2018 Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart
|Quarterback||Patrick Mahomes II||Chad Henne|
|Running Back||Spencer Ware||Damien Williams|
|Left Wide Receiver||Tyreek Hill||Demarcus Robinson||De'Anthony Thomas|
|Right Wide Receiver||Chris Conley||Kelvin Benjamin||Marcus Kemp|
|Tight End||Travis Kelce||Demetrius Harris||Alex Ellis|
|Full Back||Anthony Sherman|
|Left Tackle||Eric Fisher||Andrew Wylie|
|Left Guard||Cameron Erving|
|Center||Mitch Morse||Khalil McKenzie||Austin Reiter|
|Right Guard||Jordan Devey||Jeff Allen|
|Right Tackle||Mitchell Schwartz|
A disappointing end to the 2017 season called for immediate action within the Kansas City organization. This house-clearing wasn’t headlined by a coaching clearance, rather the team would part ways with their signal caller, Alex Smith. While this was a move that was coming, many experts did not expect it to take place the season after a playoff appearance. Patrick Mahomes now gets to experience his first season of live action. Mahomes is the highly touted prospect that the team was hoping would develop behind Smith. Just a year removed from Smith and the stage is now his. The team went out and acquired some additional talents to build around Mahomes, leaving little doubt to the production he has to work with.
The Chiefs already play owners to a pretty astounding offensive build. Their roster is built around playmakers and consistent veterans, a nice mesh for a rookie talent to breakthrough with. Tyreek Hill is the team’s deep threat. His speed is hard to cover, often opening the field as his playground. The same can be said about Kareem Hunt at the running back position. Hunt showed that he can be a patient runner, allowing blocks and holes to develop. Once Hunt reaches the second level, he becomes one of the most dangerous backs in the league. His cuts and directional shifts are hard to predict, leaving plenty of green for him to work with. The team felt as if it needed to add another playmaker to this duo, which is why they went out and added Sammy Watkins. Watkins statistics are a mirage, as most of his time spent within the league has been dampened due to injury. He has regained full health and has his legs back under him. He will be a nice asset within this Kansas City offense. Travis Kelce remains as reliable as tight-ends come, which is something Mahomes can lean on until he is ready to air it out. Alex Smith was afforded one of the league’s best touchdown-to-inception ratios within this offense, so more of the same is expected of Mahomes.
The defense made strides through free-agent additions. Covering all tiers of the defense, the team added veteran talents and younger players poised for breakout. One of the most interesting acquisitions was a piece in the Alex Smith trade. Kendall Fuller was utilized as a major add-on in this transaction and he immediately fills a hole at the depleted cornerback position. Reggie Ragland and Anthony Hitchens joined the team for linebacker relief. Both players will likely be slotted into a starting role, crowding the linebacker core with the likes of Dee Ford and Justin Houston. The team now possesses one of, if not the best linebacker depths in the league. Partner this will their other all-pro talents in Eric Berry and you have a solid defensive group.
The draft also posted an opportunity for the team to build a young core of players. Derrick Nnadi, the team’s 3rd round selection, will get to learn from some of the best edge rushers in the league. Breeland Speaks and Dorian O’Daniel will fill back-up positions to the talented linebacker core. They could see role reversals that slot them into edge rushing positions. This will be determined by the overall health of the team as the season progresses. The draft created an opportunity to bring in a new class of learners, especially at key defensive positions. They will get to experience pace of play at a high level and will get to learn under the wings of all-pro players, a relationship that should see their skill sets increase throughout the year.
This Kansas City roster is built around the premise of future considerations and instant impact. The playmaker depth runs deep at the offense and defense, which should make watching this team compete an exciting time for fans of this historic franchise. Mahomes has the tools he needs to flourish at his position, so putting some effort into some of the tangible readings a quarterback has to make will be his nightly homework heading into the 2018 season. While a playoff return is almost imminent, it is not something that is guaranteed. Lower-level competition within a weaker division bodes well for this Kansas City team in 2018.