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Updated Kansas City Chiefs depth chart projection for 90-man roster – Chiefs Wire

The Kansas City Chiefs will release their first unofficial depth chart for the 90-man offseason roster sometime next week ahead of the team’s preseason opener against the Chicago Bears. Before they do that, we’re taking a crack at projection.
In most cases, the holdovers from the 2021 NFL season will have a big advantage in our depth chart projection. Those players who’ve been working with the various first through fourth-team units with frequency in training camp will be assigned as such. Draft picks, free agents and undrafted free agents who have performed well in recent training camp practices might get a bump here and there.
With all of that in mind, here is our projection for the offseason 90-man roster’s depth chart:
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
This group is about as straightforward as it gets for Kansas City. Mahomes and Henne are very clearly No. 1 and No. 2 at the position. Whoever wins the battle between Buechele and Crum will likely be on the roster after August 16 (cuts from 90 to 85). That player will then make his case to either be the third QB on the 53-man roster or the team’s practice squad QB.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Each of Edwards-Helaire, McKinnon and Pacheco have seen the most first-team snaps. Edwards-Helaire far-and-away feels like the team’s top option with McKinnon as a close second. Pacheco has consistently earned repetitions with the first- and second-team offense. Meanwhile, Gore and Jones seem to be in a dead-heat for that No. 4 running back spot (if there even is one on the 53-man roster). Fleet-Davis looks to be on a collision course for the practice squad, while Ealy has been getting more repetitions at receiver than running back.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
I tend to believe that a healthy Fortson will be the team’s No. 2 tight end behind Kelce. Gray and Bell have very similar roles and have seen their fair share of repetitions with the first team as well. Franks and Bushman have had solid camps thus far and could even turn into trade pieces for Kansas City should they perform during the preseason.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Hardman and Smith-Schuster look like the top options in this offense right now. Valdes-Scantling and Moore have seen their fair share of repetitions with the first-team as well. Watson and Fountain seem to be favorites in those fifth and sixth receiver spots, but watch out for Powell and Coleman, especially if there are injuries that occur. Ealy is someone who can impress against lower-tier competition and rise up the depth chart as well.
AP Photo/John McCoy
With Brown back in the fold on Thursday, Johnson shifted to the second-string left tackle and Christian kicked over to the right side. That leaves the rookie Kinnard and Wanogho to take over the third-team tackle spots. Kinnard has played some left tackle in camp, so it’s possible they swap these two. Reiter has seen snaps at guard and center on the second team, as has Allegretti. Caliendo has pretty consistently worked at second-team right guard in camp. The third and fourth teams are fairly hard to call with some of the new and returning faces in the mix.
*Niang remains on the active/PUP list and it’s tough to tell where he’d fit in if he were healthy.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
This group feels pretty heavy on the veteran talent at the top. Edwards and Kaindoh feel like they’re probably taking repetitions with the second- and third-team come the preseason. Calhoun (who is listed as a DE and not a LB) is probably taking some of those late team reps along with Herring and Kamara. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Hassan get some IDL snaps, in addition to DE snaps as he’s still a pretty big work in progress. The interior seems fairly straightforward, but I could see Stallworth pushing Saunders for second-string playtime.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
This is a fairly self-explanatory group here. Bolton and Gay are you top guys who are going to be on the field most. Both Lee and Chenal have taken some base 4-3 repetitions. Jermaine Carter is looking like the No. 5 guy, who will also get base snaps with the second team. Harris could push for that spot as well. Rose has taken some good snaps in coverage, but can he do enough to oust a veteran?
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann
McDuffie, Williams and Sneed were the starters at the onset of training camp and I’m not sure that changes much outside of injuries. Bootle was the first man up when Sneed left practice early in training camp, so I think he’ll be the second-team slot. Watson has seen repetitions with the first team, but I think he ends up securing a spot on the second team. Veterans Baker and L. Johnson seem to be on the outside looking in so far. The rookie Nazeeh Johnson was drafted as a safety, but has really only been playing nickel corner snaps so far. Lammons is a special teams ace and has seldom played defense during his time with the team. Dandridge will have to battle to earn snaps.
*Fenton is on the active/PUP list, but Steve Spagnuolo confirmed on Thursday that he’ll be right in the midst of the competition when he returns.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
This group seems pretty straightforward. Thornhill and Reid are clear starters. Cook and Bush have been running with the second team, as has Zayne Anderson. Key and Greer probably have the biggest uphill climb.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Pacheco has been named the team’s starting kick returner (at least for now). I still think Hardman is the best option at punt returner with Justyn Ross on injured reserve. Moore is still learning that role, McDuffie is getting some action there as well. Coleman could be a sneaky option.
*Let’s not forget that Fenton had the team’s second-longest KR in 2020 (44 yards). When he’s healthy, he could also be an option for Kansas City.
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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