The final rosters have been officially set for all NFL teams. For the Kansas City Chiefs, there were some surprise cuts and some surprise players that made the roster. There was also surprising placement amongst the depth chart, too. With that said, let’s review what has occurred with this final roster:
Disclaimer: I won’t be analyzing every single move; just the main ones.
Devon Key, S
Key, a Kansas City Chiefs’ safety, was one of the first final cuts on Saturday. Key had an impressive camp, playing reps against the first-team offense while also making a lot of key plays along with it; he was also listed as the backup strong safety according to ESPN. In-game, however, he had unsteady performances, missing tackles, and got blown in coverage his fair share of times.
He is a developmental talent that the Chiefs will probably sign to the practice squad once it opens. He had a great RAS score of 9.07 when placed as a free safety:
After a year on the practice squad, his skills will steadily improve, which could land him a spot on the final roster next year. Until then, only time will tell what happens with Key. We all hope the Chiefs bring him back as soon as possible.
Derrick Gore And Darwin Thompson, RBs
To me, the Darwin Thompson cut wasn’t that shocking. As I stated in an earlier article about the final preseason game, Thompson’s burst looked off, his ability to follow blockers decreased, and he just didn’t look like himself out there. He was struggling against third-stringers; that is something you never want to see, especially in someone fighting for a roster spot. He had his chances, but blew them all; they may bring him back on the practice squad, but I don’t expect him to be called up unless he improves a great deal.
Gore’s cut did surprise me a bit, though. Gore did everything right; he led the team in rushing yards in the second Preseason game; moreover, he had 106 total yards in the preseason finale against the Vikings. He followed blockers well, he was a powerful runner, and he showed a great deal of versatility, being a menace in the passing game:
He also showed good elusiveness with a solid stutter step and juke move; he was also able to generate yards after the catch/contact fairly well with his athleticism. He’ll be a definite practice squad add-on unless another team signs him first. Gore may be called up a few games this year, so hopefully, we’ll be able to see him play in the regular season; he earned it in his Preseason performance.
Cornell Powell, WR
For me, this but wasn’t surprising, to say the least. I had high hopes for Powell to shine; he showed good route running, solid hands, and a lot of other things you’d expect from a solid WR. I didn’t expect him to be a star, but I did expect him to be on the final roster. Veach had other plans, and I understand why.
Powell never made an impact in-game or in training camp. It was like he was a non-existent WR that was just randomly picked up. He was outshined by many receivers including Byron Pringle, Marcus Kemp, and Daurice Fountain. They probably won’t do away with him quickly, and will probably place him on the practice squad. Nevertheless, this is a worse start for the young WR’s career.
Fun Fact: Powell is the first drafted rookie to not make the team’s final 53 on cut day during Veach’s tenrue with the team.
Shane Buechele, QB
This one is short and sweet as it was obvious that he wouldn’t make the final roster. When you already have Mahomes as the starter and Henne as the backup, there really isn’t a need for another QB on the roster. He had great performances in the Preseason, so I wouldn’t be surprised if another team swooped in and signed him to a contract as a backup. I wish him luck in his future endeavors no matter where it takes him, even if it’s in Denver.
Marcus Kemp, WR
After reports were coming in that Marcus Kemp was going to make the final roster, apparently, he was one of the cuts heading into the final roster. Kemp is a good special teamer and he showed good improvement in his catching prowess, having a nice contested catch against the Vikings and a 36-yard reception against the Cardinals.
With that said, there are only so many spots to fill. When you have Hill, Hardman, Pringle, and Robinson, it leaves your options limited. After Fountain’s performance, it wasn’t hard to understand why he wouldn’t make the roster above everyone else. Also, the addition of Fortson and plausibly four TEs, that also limits Kemp’s chances. It hurts to see, but that’s the nature of the business. He’s expected back, though, per reports, so nothing to be too sad about.
Tim Ward, DE
A shocking defensive release that occurred was none other than the waiving of Tim Ward. Ward had an impressive preseason, especially in Week 1 where he had a five tackle, two-sack performance. He also had a three tackle, one-sack performance against the Vikings in the Kansas City Chiefs’ final Preseason game. This one was a shocker, but I see him as an immediate add-on to the Chiefs’ practice squad. Hopefully, he’ll be called up shortly.
Jody Fortson, TE
After three long years, Jody Fortson has finally made his first-ever 53-man roster for the Kansas City Chiefs. It was an exciting day for him, as he found out from former MVP and starting Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes:
To say he developed well is an understatement. He showed off in camp and also in-game. Fortson was second on the team in receiving yards against the 49ers with 32 and put up 28 yards in three catches over the next two. He showed to be a solid blocker as well as a solid pass catcher.
Fortson has earned his spot, and it’ll be exciting to see what he’ll bring in the regular season. The 14-man personnel set will be something to watch for as the season progresses.
Daurice Fountain, WR
This will be another short and sweet analysis. Fountain was the best receiver for the Chiefs this preseason after many spectacular performances and catches. If he didn’t make the roster, an uproar would occur faster than a speeding bullet. It’ll be fun to see what he can do in this Chiefs’ pass-heavy offense. I bet Mahomes is happy that he has a reliable strong receiver to throw to on those contested-catch passes.
DeAndre Baker, DB
This one wasn’t as much a shocker as he has played exponentially well, but it deserves to be noted; DeAndre Baker made the final 53. Baker has looked good all preseason, especially against the 49ers where he didn’t allow a single completion in his zone in six pass attempts.
Baker is proving his first-round selection worth and adds to what looks like a good cornerback core heading into the regular season. It’ll be a thrill to see what he can do in the regular season; moreover, it would be nice to see him gain some starts if all goes well for him during the regular season.
Chris Lammons, DB
After being told he was among the cut players, Lammons received a call and was told that he was a part of the final 53:
Lammons appeared in two games last year, and a solid preseason stint. Lammons had five total tackles in the preseason (all solo) along with a few good pass breakups as well. The Chiefs knew another team would probably pick him up, so they decided to bring him aboard to make sure no team steals him away.
Armani Watts, S
To me, Watts was on the fence a bit after recent showings in the regular season; however, he has proved people wrong after his good preseason. The main stat that jumps out is his two interceptions; he led the Chiefs’ in INTs this preseason and was the only player besides Thornhill to pick the ball off.
Watts also showed solid zone coverage ability as well, which has improved from last season. He earned his backup spot and looks to pick more throws his way off as the regular season draws near.
Yasir Durant To The Patriots
Offensive Lineman Yasir Durant was traded to the Patriots earlier today for a 2022 seventh-round pick. This was great value, as they turned a UDFA into someone worth a draft pick; Durant has a lot of upside, which made him worth the pick. Veach did a good job building him up, and I wish nothing for the best for Durant in the future.
Which Kansas City Chiefs’ waives/cuts/add-ons surprised you the most today? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion!
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