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Mr. Laz
07-03-2010, 11:13 AM
The Chiefs – 81 thru 1/Part #1 … Friday Cup O’Chiefs (http://www.bobgretz.com/chiefs-football/the-chiefs-81-thru-1part-1-%e2%80%a6-friday-cup-o%e2%80%99chiefs.html)

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr align="left" valign="top"><th>July 2, 2010 - Bob Gretz | </th><th>
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Four weeks from Friday the Chiefs will be on the field for their first practice of 2010 training camp at Missouri Western.

The franchise has 81 players under its control. It’s a roster built more on the future than the past, more on what might be than what has been.

How this group of players is whittled down to 53 is what training camp and the pre-season will be all about. Just how much better that group of 53 is from the 4-12 team of last season is what the season will be about.

The next four days provide an opportunity to evaluate the group that will travel up I-29 to St. Joe. It starts at the bottom, as today comes an evaluation of players No. 81 through No. 60, as rated by your trusted observer. On Saturday, we’ll hit No. 40 through 59, with Sunday bringing No. 20 through 39 and then on Monday, No. 1 through 19.

A few notes on the evaluations – they are based on performances of the past and potential for the future. One thing everyone involved in football learns to do is trust their eyes. My evaluations are based on what I’ve seen, not what I was supposed to see. Plus, in the NFL a player or a team is either getting better or getting worse. They are either moving up or moving down. For any player who has played in an NFL game, our evaluation comes with an arrow indicating the direction of the player’s career.

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(No. 76 through 81)RB Tervaris Johnson, WR David Grimes, WR Rich Gunnell, TE Cody Slate, OL Tyler Eastman and OL Lemuel Jeanpierre

Evaluation – These six players really didn’t provide much of a picture for evaluation during the OTAs and mini-camps. Johnson is a big back at 6-2, 248 pounds, but he did not get many opportunities to show his talents. Grimes dealt with a bad hamstring, Slate was signed late due to TE injuries, while Eastman and Jeanpierre got their time with the No. 3 offensive line. These guys would all qualify as unknowns at this point.

(71 through 75) WR Jeremy Horne, OL Andrew Lewis, DL Garrett Brown, DL Jeffrey Fitzgerald and S Ricky Price.

Evaluation – At one time or another during the off-season, these guys showed a flash of athletic ability or an understanding of their assignment that lifted them just a shade above some of the other inexperienced youngsters. Horne is a tall receiver with good hands, Lewis has versatility inside on the O-Line, and Brown has some good skills inside on the defense, while Fitzgerald has outside abilities. Price was around last year on the practice squad but the safety position is deeper and better than it was a year ago. Surviving to the final 53 will require these players have to one of the best training camps and pre-season performances in recent Chiefs history.

70 - RB Javarris Williams

Evaluation – It’s hard to see where last year’s seventh-rounder fits in with the 2010 Chiefs. Last season he did not have enough opportunities in the pre-season to really show if his skills translate to the NFL. In the OTAs, he was running with the fourth or fifth team. Not particularly big, not particularly fast, Williams was on the active roster for five games at the end of ‘09, playing in four and carrying the ball six times for six yards.

69 - TE Jake O’Connell

Evaluation – On the active roster for all 16 games last season, O’Connell played in four games, starting twice when the Chiefs opened the game in a two TE alignment. Another seventh-round selection from the ‘09 NFL Draft, he displayed very little of his skills when given the opportunity. His hands are unreliable, as he tends to drop a lot of balls, something that continued in the off-season program. It’s hard to see him beating out rookie Tony Moeaki or a healthy Brad Cottam.
68 C/G Darryl Harris

Evaluation – An undrafted rookie free agent last year, Harris spent 13 weeks on the practice squad and then three games on the active roster, appearing in one game. His fight last year to even work his way into consideration for the developmental team was impressive. But coming back this year, he seemed the forgotten man along the offensive line. He did not work with second team, and sometimes wasn’t part of the third team. After working on snaps a lot during the ‘09 season, he seldom was with the centers this spring when they got together with the quarterbacks.

67 WR Quinten Lawrence

Evaluation – Speed is why Lawrence was selected in the sixth round of last year’s draft. Speed is how he made the opening day roster and played in the first two games of the ‘09 season. It wasn’t because of his pass catching, production, or showing that he could contribute on the special teams. He ended up being on the active roster for 11 games, three games on the practice squad and two games he was off the roster completely. Lawrence played most of the season with a bum shoulder that led to off-season surgery, so he had some toughness about him. Unless he’s ready to jump to the head of the receiving line, the only thing that gives him a chance is that speed.
66 DL Bobby Greenwood

Evaluation – An undrafted rookie last year out of Alabama, Greenwood spent the season on the practice squad. While he’s a bit light at 278 pounds for a defensive end in the 3-4, he shown in the past year that he has some good base skills to play the game at the NFL level. His motor seldom starts, he seems to assimilate the information without any problems and he has displayed a move or two when he’s gotten loose on the edge when rushing the passer. Realistically, there’s one spot open at defensive end on the final 53, and Greenwood has a chance.

65 S Reshard Langford

Evaluation – Signed off the street on Christmas Day, Langford spent two weeks on the Chiefs active roster, but was inactive for both games at the end of the ‘09 season. He entered the NFL last year as an undrafted rookie out of Vanderbilt, where he was a very productive player. Langford was on the Eagles practice squad when he was signed by the Chiefs. There was an impression made during the off-season on the coaching staff, and Langford bounced back and forth from the first team, to the second and third secondary units. He’s got a lot of bodies to fight through at safety¸ so he needs pre-season production.

64 LB Cameron Sheffield

Evaluation – During the mini-camps and OTA sessions, Sheffield was the draft choice that was least impressive. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a chance to make the team – more than likely he will as a fifth-round pick. But there was no apparent area where Sheffield stood out. That can change once the pads go on at training camp. There just wasn’t much visible in his pass rush off the corner, or in his ability to drop into coverage. Again, all that could be very different when the shoulder pads go on.
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63 OL Colin Brown (right)

Evaluation – Last year’s fifth-round choice out of Mizzou, Brown spent the ‘09 season on the injured reserve list because of a knee injury. That was good for Brown, because he wasn’t ready to play in the NFL last year. He was coming off playing in the Missouri spread offense, to having to put his hand on the ground. Plus, he moved from tackle inside to guard. Brown was around all through last year, attending meetings and that work will help him as he tries to corral one of the backup O-Line spots.

62 LB Pierre Walters
Evaluation – Watch Walters walk off the practice field and he looks like a football player should look – tall at 6-5, well built at 269 pounds, long arms and legs. He made the roster last year as an undrafted rookie and played three games and was inactive for the remaining 13 games. A year in an NFL weight program has made him stronger and improved his chances of being able to hold down the edge of the defense against the run. As a pass rusher, he has a little pop but nowhere near the ability of Tamba Hali or the experience or knowledge of Mike Vrabel. Undrafted rookies work so hard that first year to get over the hump. They have to come back the next year, work even harder and produce. That’s what Walters will need to do in camp and the pre-season games – he needs to be in the middle of things.

61 CB Jackie Bates

Evaluation – Scrappy undrafted rookie from last season out of Hampton University, Bates spent the entire ‘09 season on the practice squad. He returned in this off-season and in some of the OTAs he flashed some good coverage skills. But his lack of size and bulk (5-10, 180) work against him, although he seems to have good speed and quickness when working in coverage. Like other second-year undrafted guys, Bates will need a huge camp and pre-season to be able to fight through the corners ahead of him.

60 S Donald Washington

Evaluation – Last year’s fourth-round draft choice was the biggest disappointment in the ‘09 draft class. Washington barely left any imprint on the Chiefs season. He played in eight games and was on the active roster for all 16 games. His contribution was three tackles on defense and two on special teams. Washington fell behind early as a rookie because Ohio State did not have graduation until mid-June. He never dug himself out of that hole. Early in the season, he had the chance to establish himself as the nickel back, but after he blew the coverage on his first snap, almost giving up a touchdown, he was yanked. Washington has top-shelf athletic skills, but there’s been nothing else visible in his package. A move to safety may help him find a niche, but it’s crowded back there right now.

Mr. Laz
07-03-2010, 11:14 AM
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59 DL Dion Gales

Evaluation – When Gales signed as an undrafted rookie free agent last year, he showed up at 6-5 and a doughy 275 pounds or so. As he went through the rookie mini-camp, it was hard to see how he was going to survive until the full squad mini-camp. Somehow, he did. He spent a dozen games on the practice squad because the Chiefs liked what they saw with his size and quickness. Eventually, he was activated and played in three games, while being a game-day inactive in a fourth. Gales has put on weight and it appears to be good weight, now rolling onto the field at 310 pounds. Last year, he was listed at 259 pounds, a highly suspect number from the start. His ability to play both inside and outside is a major plus for him. The inside situation is very much up in the air and that helps him.

58 WR Lance Long

Evaluation – Long’s entire off-season was spent rehabbing a leg injury and he could not practice. Those types of snaps and visibility are something a player like Long cannot afford to lose. He’s small (5-11, 185 pounds), not necessarily fast, but owns a big heart and a barrel of desire. On a 4-12 team a guy like that can find a spot on the roster. If the Chiefs are going to be an improved team, there should not be a spot for Long. Last year, he spent five weeks on the practice squad, was activated and played in seven games before being inactive for the last three games. He caught eight passes for 74 yards against Jacksonville. After that, he struggled to make an impact.

57 LB Justin Cole

Evaluation – An undrafted rookie free agent out of San Jose State, Cole was one of the more impressive unknown players during the off-season. He’s got good size at 6-3, 242 pounds and a history of playing on the edge, where he showed in the off-season the ability to run. How big an upside Cole carries will depend on his ability to produce and perform in camp and the pre-season games.

56 LB Cory Greenwood

Evaluation – One does not need to be Scott Pioli or Todd Haley to see that Greenwood has a world of talent. The Canadian college player is a talented athlete, dedicated to strength and conditioning and seems to be able to pick things up mentally in a quick manner. Every off-season practice he seemed to be more and more comfortable. There’s a real chance for him to be a special teams demon.

55 LB David Herron

Evaluation – Herron joined the team at the end of September last year and made his contributions strictly on special teams, where he finished with 11 tackles. Herron plays the inside on defense, but saw action there just once during the ‘09 schedule. An undrafted free agent out of Michigan State in ‘07, Herron’s work in the kicking game is his only ticket to the roster.

54 S DaJuan Morgan

Evaluation – It’s make-or-break time for the third-year safety. In his first season, he had limited opportunities as the coaches did not want to overload him as a junior coming out of North Carolina State. Last season in year No. 2, he got a chance to start game No. 8 and did nothing to impress the coaches; he was inactive the next game. Overall, he played in 13 games, made two starts and finished the season on the injured-reserve list with a chest injury. Morgan had 15 tackles on defense and only six in the kicking game. A talented athlete, Morgan reacts quickly to the offense and frequently with a play-action fake that gets him out of position and leaves part of the deep middle open. He’s a hitter, not a coverage safety. Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Jon McGraw and possibly Donald Washington are all ahead of him in the roster race.

53 G/T Ikechuku Ndukwe

Evaluation – It’s hard to believe based on what we saw from Ndukwe last year that he’ll have a roster spot again for the ‘10 season. There’s a reason Bill Parcells was willing to trade him to his son-in-law – he wasn’t going to make the Dolphins roster. Very early, Ndukwe was found wanting as a tackle; he got three starts but was yanked in favor of Ryan O’Callaghan. The next two weeks he was inactive and played sparingly over the rest of the season. He’s not particularly strong, or quick of foot. He brings smarts and can play both guard and tackle; that versatility is the only ticket he really has to the 53-man roster.

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52 FB Mike Cox

Evaluation – A tough, gutty player, Cox does not have a toolbox full of skills he can provide. He can block, he can catch the ball on occasion out of the backfield and he’s durable. An undrafted rookie three years ago out of Georgia Tech, Cox is one of those guys that aware that any minute the phone call may come to see the head coach and bring his playbook. Roster decisions at fullback will be tied in the ‘10 season to what happens at tight end.

51 RB Jackie Battle

Evaluation – For three seasons, Battle played in three, nine and five games, a total of 17. Last year, he was five games into the ‘09 season when he went to the injured reserve list with a shoulder problem. At that point, he was making a contribution not on offense, but on special teams, where he had six tackles. In the last two seasons, Battle has started strong in training camp, only to peter out as the weeks flew off the schedule. With Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and the young Kestahn Moore all running ahead of him, Battle will again have to make himself known in the kicking game if he wants to survive another year.

50 DT Shaun Smith

Evaluation – Maybe Smith makes the roster because he’s Romeo Crennel’s guy. Maybe he’s one of those veteran players that have problems getting excited about the off-season. Or, maybe he’s simply not very good. There’s little that Smith showed during the team’s mini-camp and OTAs that screams he must be on the final 53-man roster. He was demoted to the third team by June. Smith’s profile during his six-year career is that of a roller coaster player, or just the type of guy that Haley is trying to weed out of the Chiefs locker room. However, never count out a veteran survivor like Smith, especially one that weighs 325 pounds and can play the nose for a team that needs improved play at the position.

49 CB Mike Richardson

Evaluation – A former New England draft pick, Richardson signed on at the end of September and played in 11 games, most of that time on special teams. He contributed a dozen tackles in the kicking game, making him one of the top special teams performers last season. As for coverage, Richardson would rank fifth or sixth on the depth chart based on what we saw last season and in this off-season. He’ll likely be a roster factor right down to the final cut down date because of that special teams experience and production. There’s not much that he offers the defense.

48 OT Barry Richardson

Evaluation – Another third-year player who faces a make-or-break season. There were opportunities last year for Richardson to establish himself at right tackle in the Chiefs offensive line, but he wasn’t able to lock down the job. He’s gotten stronger over the past two seasons, which was one of the negatives on him coming out of Clemson. There’s frequently a breakthrough moment for offensive lineman where they struggle and then boom, it falls together. Richardson needs that moment to happen in ‘10. He has the athletic ability to challenge Ryan O’Callaghan for the starting spot at right tackle.

47 QB Tyler Palko

Evaluation – Haley really likes what he’s seen during this off-season from Palko, but sometimes it was hard to understand why. He was not especially accurate throwing the ball, was sometimes slow in delivering the pass and frequently heard from offensive coordinator Charlie Weis about decision making. Palko will be 27 years old in August. He’s not especially big (6-1, 215) and while he’s spent time with New Orleans, Arizona and Pittsburgh, his contributions haven’t been seen on the field. The release of Matt Gutierrez effectively gave Palko the No. 3 QB position, but he should continue to rent, rather than buy.

46 LB Demorrio Williams

Evaluation – That Williams played all 16 games last season was a remarkable testimony to his toughness. He battled a knee injury from training camp on and was never at 100 percent. Still, he led the team with 142 total tackles, while playing only on early run downs. The fact the Chiefs were 31st in the league against the run is not a chip in his favor. Williams has shown in this off-season that he’s healthy. But in his seventh NFL season, he doesn’t bring much to the party. He’s not quick or fast or strong or a particularly heady ballplayer. Williams is tough and he’ll stick his nose in a hole, if he can get there. The Chiefs need inside linebackers that can get there.

45 DT Derek Lokey

Evaluation – Can an undrafted free agent, who in two NFL seasons has played a total of three games and not made a tackle really be the Chiefs best nose tackle? At the end of the off-season practices he was. Lokey was running with the first team, all 6-1, 300 pounds of him. What does he bring to the defense? He’s got a strong motor that he never turns off. He’s an intelligent player, who understands his role. Whether or not he’s a talented enough athletically to hold down two gaps in the K.C. run defense is something Lokey must prove.

44 CB Travis Daniels

Evaluation – Much has been expected from Daniels since he left LSU, went to Miami and then Cleveland. Along the way, his opportunities did not lead to consistent playing time on the corner. He started 14 games as a rookie for the Dolphins and in four seasons since, he’s started 14 more games. Daniels has good size, good speed and he seems to have a good understanding of defense. During the team’s mini-camp in June, Daniels was the best player on the field for those five practices, as he was consistently knocking down passes and even grabbed several interceptions. That must be transferred to August in St. Joe and then on the field in the fall.

43 WR Terrance Copper

Evaluation – Copper was one of the best special teams performers on the field for the Chiefs last year, specifically in coverage and blocking. It wasn’t until the final game of the season, when he made a real dent in the offense when he hooked up with QB Matt Cassel on a 50-yard pass and run play against the Broncos. He had only three other catches during the season for a total of 18 yards. But he did have 16 tackles in the kicking game. In his seventh season, Copper still has the ability to step on the gas and gain separation. But last year in a season where the Chiefs were signing receivers off the street on almost a weekly basis, Copper couldn’t get an edge and more playing time on offense.

42 LB Corey Mays

Evaluation – Give Mays all the credit in the world – he was signed last year as a free agent from the Bengals due to his prowess in the kicking game. But a dearth of talent at inside linebacker gave him the opportunity to play defense and he took advantage. Mays started 13 games and finished as the team’s No. 2 tackler with 100. He ended up with only three special teams tackles. This will be his fifth NFL season and Mays does not bring great athletic skills to the position. He does have one characteristic that all good linebackers must have – he is willing to hit.

41 LS Thomas Gafford

Evaluation – As a long snapper, Gafford is solid in getting the ball back for PATs, FGs and punts. Last year, he added four tackles in punt coverage and that showed he’s not an offensive lineman. He had one bad snap last season. Gafford is diligent and works hard at sharpening his skills.

40 S Jarrad Page

Evaluation – Page’s boycott of the team’s off-season program and his request to be traded have him living off the Chiefs radar screen going into the ‘10 season. Page made a place in the NFL due to a good overall level of athletic skills and intelligence. It had nothing to do with great speed or quickness, and he wasn’t an especially vicious tackler. He and Haley got tangled up last year in Page’s frequent muscle pulls and the like; the head coach felt he should be practicing, the player thought otherwise. There’s no future for Page in Kansas City and if the Chiefs had not been burned by releasing Bernard Pollard last year, Page would already be on the street trying to find another job in the NFL, which he will.
(Evaluations of Chiefs players No. 20-39 coming on Sunday)

Mr. Laz
07-03-2010, 11:15 AM
39 DE Alex Magee

Evaluation – His rookie season for the 3rd-round draft choice in ‘09 was a disappointment. Magee played in 15 games and contributed eight total tackles and two sacks. At one point near mid-season it seemed like everything was falling together for him, as he had sacks in back-to-back November games. From that point on, he had no sacks and three tackles in five games. Late in the season he picked up a hamstring injury and how long he dealt with that is something outsiders do not know. Magee worked hard in the off-season and he’ll need to show that progress in camp and the pre-season. If he can be stout enough to anchor one end of the defense against the run, he’ll shoot up the charts and rankings. None of that was very visible last year in his part-time play.

38 C Casey Wiegmann

Evaluation – Never rule out a wily veteran of the lineage of Wiegmann, but how much is left in his tank is a question only training camp and the pre-season will answer. In his 15th season, Wiegmann is two years older, with two more years of playing on his bones since he was last snapping for the Chiefs. He’s not any bigger or stronger and will likely give up 30 to 40 pounds to any nose tackle he faces. What Wiegmann has going for him is that experience and all the tricks of the trade that he’s learned over the years. But it’s hard to see how Wiegmann would be an upgrade over the man who replaced him two years ago, Rudy Niswanger.
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37 OT Ryan O’Callaghan (left)

Evaluation – The waiver-claim from the Patriots is huge, but he does not move very well. Through the ‘09 season, once he jumped into the starting lineup in game No. 4, he did improve in what was the longest stretch of game action he’d seen in his short career. O’Callaghan allowed four sacks last year and frequently lost the outside edge to the faster pass rushers. If he’s going to have a career at Arrowhead Stadium, this coming season will have to be huge for him. He needs to show major improvement. The problem is that right now, there’s no one visibly pressuring him to keep his job. Average at best, he needs competition if he’s going to get to that level.
36 TE Brad Cottam

Evaluation – Cottam was one of those players who struggled with the transition to the attitudes and approach of Haley last year. There were times in his first season with the Chiefs when there wasn’t the sense of urgency in Cottam’s approach that Haley demands every minute. That forced some adjustments for the tight end like a lot of other guys he was on the game-day active roller coaster: he played, sat, played, sat, dressed by did not play, sat for three weeks and then finally in the middle of November he got a chance to play every week, right up until he suffered a broken neck against Cleveland in the middle of December. That was a setback for Cottam, as he was not allowed to practice in the off-season program. He was able to work out and he may be in the best shape of his life. But right now it’s a real question mark how he bounces back.

35 NT Ron Edwards

Evaluation – The 10-year veteran has made a career for himself by being big and playing average football on the inside of the defense. Edwards has the size and personality to be one of those nose tackles who ties up two gaps and doesn’t complain. The problem is there hasn’t been much production from him. The Chiefs have not been very good stopping the run, Edwards doesn’t rack up a lot of tackles (29 last season), he doesn’t force fumbles and he’s a marginal pass rusher, failing to record a sack last season. Edwards has been durable and hasn’t missed a game in the last four seasons. But he’ll turn 31 in about a week and ended up getting pushed out of the No. 1 defensive line in the spring.

34 S Kendrick Lewis

Evaluation – There are a lot of things that Lewis has going for him when it comes to making the transition from Ole Miss and the SEC to the Chiefs and the NFL. He’s intelligent, football smart, dedicated to getting better, a student of the game and a guy who doesn’t mind colliding with a guy in the other colored jersey. But he was drafted in the 5th-round because he’s not very big – a notch under his listed 6-feet – and he’s not very fast. Lewis is going to get a chance to play and/or start in the ‘10 season. For it to happen, he has to make sure he doesn’t fumble the chance.
33 FB Tim Castille

Evaluation – Castille joined the Chiefs off the street in November, after he was a pre-season casualty of the Cardinals. Because of Haley’s familiarity with him, he got a chance to play immediately. It was with mixed production. Castille is big (238 pounds) and powerful and if he can get his hands on a defender, he can block. One thing the Alabama product has going for him is the fact he could also play halfback if he was needed. There isn’t a lot of upside with Castille.

32 RB Kestahn Moore

Evaluation – During his college career at Florida, the Gators coaches, players and fans kept waiting for the big, breakthrough season from Moore. It never came. He spent time last year as an undrafted rookie with the Broncos and Chargers and it didn’t come there either. The Chiefs picked him up at the end of the ‘09 season and in this off-season he’s made a push for a roster spot. Built in a similar manner as veteran Thomas Jones, Moore runs with power and he has a wiggle as he breaks through the hole. He can also catch the ball. If needs to perform in camp and the pre-season to save his career.

31 C/G Jon Asamoah

Evaluation – The third-round pick will be fun to watch once the pads go on in St. Joe. In the off-season work it was obvious what the Chiefs saw in him athletically. He’s got good feet, seems to be fundamentally sound and has got the size the team is looking for inside. But one of the traits that drew the Chiefs to Asamoah was his nastiness on the field. He’s a go to the whistle and then some guy and he’s said there’s nothing he enjoys more than making a defensive player a pancake with one of his blocks. Mobility and nastiness – that’s what Haley’s looking for on his offensive line.

30QB Brodie Croyle

Evaluation – What to say about Croyle, who is now in his fifth NFL season and still hasn’t been able to direct a winning effort as a pro starter. Nobody gave him any chance to stay with the team when Pioli and Haley took over. He doesn’t fit the GM’s size standard for a quarterback and his inability to stay healthy was not something Haley was happy about. But Croyle has grown on the new guys because he continues to work hard and when he had to play in the ‘09 opener, he did a good job. Whether he’s good enough to lead a successful NFL team remains to be seen, but he’s now 27 and time is running out on his opportunity.

29 C Rudy Niswanger

Evaluation – When Niswanger suffered a knee injury in the game before the bye week last season, he was expected to miss three or four weeks. By the time the Chiefs returned from their bye week respite, he had the knee in a brace and did not miss a beat. This is one tough hombre and he’s smart too. What he doesn’t have is top-level athletic skills and he has constant battles to get leverage with his 6-5 frame against smaller, but powerful defensive tackles. As an undrafted free agent coming into the league, Niswanger’s roster spot will always be in doubt. Whether Wiegmann, or even rookie Asamoah can challenge him for the starting spot is doubtful.

28 WR Jerheme Urban

Evaluation – A six-year veteran who came over from the Cardinals, Urban doesn’t bring any one special thing to the Chiefs offense. He’s got good size (6-3, 207), nice speed and quickness and inconsistent hands. Urban comes across as an intelligent guy who knows what to do on the field, whether it’s on offense or special teams. Compared to say Bobby Wade who was in last year’s receiver mix, he’s an upgrade. Whether it’s enough of an improvement in the team’s talent level remains to be seen. It tells us something that Arizona lost WR Anquan Boldin, but weren’t worried about losing a replacement in Urban.
27 TE Leonard Pope

Evaluation – At 6-8, Pope is a huge target but when it comes to catching the ball, that’s not his strength. In 13 games last year with the Chiefs, Pope caught 20 passes, at an average of 8.7 yards a catch. It’s tough for him to get deep down the seam, as he runs very mechanically. But Pope can block and he provided a lot of help for Jamaal Charles in the second half of the season.

26 DE Tyson Jackson

Evaluation – It’s hard to imagine a defensive end can play in 16 games, start 14 of those and not have a sack or turnover to show on his stat sheet. Jackson averaged less than two tackles per game and was not involved in any big plays last year. It’s not like his presence made other players better, as the Chiefs struggled on defense, especially against the run when they finished No. 31 in the league. That Jackson made it through the season without going down speaks to his personality. There wasn’t anything lackadaisical in his approach or manner; he just didn’t get anything done. That’s not good and Jackson needs to bounce back in ‘10 with a big year. Potential is there, but based on what the eyes saw last year; it’s hard to give him an arrow up at this time.
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25 S Jon McGraw (right)

Evaluation – Last year McGraw did enough things well that he was given Jarrad Page’s starting job near mid-season and stayed there for the rest of the schedule. The 31-year old Kansas native still has some top-notch athletic skills; they allow him to make big contributions in the kicking game like last season when he blocked a Baltimore punt and then recovered in the end zone for a TD in the season opener. However, defensively he doesn’t end up in the vicinity of big plays very often. Last year he had one interception and one sack. It’s likely we’ve seen the best of Jon McGraw.

24TE Tony Moeaki

Evaluation – When he got on the field in the off-season practices, Moeaki showed quickly and often that he’s got talents that can be an immediate difference in the Chiefs offense. He has the ability to get down the seam and open up the deep secondary. He can run at full speed and catch the ball from difficult angles, a true sign of an athletic TE. Plus, what little we were able to see in the practices, he can block. He seems to know what he’s doing and how to get it done. If he can stay on the field and healthy, this ranking may be too low. If he falls into the pattern he had at Iowa and gets hurt then this ranking may be too high. For Moeaki, the great ability he can have for the ‘10 Chiefs will be his availability.

23CB Javier Arenas

Evaluation – The 2nd-round pick out of Alabama can be a factor in two of the team’s three phases, and not just a factor, but a game-changing force. Arenas ability to return punts and kicks and his quick grasp of the nickel position on defense, are going to give him opportunities with the ball in his hands. When those moments occur, Arenas has shown he will make a difference.

22OLB Andy Studebaker

Evaluation – After last season it’s hard to know how serious to take Studebaker and his potential. When finally given a chance to contribute, he burst on the scene against Pittsburgh and intercepted two passes, almost taking one back for a touchdown. The Division III product got his TD later in the year when he recovered a fumbled punt snap in the end zone for six points. Studebaker is physically a stud and is solid a 6-3, 248 pounds as you’ll find in the NFL. He’s strong, quick, aggressive and intent on causing mayhem, otherwise everything a team is looking for from an outside backer. His lack of big-time competition hindered his growth, but that’s in the past now. If there’s something there behind those muscles, it’s time for him to show it and time for him to get the opportunity to play.

21CB Maurice Leggett

Evaluation – It will be interesting to see if there remains an upside to Leggett’s NFL career in his third season. His ‘09 was cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery, but he was full-go in the off-season program. An undrafted free agent from the Division II level, Leggett was able to make plays in his rookie season. Can he get back to that spot, whether it’s at cornerback or safety, where he’s taking some snaps as well? When he made the team three seasons ago, there was a dearth of secondary talent. That’s no longer the case.

20ILB Jovan Belcher

Evaluation – A real find last year as an undrafted rookie out of Maine, Belcher grew and grew into the role and by the end of the season was a regular on the nickel defense and was getting some time with the base No. 1 group. While he’s not very big (6-2, 228), Belcher can deliver a blow and he’s got the quickness to make it explosive. His athletic ability could be seen on special teams, where he was the Chiefs leading tackler. Whether Belcher’s time is now, it will come in the next few seasons. If he can improve like he did as a rookie, he’ll be on the field with the defense.

Mr. Laz
07-03-2010, 11:22 AM
19 G Ryan Lilja

Evaluation – Beginning his seventh season in the NFL, Lilja is set to play his first regular season with the Chiefs. After six years with the Colts and winning a Super Bowl ring, Lilja was cut loose after the team’s disappointing loss in last February’s Super Bowl to New Orleans. At 6-2, 290 pounds, he’s built the way Haley would like his interior linemen to be – not so heavy and more mobile. The question is after a couple of knee injuries will be how mobile Lilja remains. The Colts do not make many personnel mistakes with veteran players, so the decision to let Lilja go tells us they thought his run was over. Considering his entrance to the league as an undrafted rookie, Lilja’s career is remarkable not only because he became a starter, but that he’s lasted this long. He will be 29 in October- can he go another year? The Chiefs are counting on it.

18 WR/RB Dexter McCluster

Evaluation – Quite possibly one of the most exciting additions to the offensive roster in many, many years, McCluster’s impact on the Chiefs in his rookie season will depend on how much work he can handle. The coaching staff saw enough in the off-season to know that whether it’s at running back, wide receiver or in the slot, and whether it’s catching, running or handing off, McCluster can impact the game. And, that doesn’t even cover his abilities in the return game. But, how long will his 5-8, 170-pound body hold up?

17 G Brian Waters

Evaluation – When it comes to knowledge, leadership and heart, Waters is at the top of the Chiefs chart. But he’s 33 and coming off a season where his play slipped due to an ankle/foot injury that would have shelved most players. He sucked it up and played all season, although he wasn’t always as effective as previous seasons. He was flagged eight times for penalties (false start and holding), after having just six in the previous three seasons combined. Waters is a mauler in the running game and last year he allowed just 1.5 sacks making him tops in pass protection among the starting offensive line. He can still be effective, but the clock will soon run out on his career.

16 DE Wallace Gilberry

Evaluation – Coming off the corner, Gilberry is the best pass rusher on the defensive line, although that’s not saying a lot with this roster. He’s got a nice burst off the snap and some developed pass rush moves that got him to the passer 4.5 times last season. That’s not huge, but it was second on the Chiefs last year behind Tamba Hali and came in limited snaps, as he worked almost exclusively out of the nickel pass rush. If he can follow up his improvement of last year with another step forward this year, Gilberry will become a defensive force and will get more snaps and chances in the base defense.

15 OLB Mike Vrabel

Evaluation – When it comes to knowledge, leadership and heart, Vrabel would be No. 1 or No. 2 on this team just like Waters. Those factors are diminished by his soon to be 35-year old physical skills. Vrabel can still play and get it done. But the clock is ticking and at this point in his career, it can happen at any moment. If this is the year, then it will hurt the Chiefs defense. If Vrabel has one more season as a reliable contributor to the defense, then it could pay dividends down the road – that would come from the knowledge of the Romeo Crennel defense that the veteran linebacker can pass along. Whether he plays inside or outside, Vrabel can help. He’s not going to produce a lot of big plays –last year he had two sacks, no interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles. That was the least productive big-play season of his last eight.

14 K Ryan Succop

Evaluation – This is way too high for a kicker coming off a rookie season. But the relative lack of talent on the Chiefs roster, combined with one of the best first years by a kicker in the last quarter-century makes the future very, very bright for Succop. Physically he’s a big man for a kicker at 6-2, 220 pounds. His leg is strong and he was accurate in ‘09, hitting 86.2 percent of his field goals. Inside the 40-yard line, he hit 17 of 17. He was solid and dependable and that’s all any team wants from a kicker. If he continues to grow, he’ll be one of the league’s better kickers.

13 S Eric Berry

Evaluation – There is no doubt this is too high a ranking for someone who has yet to play a down in an NFL game. But then, that’s the nature of the problems the Chiefs have had with their roster in recent seasons. There’s no doubt that adding a player with the athletic ability that Berry possesses is huge for Pioli/Haley. We are speaking here of size/speed/strength/quickness. But on top of that he brings smarts, dedication, an understanding of defensive concepts far above his age and standing in the game. Berry will not be perfect and he will make mistakes, but when those moments come, he’ll be going a thousand miles per hour, minimizing the effect.

12 CB Brandon Carr

Evaluation – From Division II to a starting job in the NFL was a helluva jump for Carr as a rookie and he pulled it off with great aplomb. He followed it up last year with a performance that showed marginal improvement. Carr must show more improvement in his third season. His physical package is a good one, with nice size (6-0, 207), good speed and a willingness to mix things up. Despite the fact he’s battled some injuries in the last two years, he’s durable, playing and starting in all 32 games. Carr does not have the closing speed of teammate Brandon Flowers, so he must be more technically sound on every ball thrown into his area. Last year he saw 86 passes in his direction. He knocked down 19 of those throws and gave up four touchdown passes. Carr is intelligent and puts in the time. He wants to be good.

11 DE Glenn Dorsey

Evaluation – Dorsey is one of the favorite whipping boys of the fans and some football pundits. They view his spot as a top five draft choice and his performance over the last two seasons and pieces that do not fit together. But his two-year career has not been nearly as poor as some think. It also hasn’t been outstanding, and he needs to continue to improve, of that there is no doubt. He’ll be 25 in August and this third season is huge for him and his future. Dorsey is essentially miscast as a DE in the 3-4. His fit wouldn’t be much better if he moved to nose tackle. Dorsey is a tough guy, who played through his first two seasons with a sore leg that might have forced other players to the injured reserve list. Without a doubt, he must be stronger on the edge when it comes to stopping the run and there needs to be more consistency on the pass rush. There’s a lot of upside with Dorsey.

10 QB Matt Cassel

Evaluation – He has just 30 starts in the NFL. In fact, Cassel has just 30 starts over the last 10 years of pro and college football. That’s 30 starts in a decade. His body may be 28, but Cassel’s body of work is that of a 23 or 24-year old quarterback, meaning he’s still making mistakes of inexperience. There are times he holds on to the ball too long, or floats a pass into a situation where the ball should never have left his hand. Cassel’s arm strength is good enough; he has good mobility coming out of the pocket, but needs to improve his feel for the pressure while in the pocket. When it comes to understanding the offense, understanding his options, there are no obvious problems and when it comes to intangibles, the guy is off the chart. The locker room is decidedly in his corner going into the ‘10 season; most of his teammates understand he needs more help. Last season, Cassel completed 55 percent of his passes. If the Chiefs sliced their total of 49 dropped passes in half, his percentage would climb to 60 percent. He averaged a paltry 5.93 yards per attempt, but then only two receivers averaged more than 13.3 yards per catch. Cassel will never be a superstar, but he has enough talent and intangibles to lead a team to the playoffs. He must raise his level of play to be among the top five players on the Chiefs.

9 WR Dwayne Bowe

Evaluation – In another situation, another coach and another offense, Bowe could be among the NFL’s best receivers. With the Chiefs, he may not be the top catcher on his own team. Consistency and mistakes stand between Bowe and being one of the game’s marquee pair of hands. There is a real problem with focus, concentration and consistency with Bowe, and all are categories that drive the head coach crazy. If Haley has been an offensive line coach or running backs coach, he might not be so picky with his receivers. But that’s where he built his expertise as a pro coach and he understands the position and its fundamentals. Bowe has also had aley’shis problem with catching the passes thrown his way. Last year, Bowe was the target 87 times in the 11 games that he played. He caught 47 of those passes. He dropped 11; no other WR dropped more throws and no other receiver had a higher percentage of drops than he did. There was nothing new with this performance. Over the last two seasons, Bowe has been the target 244 times; he caught 133 passes and has dropped 24 throws. That means he drops one in every 10 passes thrown his way, or a little under one per game. Bowe will fight for jump balls, he will go across the middle, he will tap his toes on the sidelines and he can run over people. None of that matters when he loses his focus, whether on or off the field. The more it happens, the more it seems to be a problem that can’t be fixed.

8 WR Chris Chambers (right)

Evaluation – On a better team, he would be farther down the list, somewhere between 10 and 15. Chambers has never been a No. 1 receiver and he’ll be 32 years old in August. Given the situation in San Diego with Vincent Jackson, there’s a good chance that Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith is second-guessing his decision to dump Chambers at mid-season in ‘09. There’s no doubt Chambers is going to be an important part of the Chiefs ‘10 offense; but for how many more years to come? It’s doubtful that there’s much of an upside beyond what he showed in the second half of last season. As receiver poor as the Chiefs are right now, that’s still good enough to be the best pass catcher on the team.

7 LB Derrick Johnson

Evaluation – Based on natural ability, Johnson should be No. 1 or 2 on this list. His combination of size and speed is what every team seeks from linebackers. Based on production over his career, he lands in the bottom half of the top 10; what’s happened on the field has never matched up with the potential. D.J. will be 28 in November and should have several good seasons left. Right now he needs opportunity and when it comes, he must produce. As under-achieving as he’s been, he’s still a playmaker on defense and he needs to be on the field for all situations, not just in the nickel defense. It will be interesting to see just what type of chances he gets in Romeo Crennel’s scheme.

6 P Dustin Colquitt

Evaluation – It says something about Colquitt that he ranks this high. It also says something about the lack of talent on the Chiefs roster that he would even be in the top 10 going to camp. No matter, Colquitt is one of the best weapons on the roster and when he’s consistent, few are better in placement, distance and hang time. His ability to manipulate the football on his kicks also makes him a major threat to cause returners to fumble the ball or fail to grab the ball after it bounces. Each season, Colquitt has improved his directional punting, while still having one of the league’s most powerful legs.

5 OLB Tamba Hali

Evaluation – As hard as he works – and there are few on the team that put in more sweat equity to their careers – it’s unlikely there will ever be a time when Hali will be considered a complete OLB. Although his coverage skills have improved over 50 percent from last season, it remains a duty that does not suit him. But everything else is there in the package – ability to handle blockers, pass rushing skills, intelligence and intensity. Last year he made the difficult transition from playing with his hand down to playing standing up and week-by-week he got better. He’s unlikely to ever lead the NFL in sacks, but there’s no reason that Hali should not average 10 sacks a season for the next few years. A pass rusher on the other side would make that very possible.

4 RB Thomas Jones

Evaluation – As with most backs over the age of 30, when the end comes for Jones it will show itself quickly. For the soon to be 32-year old, there has been nothing visible to indicate he will be any less effective in ‘10 than he was last year, when he had the best rushing season of his career. Jones has enough speed, more than enough power and the experience of handling a running game so there isn’t much he can’t provide the offense when he’s on the field. He’s a very good counter-point to Charles with the way he runs the football. His leadership skills are excellent. This guy is a warrior. His arrow is heading downward because the end of his career is near. But his mindset and moxie are very important additions to the Chiefs this year.

3 OT Branden Albert

Evaluation – Last year was a roller coaster for the young man out of Virginia. His ride started low and finished high. What has not diminished are Albert’s skills to play the tough left tackle spot. Sometimes he tries too hard to do things the exact way he was taught. When he fails, he’s too hard on himself and too self-critical while hearing the analysis of his coaches rattling around in his head. Offensive linemen are asked to block and control a man or a gap on the field. How that happens isn’t as important as it happening. Sometimes when a guy is in the scrum of the line of scrimmage, anything short of homicide is OK as long as it gets the job done. Albert has all the physical tools to get done anything asked of him at left tackle. His best football should be in front of him.

2 RB Jamaal Charles

Evaluation – In half of the ‘09 season, Charles showed he has all the qualities a team looks for in a featured back with the exception of size. He’s just 23 years old and with judicious use Charles should be effective for six or seven seasons. The Texas native is at his best when he’s headed for the corner and running in the open field. In a blink, he’s up to speed and running past people. But the key is that when he must run between the tackles, he’s more than willing to do so. He’ll put down his head and bury it into the chest of a defensive back trying to tackle him. When it comes to throwing a block in pass protection, he’s willing and more than able. With more work, Charles can become a consistent receiver on those little dump passes; right now he’s just as liable to drop the ball as catch it. Right now, he’s the most talented and complete back in the AFC West.

1 CB Brandon Flowers (left)
Evaluation – A healthy season with an end to shoulder problems is the only thing holding back this young man from rising to the top levels of AFC corners. He’s 24-years old, with excellent speed and that cornerback maturity to forget the last play. He also has just a hint of cockiness that any coach loves to see in one of his corners. His ability to be beaten of the line of scrimmage and then make up the distance between himself and the receiver is rare. Flowers ball skills are good and once he has the ball in his hands, he has the speed and moves to be able to take it back for a score. The only negative with Flowers is his 5-9 size and whether his body can holdup for 16+ games season after season. There’s no doubt about his personality – he’s tough, hard-nosed and willing to throw his body around.

SNR
07-03-2010, 11:47 AM
81- S Eric Berry- He sucks. Bust.

KCrockaholic
07-03-2010, 12:11 PM
So all of our rookies, omit Cameron Sheffield are in the top 40 of our team? I agree.

Sweet Daddy Hate
07-03-2010, 01:17 PM
81- S Eric Berry- He sucks. Bust.

LMAO

BossChief
07-03-2010, 01:25 PM
It still feels good to see these lists and not see Mike Brown or Goff on it.

Add to that this rookie class and one has to think we will be quite a bit improved.

Im anxious to see what ole Gretz has to say about the rest of the roster, he seems pretty spot on for the ones so far.

ChiefsCountry
07-03-2010, 01:47 PM
It still feels good to see these lists and not see Mike Brown or Goff on it.


Get Cassel off the roster and it will be even better than those two.

JASONSAUTO
07-03-2010, 01:51 PM
Get Cassel off the roster and it will be even better than those two.

you have taken this a little overboard.
Posted via Mobile Device

BossChief
07-03-2010, 02:03 PM
you have taken this a little overboard.
Posted via Mobile Device

You haven't even seen overboard yet, buddy!

If Cassel doesn't come out looking like a real quarterback and takes a few more shits on the field, its gonna get really colorful on here.

TheGuardian
07-03-2010, 02:09 PM
you have taken this a little overboard.
Posted via Mobile Device

QFT. I wish people would shut up with this shit, and I'm not even a Cassel fan.

chasedude
07-03-2010, 02:10 PM
Am excited to catch a practice now that it is in St. Joe. Hope to see some of you bastages out there too!

milkman
07-03-2010, 02:13 PM
QFT. I wish people would shut up with this shit, and I'm not even a Cassel fan.

I wish I had a few million dollars.

Guess what.

Jilly
07-03-2010, 02:58 PM
So based on a few practices we are supposed to put validity in this? Who knows, right? I hate the offseason.

Sweet Daddy Hate
07-04-2010, 11:05 AM
Cassel will be in the top 5 of Boob's list, and I shall vomit.

KCrockaholic
07-04-2010, 11:33 AM
Berry should be top 10. Maybe top 5...

Charles
Flowers
Colquitt
Tamba
Berry?

Maybe a bit much for a guy that's never played.

Mr. Laz
07-05-2010, 10:21 AM
Bump for final group

Consistent1
07-05-2010, 10:29 AM
Yeah, I was looking for that also.

Reerun_KC
07-05-2010, 10:29 AM
You haven't even seen overboard yet, buddy!

If Cassel doesn't come out looking like a real quarterback and takes a few more shits on the field, its gonna get really colorful on here.

ROFL

The franchise should be scared of your whining....

Sweet Daddy Hate
07-06-2010, 04:20 PM
Ah, but we help fuel JWhit, and that is it's own, glorious reward.

Yes, yes it is.