as either Hali or Johnson. The Chiefs need to develop depth, particularly behind Hali and Houston at outside linebacker. All four starting linebackers, including Belcher, played in all 16 games last season, so the Chiefs are due for some bad luck at this position when it comes to injuries.
Defensive backs (19)
|24||Brandon Flowers||5-9||187||26||Virginia Tech|
|27||Donald Washington||6-1||197||25||Ohio State|
|31||Terrance Parks||6-2||218||22||Florida State|
|32||Abram Elam||6-0||212||30||Kent State|
|34||Travis Daniels||6-1||195||29||Louisiana State|
|41||Kyle McCarthy||6-1||205||25||Notre Dame|
|45||Dominique Ellis||5-11||195||22||South Carolina State|
|46||Tysyn Hartman||6-3||206||22||Kansas State|
|48||Chandler Fenner||6-1||189||22||Holy Cross|
The starting safeties, Berry and Lewis, didnt practice during the offseason because they were rehabbing from surgeries, so their progress is something to watch at camp. The Chiefs are also going through a change at cornerback, where Flowers now plays with Routt instead of the departed Brandon Carr. The Chiefs have seven rookies on this list, so theyre searching for developmental prospects.
|6||Ryan Succop||6-2||218||25||South Carolina|
|14||Matt Szymanski||6-1||196||23||Southern Methodist|
The Chiefs will go into their fourth season with Succop and Colquitt as their kicker-punter tandem. Succop rebounded last year after a subpar 2010 season, while Colquitt has been remarkably consistent, with his average hovering between 44 and 46 yards in each of the six seasons since he was a rookie. Gafford has developed into a reliable long snapper.
| Adam Teicher, email@example.com