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There is a thread for general training camp news, but this one will be for head-to-head battles. I'll launch it with a headline.

If you could pick just one, which Chiefs position battle would you watch? Matt says RG, Ron says LB.
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/7/14/22576627/if-you-could-pick-just-one-which-chiefs-position-battle-would-you-watch

For me it's RT. Lucas Niang and Mike Remmers can both make a good case. Remmers had problems in the Super bowl, but he was at LT. He did very well at the other bookend. Niang is a beast in waiting. The only question is how long he has to wait.

At LG I think the team gives LDT the start for loyalty's sake. It seems it is inevitable that an injury comes, at which point Trey Smith is going to be ready. LB is not so much a position battle as who goes where. The battle will be for snap count.

J

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PFF picked three positions per team. There are the ones they have for the Chiefs. Realistically, only RT is a battle for the position. The other two are for playing time. 
https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-three-training-camp-battles-afc-teams-2021

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

WIDE RECEIVER: MECOLE HARDMAN VS. DEMARCUS ROBINSON VS. BYRON PRINGLE VS. CORNELL POWELL

The Chiefs are one Tyreek Hill injury away from having very questionable depth at wide receiver. The Athletic’s Nate Taylor wrote in early July that Hardman is expected to take on the WR2 role previously held by Sammy Watkins. Hardman’s targets have led to success (132.2 passer rating when targeted since 2019) to this point, but it remains to be seen how that translates in a different role.

Robinson and Pringle are the favorites to pick up snaps behind Hill and Hardman. However, Powell also has a chance to carve out a role as a rookie. One of his pros coming out of Clemson was that he was NFL-ready as a complementary piece, and that’s exactly what the Chiefs need.

RIGHT TACKLE: MIKE REMMERS VS. LUCAS NIANG

Remmers had a rough go at left tackle in Kansas City’s Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he was solid throughout the year at right tackle in relief of Mitchell Schwartz. His 75.9 PFF grade at right tackle in 2020 ranked 13th at the position among qualifiers. Remmers isn’t a bad option as the fourth- or fifth-best offensive lineman in the starting lineup. And he’s the safer bet to start the year at right tackle than Niang, the Chiefs’ third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft who will be returning from opting out.

LINEBACKER: ANTHONY HITCHENS VS. WILLIE GAY JR. VS. NICK BOLTON

Hitchens has the benefit of experience and seniority in the competition for snaps at linebacker. His performance over the past three seasons signals that his starting spot is far from secure, though. Hitchens has failed to record a single-season PFF grade higher than 50.0 since joining the Chiefs in 2018.

Gay and Bolton are (hopefully) the future of the position in Kansas City, bringing different skill sets to the table. Gay is a rare athlete at his size who has shown good feel in coverage in limited playing time, while Bolton has the instincts and physicality to quickly become an impact player in the middle of the Chiefs' defense.

 

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Hardman as our WR2 will be a disaster. This guy isn’t made of the right stuff and will lose us at least 1 game this year if we depend on him as a starter.

Remember I said WR is lowkey our biggest need all offseason. Tyreek has a small frame hes not going to get more durable as these years go on.

at least Powell and Gray sound legit so far

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What these stories do not understand is that neither Hardman nor Watkins was WR2 last season. That was Robinson. Hardman will replace Watkins as the second outside receiver. We will see if he grows into that role. Third season has been the real start of many WR careers. The interesting part of that PT battle is where and how often Powell plays. They are already talking about how smart he is and how quick he gets things.

The Remmers and Niang duel is also interesting, because Remmers was a good RT. That said, Niang was a late 1st round talent who was discounted by an injury. He's had a whole year to learn our system and how NFL plays the game. He'll start this year, though not necessarily out of camp.

Clyde looked really good last season until Osemele was injured. Add more familiarity with the passing game and he's someone I am targeting in fantasy.

J

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We are starting to get to it. Here is an article going through some of the camp battles. They choose RG, LDE, LB, WR2, CB2, backup RB.
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/lists/kansas-city-chiefs-2021-training-camp-position-battles/

RG - With Kyle Long injured, this comes down to LDT and rookie Trey Smith. 
LDE - Who plays opposite Frank Clark? Alex Okafor is the only proven player--Danna is 2nd year, Taco is a specialist, and Kaindoh is a rookie. The darkhorse is Tim Ward. 
WR2 - This is a misnomer. In 2020 the top WR after Tyreek Hill was Demarcus Robinson. He's back, so the question is who gets Sammy Watkins' snaps.
LB - This is more who will play where. Hitchens is the veteran, but a lot of draft capital has been invested in Willie Gay and Nick Bolton. More often than not, only two will play. 
CB2 - Again, this is a misnomer. The top two CB are Ward and Sneed. The question is, who plays boundary (outside) and who plays slot. In addition to 3rd year Chief Rashad Fenton, the team has brought in two former 1st round picks, Mike Hughes and Deandre Baker. This is suddenly a deep unit. 
Backup RB - This comes down to whether Darwin Thompson or Derrick Gore can make the 53 man roster. Thompson is a good ST player and Gore turned heads during OTAs.

J

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Posted (edited)

Jerick McKinnon seems to have already locked up a roster spot. Mahomes likes him and he's been very good catching the ball. The question is now what role he will play and how big it will be. 
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/7/31/22603594/chiefs-training-camp-notebook-jerrick-mckinnon-enters-the-fold

The Chiefs may start three rookies on the OL--Brown/Thuney/Humphrey/Smith/Niang. Remmers and LDT will have something to say. 
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/7/31/22603596/andy-reid-might-actually-start-three-rookies-on-the-offensive-line

Dan Sorensen has been a bit of an institution--ST Ace and dime LB listed at SS. He's now over 30 and on a one year contract. He has some comments on a couple of UDFA who are in line, potentially, to replace him. Devon Key is a name that has been tossed around. Zayne Anderson, not so much. 
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2021/07/31/kansas-city-chiefs-daniel-sorensen-praises-devon-key-zayne-anderson/

 

 

Edited by onejayhawk
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Posted (edited)

It's not a done deal yet, but it looks very likely that the Chiefs will start at least two rookie players in their rebuilt OL. Trey Smith and Creed Humphrey were selected in the 2021 draft. Lucas Niang was selected in 2020, but opted out. Call him a redshirt rookie. All three have been taking snaps with the first unit. HC Reid is OK with that. It's not a done deal. Veterans Mike Remmers and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will have something to say. 
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2021/08/02/kansas-city-chiefs-andy-reid-rookie-offensive-linemen-comments/

Speaking of things to say, OC Bieniemy had a few words on OL. 
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/8/2/22606358/chiefs-training-camp-notebook-eric-bieniemy-acknowledges-monday-struggles-talks-offensive-line

Here a summary for several positions--RG, RT, WR6, TE3, LB3
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/8/2/22601076/checking-in-on-the-key-roster-battles-in-chiefs-training-camp

Edited by onejayhawk
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WR could go seven deep. Here are the given names, barring injury--Hill, Hardman, Robinson, Powell. That leaves only two or three spots for everyone else. 

Pringle is close to being in the group above. He seems to have nailed the KR job down. Hardman remains the PR. 
Kemp has impressed in camp, including two TDs on Tuesday. He gives the team height and has learned to use it. 
Dieter is a ST mainstay. Powell also played ST in college. 
Callaway is a veteran and a drafted player, unlike many of the others. With previous teams, his issues have been off the field.

On the other side of the ball, our UDFA of the year seems to be Devon Key, potentially Dan Sorensen's replacement. He has earned a reputation an as hard nosed, hard working and hard hitting. This week he has taken snaps with the A-team.
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2021/08/07/kansas-city-chiefs-devon-key-training-camp-53-man-roster/

Here's a name that has been a bit forgotten, Mike Danna. He is a 5th round player with just one year at Michigan, so he has been a bit under the radar. However, he played just under 50% of the snaps, so the staff knows who he is. When the team is not swinging a DT to DE Danna is likely the guy who will be there. 
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/8/7/22613561/mike-dannas-confidence-is-through-the-roof-heading-into-second-season

J


 

Edited by onejayhawk
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On the 90 man depth chart just released, the top six WR includes Kemp and Callaway, but not Cornell Powell. I suspect they keep those six plus Powell. The author disagrees, thinking Calloway is the man out. I think it the whole FB position. 
https://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/articles/familiarity_could_be_the_deciding_factor_in_chiefs_battle_for_last_wide_receivers/s1_16631_35578709

Trey Smith is getting entrenched as starting RG. It was expected that Creed Humphrey would take over at C, but Smith is a surprise. However, Kyle Long had a serious injury and may start the season on PUP. LDT has also been hurt, so Trey was thrust into the A-team OL. He has not disappointed, drawing many comments about the physicality of his play. It's notable that at his best, LDT brought a mean streak to the OL. 
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2021/08/09/kansas-city-chiefs-trey-smith-adjusting-well-starting-right-guard/

Bolton is a rookie, who started a bit slowly, but he seems to be gaining scope as camp progresses. There is optimism that the LB will be much improved this season.
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2021/08/09/kansas-city-chiefs-nick-bolton-new-roles-training-camp-2021/

Edited by onejayhawk
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3 hours ago, onejayhawk said:

On the 90 man depth chart just released, the top six WR includes Kemp and Callaway, but not Cornell Powell. I suspect they keep those six plus Powell. The author disagrees, thinking Calloway is the man out. I think it the whole FB position. 
https://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/articles/familiarity_could_be_the_deciding_factor_in_chiefs_battle_for_last_wide_receivers/s1_16631_35578709

Trey Smith is getting entrenched as starting RG. It was expected that Creed Humphrey would take over at C, but Smith is a surprise. However, Kyle Long had a serious injury and may start the season on PUP. LDT has also been hurt, so Trey was thrust into the A-team OL. He has not disappointed, drawing many comments about the physicality of his play. It's notable that at his best, LDT brought a mean streak to the OL. 
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2021/08/09/kansas-city-chiefs-trey-smith-adjusting-well-starting-right-guard/

Bolton is a rookie, who started a bit slowly, but he seems to be gaining scope as camp progresses. There is optimism that the LB will be much improved this season.
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2021/08/09/kansas-city-chiefs-nick-bolton-new-roles-training-camp-2021/

I'm surprised you are surprised about Trey Smith. That dude would have had a first or (min) second round call locked up if not for his medical condition. Let's hope he'll stay healthy ... and play up to the level he played at in college when just that.

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4 hours ago, KC_Guy said:

I'm surprised you are surprised about Trey Smith. That dude would have had a first or (min) second round call locked up if not for his medical condition. Let's hope he'll stay healthy ... and play up to the level he played at in college when just that.

I expected them to give LDT the RG job back and that was assuming Trey Smith was a round #2 talent. This is partly out of loyalty to LDT a career long Chief and partly as the veteran who has proven himself. I did not expect a day #3 player to grab the job and run away. That the last player drafted would generate the most buzz is shocking. it's like the Chiefs had a free top 10 selection.

J

 

 

 

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This is an article on players in danger of not making the cut. prior to the first preseason game, you would expect players deeper on the rost. their list: Darwin Thompson, Darius Harris, Demone Harris, Gehrig Dieter, Blake Bell, Michael Burton, Cornell Powell, Prince Tega Wanogho, Yasir Durant, Chris Lammons, Will Parks. Two are simply wrong. Blake Bell is the blocking specialist at TE and Cornell Powell is a well respected rookie. Both have already made the 53 barring injury. The two OL are the only close decisions. The rest are outside hoping to find a way in.
https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/lists/kansas-city-chiefs-11-players-roster-bubble-strong-preseason-2021/

In the same vein, movers in camp. Up--Devon Key, Chris Jones, Marcus Kemp, Noah Gray, Trey Smith, Jarren Reed. Down--Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Cornell Powell, Juan Thornhill, Alex Okafor, Blake Bell.
https://www.arrowheadpride.com/2021/8/13/22609546/chiefs-market-movers-heading-into-preseason-game-1

Others trending in the right direction: running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, running back Jerrick McKinnon, wide receiver Mecole Hardman and linebacker Nick Bolton.

Edited by onejayhawk
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