Don't Kill The Mellinger

One man’s guess at the Chiefs’ 53-man roster

Updated: 2013-08-28T17:35:30Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

Leggo…

Quarterbacks (3): Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray.

This is rock solid.

Running backs (4): Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, Cyrus Gray, Anthony Sherman

Shaun Draughn has been more productive in the preseason, but I’m playing a hunch and taking Gray.

Wide receivers (6): Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, AJ Jenkins, Devon Wylie, Junior Hemingway

Rico Richardson had a nice moment in overtime against the Steelers, but I still think he’s the odd man out. The Chiefs have been focused on speed, especially at receiver, which gives Wiley and Jenkins an advantage.

Tight ends (4): Anthony Fasano, Tony Moeaki, Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris

This is a lot of tight ends to carry, and the Chiefs could still put Moeaki on IR. But in effect, Moeaki’s injury means the Chiefs probably need to keep Harris for depth. In a roundabout way, it may have cost Richardson a spot.

Offensive line (8): Branden Albert, Eric Fisher, Donald Stephenson, Jeff Allen, Jon Asamoah, Geoff Schwartz, Rodney Hudson and Eric Kush

The Chiefs have been active in turning over the bottom of their roster since the beginning of training camp, and the last O-Line spot — we’re looking at you, Kush — could be the next. This unit is a concern, especially as it relates to keeping Alex Smith healthy and Jamaal Charles studly.

Special teams (3): Ryan Succop, Dustin Colquitt, Thomas Gafford

None of these guys have competition on the roster.

DEFENSE

Line (7): Mike Devito, Tyson Jackson, Marcus Dixon, Allen Bailey, Dontari Poe, Jerrell Powe, Anthony Toribio

Austen Lane, the man known to casual fans for describing what it’s like to be cut , is the last man out.

Outside linebacker (4): Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Edgar Jones and Frank Zombo

These spots are pretty solid. Jones and Zombo will play a lot of special teams. Jones, you might remember, scored that punt-block-slash-interception touchdown at Tampa last year.

Inside linebacker (4): Derrick Johnson, Akeem Jordan, Nico Johnson and Zac Diles

One of the position battles has been the starting spot opposite Derrick Johnson. Jordan looks like the frontrunner, veteran presence, all that stuff, but Johnson should play plenty and has a chance to become a starter.

Cornerbacks (4): Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson, Jalil Brown

Other than quarterback, this has been the position upgraded most substantially by John Dorsey and Andy Reid. And for good reason. They could still use some depth here, because opposing quarterbacks still love to see Brown on the field. Dorsey may not be done working this position.

Safeties (6): Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Quintin Demps, Husain Abdullah, Sanders Commings, Tysyn Hartman

This is a lot of safeties, but this is how the defense has played in the preseason and Commings (once he’s healthy) could go back and forth between cornerback. I also have this sneaky suspicion that Bradley McDougald might nudge someone off the roster. The Chiefs would love to get McDougald on the practice squad, but I bet someone would steal him. Kennard Cox would be the other candidate to break in here.

To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365, send email to smellinger@kcstar.com or follow twitter.com/mellinger. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.

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