Red Zone

Analyzing the Chiefs’ first preseason depth chart

Chiefs Daily Aug. 7: Daniel Sorensen is a big hit

Safety Daniel Sorensen had the day's big hit in Chiefs camp on Sunday in St. Joseph.
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Safety Daniel Sorensen had the day's big hit in Chiefs camp on Sunday in St. Joseph.

The Chiefs on Sunday released their first preseason depth chart, per NFL rules.

While there are some interesting developments, to be sure, it’s worth noting that most depth charts are compiled by teams’ public relations staff and don’t always reflect what’s happening on the field.

Good thing for you guys I’ve been at all 11 practices, so I can tell you whats really going on. Anyway, here’s the depth chart, followed by some observations.



Alex Smith, Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray, Nick Foles, Kevin Hogan

Analysis: Foles has consistently shared No. 2 reps with Tyler Bray, despite the order listed here. Hogan’s reps have fallen off drastically since Foles’ addition last week.

Running back

Jamaal Charles, Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware, Knile Davis, Darrin Reaves

Analysis: Ware often gets the first carry with the ones instead of West.


Anthony Sherman, Trey Millard

Analysis: Dead on.

Z receiver

Jeremy Maclin, Frankie Hammond, Kashif Moore, Tyreek Hill, Da’Ron Brown, De’Anthony Thomas, Seantavius Jones

Analysis: Hill and Thomas get far more work with the second team than Moore or Brown. In fact, both — along with Hammond — occasionally get first-team reps. Hill has been ripping it up in practice everyday; at this point, I can’t see a scenario where Hammond makes it over him.

X receiver

Albert Wilson, Chris Conley, Rod Streater, Demarcus Robinson, Mike Williams, Mitch Mathews

Analysis: Wilson was having a good camp before his calf injury. Conley was the next man up, with Streater on his heels. Robinson has been flashing repeatedly and I can’t imagine him not making the team. Williams has battled the drops while Mathews needs to make a big play or two to open some eyes.

Tight end

Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Ross Travis, James O’Shaughnessy, Brian Parker

Analysis: There’s a battle going on for playing time after Kelce. Harris is the odds on favorite to win the No. 2 job but he’s been battling the drops. If he eliminated those it would be his, for sure. Travis has flashed as a receiver but I have no clue if he has a grasp of the offense. I keep saying this and I mean it: If someone develops into an above average blocker and reliable receiver, there’s playing time to be had here.

Left tackle

Eric Fisher, Zach Sterup, Reid Fragel

Right tackle

Mitchell Schwartz, Jah Reid, Curtis Feigt

Analysis: Fisher and Schwartz are the starters, but Sterup and Reid have swapped spots in camp, with Reid getting reps on the left side and Sterup on the right in recent practices. Reid might be a better guard, so while Sterup shows promise, the Chiefs might be seeking a veteran swing tackle when the 53-man roster deadline approaches.

Left guard

Parker Ehinger, Jarrod Pughsley, Daniel Munyer

Right guard

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Jordan Devey, Garrick Mayweather

Analysis: Ehinger and LDT appear to be the starters, though Fulton appears to be the next man up in case of an injury. Pughsley has also gotten some work at left tackle, which will help his bid to make the team as a reserve lineman.


Mitch Morse, Zach Fulton, Drew Nowak

Analysis: Nowak has also been working at third-team guard, as Munyer has gotten some work at third-team center.


Left defensive end

Jaye Howard, Chris Jones, Jimmy Staten

Analysis: Howard is killing it in camp. Jones has flashed, and Staten has, too. This is a good group.

Nose tackle

Dontari Poe, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Nico Davis

Analysis: Nunez-Roches has shown enough growth to warrant a look as a situational pass rusher.

Right defensive end

Allen Bailey, Nick Williams, David King

Analysis: Bailey’s an established veteran. Williams has experience as well while King has flashed. The Chiefs have done a nice job stacking the entire defensive line with talent. They’re going to lose some good players at the 53-man deadline.

Left outside linebacker

Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Andy Mulumba, Dadi Nicolas

Analysis: All eyes are on Ford with Houston out. He needs to rise to the occasion. Nicolas shows some pass-rush skill. He’s someone to keep an eye on for 2017.

Left inside linebacker

Derrick Johnson, D.J. Aleander, Justin March, Terrance Smith

Analysis: Intriguing battle for playing time between Alexander and March. March has kept making plays in practice, while Alexander is a special-teams stalwart. The Chiefs might have to find a way to keep five inside linebackers.

Right inside linebacker

Josh Mauga, Ramik Wilson, Tyrell Adams

Analysis: This is about right. Wilson has shown some improvement since last season.

Right outside linebacker

Tamba Hali, Frank Zombo, Dezman Moses, Jonathan Massaquoi

Analysis: It will be interesting to see if Moses can tap into the same pass-rush prowess he showed last preseason.

Left cornerback

Marcus Peters, Marcus Cooper, KeiVarae Russell, Bryce Cheek, Malcolm Jackson

Analysis: Russell has gotten some third-team work as a nickel corner, too.

Right cornerback

Steven Nelson, Phillip Gaines, D.J. White, Deveron Carr

Analysis: Nelson has gotten the reps in the base defense recently and slides inside when Gaines comes in sometimes in nickel. When Gaines hasn’t practiced, Cooper has been the next man up here. White has gotten some nickel reps with the second team.

Strong safety

Eric Berry, Daniel Sorensen, Eric Murray, Shak Randolph, Jeron Johnson

Analysis: Sorensen is the first option as a nickel linebacker when Sutton mixes in his subpackages.

Free safety

Ron Parker, Stevie Brown, Jamell Fleming, Akeem Davis

Analysis: Brown occasionally gets some reps as a nickel linebacker.


Cairo Santos


Dustin Colquitt

Long snapper

James Winchester

Kick returner

Knile Davis, Tyreek Hill, Frankie Hammond, Demarcus Robinson

Punt returner

Tyreek Hill, De’Anthony Thomas, Frankie Hammond

Analysis: Dave Toub seems to like Tyreek Hill a lot. I’d be a little surprised if he didn’t get featured a lot. It’s very interesting that Thomas is already Hill’s backup. The Chiefs might not be able to keep both, and it’s hard not to wonder if Thomas is the odd man out.

Clark Hunt Talked about players including Tyreek Hill and Eric Berry. Kansas City Star Sports Chiefs Beat Writer, Terez Paylor provides observations to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp on Saturday, August 6, 2016.