Chiefs 53-Man Roster Projection

Chiefs 53 Man Roster Projection Part 4: Secondary and Specialists

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Louisiana Tech
  • Miami Dolphins
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By Kyle Henning September 4, 2020 0 Comment
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Projecting the Chiefs 53-Man Roster Part 4

By now you’ve read how the Chiefs are returning the majority of their players from last year’s Super Bowl Champion team. At one point the team had $171 Dollars in cap space. However, no amount of cap-wizardry is going to retain every single player. Dustin Colquitt, the Chiefs legend and future Pro Football Hall of Fame punter, was cut. That opens the door for a new era in franchise history. The Secondary also lost a key component when Kendall Fuller signed with Washington. There are plenty of familiar faces, but expect some roster turnover at the depth spots.

The Specialists Welcome a New Member

For the first time in 3 seasons, the specialists’ room will have a new member. Since 2005 the punting duties have been handled by Dustin Colquitt, who became the franchise leader in games played in the 2019 season.  In 2020 Tommy Townsend will be taking over. Joining Harrison Butker and Long Snapper James Winchester. Butker has been the Kicker since 2017 and Winchester has been handling snapping duties since 2015. Townsend was kept while Tyler Newsome, his competition for the job, was waived earlier this offseason.  Dave Toub called Townsend the best punter in the 2020 draft and said they had a draftable grade on him. While punting is important, Colquitt’s departure poses another issue for the Chiefs. He was the holder for the XP and Field Goal operation. Chemistry amongst the whole unit is key to ensure the best chance of success. Townsend has experience doing that, which likely gave him the edge over Newsome.

Safety: The Security Blankets of the Secondary

Upon arrival, Steve Spagnuolo set out to find a player to transform a much-maligned defense in 2018. His selection was safety Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu and his many nicknames is the leader and soul of a defense that became one of the best units in the NFL down the stretch last season. Next to the Landlord is Juan Thornhill, who is returning from tearing his ACL in Week 17 of last season. Daniel Sorensen will return after his playoff heroics last season. He’s a hybrid safety who plays an important role on special teams. Tedric Thompson spent his first 3 seasons in Seattle after being drafted in the 4th round. He started 6 games last season before sustaining a season-ending shoulder injury. Adrian Colbert looks to round out the safety group. Entering his 4th season in the league, he spent 2 years with San Francisco and last season with Miami. It didn’t take Kansas City long to sign him after the Dolphins released him last month. With Bashaud Breeland serving a suspension, there is an extra spot in the secondary. Expect Armani Watts to start the season on the 53-man. If not for Breeland’s suspension he’d likely start the season on the practice squad.

Corner: The Great Question Mark

Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton are a lock. Fenton could see time outside with Breeland suspended. He played in the slot last year. Everything else is completely fluid. Currently, the Chiefs have several rookies making up a majority of their depth at the position. L’Jarius Sneed expects to see significant snaps early. Sneed started at safety his senior season at Louisiana Tech University after playing corner his first three seasons. Thakarius “Bopete” Keyes from Tulane projects to make this roster and could see snaps early, although less likely as his development was delayed by an injury in camp. Sneed and Keyes were both selected by the Chiefs in the latter rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.  Antonio Hamilton is the final piece of the cornerback puzzle. Hamilton spent his first 4 seasons between the Giants and Raiders before signing this offseason with the Chiefs. Charles Goldman wrote about him for USA Today a few days ago. Recall that earlier this offseason Kendall Fuller departed for the Washington Football Team. Hamilton appears to be Spagnuolo’s replacement for the loss. In the Article by Goldman, he discusses Hamilton getting snaps at every position in the Chiefs secondary. Fuller did exactly that, rotating back to safety frequently especially after the injury to Thornhill last season.


Subject to Change

There will be many roster moves made across the NFL leading up to the deadline. Veach’s aggressive nature has paid dividends at this point of the season in the past. Several key components of last years roster have come from trades worked out during this portion of the league year. Also, surprise cuts always provide intriguing decisions for general managers across the league. Veach is always looking for ways to improve the roster, which is part of what makes him as good as he is. Don’t be shocked if he makes a late addition.


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