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2019 NFL Roster Breakdown: Kansas City Chiefs

Roster Changes


Key additions

RB Carlos Hyde, WR Sammie Coates, TE Blake Bell, DE Frank Clark, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, DE Alex Okafor, DE Jerry Attaochu, OLB Darron Lee, MLB Damien Wilson, CB Bashaud Breeland, S Tyrann Mathieu


Key losses

RB Spencer Ware, RB Charcandrick West, WR Chris Conley, WR De’Anthony Thomas, WR Kelvin Benjamin, TE Demetrius Harris, C Mitch Morse, DL Allen Bailey, OLB Justin Houston, OLB Dee Ford, OLB Frank Zombo, CB Steven Nelson, CB Orlando Scandrick, S Eric Berry, S Ron Parker


2019 draft class

WR Mecole Hardman (2.56), S Juan Thornhill (2.63), DT Khalen Saunders (3.84), CB Rashad Fenton (6.201), RB Darwin Thompson (6.214), G Nick Allegretti (7.216)


Projected Starters



QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB: Damien Williams
FB: Anthony Sherman
WR: Sammy Watkins
WR: Mecole Hardman
TE: Travis Kelce
LT: Eric Fisher
LG: Cameron Erving
C: Austin Reiter
RG: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
RT: Mitchell Schwartz



DE: Frank Clark
DT: Chris Jones
DT: Derrick Nnadi
DE: Emmanuel Ogbah
OLB: Anthony Hitchens
MLB: Reggie Ragland
OLB: Darron Lee
CB: Kendall Fuller
CB: Bashaud Breeland
S: Tyrann Mathieu
S: Juan Thornhill


Team Outlook


Notable depth

QB Chad Henne, RB Carlos Hyde, RB Darrel Williams, RB Darwin Thompson, WR Demarcus Robinson, WR Byron Pringle, WR Gehrig Dieter, TE Blake Bell, OT Andrew Wylie, G Kahlil McKenzie, G Nick Allegretti, DE Alex Okafor, DE Breeland Speaks, DE Jeremiah Attaochu, DL Tanoh Kpassagnon, DT Khalen Saunders, OLB Dorian O’Daniel, MLB Damien Wilson, CB Charvarius Ward, CB Tremon Smith, CB Rashad Fenton, S Jordan Lucas, S Armani Watts, S Daniel Sorenson


Biggest strength: Quarterback

How could Kansas City’s strength be anything else after Patrick Mahomes threw for 50 touchdowns and won NFL MVP in his first year as the team’s starting quarterback? The gunslinger out of Texas Tech has a lot in his favor—excellent coaching, track-star speed at receiver, creative play-calling, etc.—but Mahomes showed he can make plays in and out of the offensive structure, which is often the mark of a special player. We’ll see if a full offseason of studying tape can give defensive coordinators a better shot to slow down the Chiefs in 2019.


Biggest weakness: Cornerback

A scheme change to a 4-3 will hopefully help Kansas City’s defense match their offensive firepower, but the front four will need to be assisted by strong coverage on the backend. The outside in particular looks like it could be a weakness if Bashaud Breeland isn’t able to bounce back from a disappointing stint in Green Bay, and Charvarius Ward, Tremon Smith, and rookie Rashad Fenton are all unknowns. Talented teams have been doomed by coverage issues before, so cornerback could be a fatal flaw if no one steps up in training camp.


Position battle to watch: Linebacker

The new defensive alignment will allow three off-ball linebackers to get on the field together, and it’s a good problem to have four guys that could make a case to start. I project Reggie Ragland to be locked in at middle linebacker with Anthony Hitchens and former first-round pick Darron Lee on the outside, but Dorian O’Daniel is the best cover man of the group, which could get him on the field in big moments, especially considering the inevitable shootouts that Andy Reid’s squad will find themselves in.


One more thought

You probably noticed that Tyreek Hill wasn’t listed at all, as I still think he could be facing a one-year suspension despite no longer being the subject of a criminal investigation for child abuse that resulted in a broken arm for his three-year-old son. Personally, I would want nothing to do with Hill considering his past transgressions, but the Chiefs understandably don’t want to release an All-Pro caliber player only to see him sign elsewhere (à la Kareem Hunt), and a full season out of football would be proper punishment to hopefully let the troubled receiver get his life in order. Kansas City is bracing themselves for at least a lengthy suspension (perhaps eight or ten games) after they spent a second-round pick on Georgia speedster Mecole Hardman.


Early over/under: 10.5 wins (via CBS Sports)

Under. I am not expecting a huge disappointment for the Chiefs in 2019, but ten wins feels like the right number because a) the AFC West should be improved, and b) the changes on defense could take some time to come to fruition. Remember, these are early predictions, but if Tyreek Hill surprisingly gets a short suspension, I’d probably take the over.


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