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Roster Projections - Defense & ST
A Quick Look at How I See the Defense After the First Preseason Game
The defensive side of the ball for the Chiefs is definitely going to have a lot of new faces this year and that’s a good thing. The team added a ton of youth in the draft and have added a couple of interesting pieces via free agency. Let’s take a look.
In case you missed the first projection for the offense here it is.
Chris Jones - No explanation needed
Derrick Nnadi - Still think he’s the starter next to Jones
Tershawn Wharton - Best interior pass rusher the team has had next to Jones for the past couple of seasons.
Khalen Saunders - This is where it gets questionable. Saunders is the likely candidate after game one but the Chiefs just added a huge DT in Danny Shelton meaning they don’t like their depth.
Taylor Stallworth, Khinde Hassan, Matt Dickerson and Danny Shelton. Stallworth seems to be the only one that would have a chance to replace Saunders so far if Shelton doesn’t.
Frank Clark - He’ll be on the team in 2022
George Karlaftis - Likely rotational early in the year but could challenge to start later in the season.
Carlos Dunlap - Likely starter but could platoon with Karlaftis
Mike Danna - Rotational player and maybe the early down DE to help in run defense.
Malik Herring - Likely a practice squad player.
Joshua Kaindoh - I just haven’t seen enough to this point to justify the spot on the roster.
Azur Kamara - Sounds like the team likes him he could end up on the practice squad.
Nick Bolton - Starting middle linebacker
Willie Gay - Starting outside linebacker
Elijah Lee - Currently the other starting outside linebacker. A role the team is hoping Chenal can step into but Lee will also be a core special teams guy.
Leo Chenal - Potentially a starter at the SAM position at linebacker. Could also be used as a rotational pass rusher. Will also serve as the backup MIKE linebacker.
Jermaine Carter - I could see a situation where Carter doesn’t make it but at this point he’s their best option for defense and special teams.
Linebacker is likely a position they could go small at to keep all the offensive players.
Mike Rose, Darius Harris, and Jack Cochrane are likely all guys the Chiefs could have on the practice squad.
La’Jarius Sneed - Starter
Trent McDuffie - Rookie Starter
Rashaad Fenton - Looks to be on the roster in a starting role after returning to the starters when coming off PUP.
Joshua Williams - Tall, lean and athletic rookie corner who could push for playing time based off the reps so far in camp.
Dicaprio Bootle - This position could go a few different directions and no matter who the Chiefs keep they will have to be a core special teamer.
Jaylen Watson, Brandon Dandridge, and Chris Lammons could all push for the roster instead of Bootle on special teams.
Nazeeh Johnson is another corner they drafted in 2022 who is just facing a huge numbers issue at the position and on the roster.
Justin Reid - Easily one of the best additions to this roster from everything I’ve seen as a free agent in 2022.
Juan Thornhill - Should find out what they have in Thornhill who looks fully recovered from his injury his rookie year.
Bryan Cook - Cook will play a decent amount of snaps on defense but he will likely also be a big contributor on special teams which will be fun to watch.
Deon Bush - This is more about him not being noticed as much as Devon Key was for the wrong reasons on Saturday. Anderson also missed the game so he could push for the last safety spot.
Devon Key - Just never regained his camp form from 2021.
Zayne Anderson - Could push Bush out of a job but didn’t play against the Bears.
Nasir Greer - Just a camp player most likely.
Harrison Butker - No competition unless you count Justin Reid.
Tommy Townsend - Again no competition this year.
James Winchester - Snapper for the Chiefs for years.
I will have another iteration of a roster prediction after watching the game on Saturday against the Commanders. Let me know what you think!