Players Trending Up and Down After the Second Preseason Game

With two weeks under the belt of the Kansas City Chiefs who is trending in the right or wrong directions as we head towards the second round of cuts.

After Week 2 of the preseason, the Chiefs were able to get quality looks out of their depth. There is always something to learn from these games and every fan should look to see what the depth of their team looks like under the lights. With us, all watching the game here are three players who are trending up and three that are trending down after the game vs the Cardinals.

Trending Up

1. Trey Smith 

Trey Smith looks absolutely outstanding, he was an impact blocker who made huge holes for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon throughout the first half. He took control of the starting right guard spot and has ran away with it, all of the backups are probably not going to sniff starting over him.

Lucas Niang and Smith have rounded out the new offensive line for Kansas City and have made the right side the strong run side of the offensive line. Smith is physical at the point of attack and is relentless with moving his feet to move the defenders backward. I would like to include Lucas Niang on this list, but I wanted to put just one offensive lineman on this list. Smith has shown his ability to be a solid starting offensive lineman in the NFL and looks like one of the steals of the draft.

2. Mike Hughes

Hughes has been extremely solid as a starting cornerback opposite of L’Jarius Sneed in the two preseason games. He was able to make plays on the ball throughout the night with his physicality and size. He also had one of the better returns of the night, showcasing his ability to read blocks and find a hole to gain yards. He has clearly shown he is ready to be the starting cornerback over DeAndre Baker and has made the right plays to do so. I think Hughes was a sneaky signing by Brett Veech which will pay off huge throughout the season.

3. Maurice Fountain

Fountain has been a stand-out in camp and the two preseason games. He has been able to play on special teams and has been making huge plays throughout the two games with the backups. I would’ve loved to have seen him play with the ones tonight, but he was still able to make the catches to get the Chiefs in scoring position. He really should be seen as a great WR4 on this team because he can make the tough catches and isn’t afraid of contact when he gets the ball. Fountain should be see seen as the breakout star this preseason and I expect him to make the 53 man roster.

Trending Down

1. Demarcus Robinson 

Robinson has not looked good in his two outings this preseason, he has looked incredibly average to subpar. He almost seems to have problems with making some of the basic plays when the ball is in his hands. He likes to cut out of situations in which he should sprint and he sprints when he should cut. He was abysmal in the return game, he wasn’t able to read blocks that were in front of him and get downhill. Coach Reid gave him plenty of looks but he wasn’t able to make the catch he needed to. It could have been an off night for Robinson, but he still needs to showcase his skills every game if he wants to get more consistent playing time.

2. Ben Niemann

With Willie Gay and Bolton playing solid football all night, it doesn’t seem like Niemann really fits. He missed a couple of big tackles when he was playing and just hasn’t been able to have a great moment in this preseason. He is quality depth, but with Bolton playing very consistent football in the past two games, I would really like to see Bolton play more with the ones than Neimann going forward. I don’t think Niemann is a bad player by any stretch, he should make the roster, but with how well other linebackers are playing, I would love to see those other guys get more playing time. 

As I said, Niemann is solid depth, but I would love to have seen Bolton in with the ones

3. Darwin Thompson

Thompson didn’t play all that bad against the Cardinals, but he was the weakest link of all of the running backs who played in the first half. He wasn’t able to read the blocks when the holes were wide open and ran into blockers a couple of times. Thompson was able to get a rhythm going later in the first half, but McKinnon seemed to showcase his skills better vs Arizona. Thompson has an uphill battle with the other running backs Darren Williams and Jerick McKinnon who are playing really well behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He seems to be the odd man out but I still think he makes the roster as a returner/reserve running back.