With OTA’s out of the way and the Training Camp kicking off in a few weeks, here is how it looks like the depth chart will shake out.
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes
Reserves: Chad Henne, Shane Buchele
The quarterback position is the easiest to set in the league and there is no other option besides Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league and has a huge chip on his shoulder after the AFC Championship loss to the Bengals, look for him to have a great statistical season.
Halfback: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Reserves: Ronald Jones, Jerrick McKinnon, Isiah Pacheco
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been a fixture of controversy around the Kingdom since the start of the 2021 season and that didn’t go away with the lackluster and injury-riddled season. CEH is still one of the better running backs in the league with his burst and ability to read blocks, but he can’t stay healthy.
So the Chiefs got Ronald Jones in free agency as a backup/rotational plan for CEH. Jones is going to bring some physicality to the position and he has some elite speed for a larger running back. The Chiefs also have a few reserve options in bringing back Jerrick McKinnon, who had some spectacular moments in the postseason for Kansas City, and Isiah Pacheco, who was a seventh-round draft pick out of Rutgers.
I think the running back position will be fun to watch in camp and preseason just because the Chiefs will be running an Andy Reid system as he ran in Philadelphia, and that means a lot of catches out of the backfield for the backs.
Tight End: Travis Kelce
Reserves: Jody Forston, Noah Gray, Blake Bell
As with the quarterback position, this is easy to say who will start for the Chiefs at tight end, the best Tight End in the game, Travis Kelce. Kelce is coming off of his NFL-Record seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season for a tight end, and he has no signs of slowing down.
Kelce will be backed up by Jody Forston, a guy who could have seen a lot of the field last season if he didn’t tear his Achilles against Washington. I expect Forston to be heavily involved in the offense if he can stay healthy. Noah Gray will probably be the second or third option for tight end, just because he doesn’t seem to fit as a second tight end on the Chiefs.
Wide Receiver: Marquez Valdez-Scantling, JuJu-Smith Schuster, Mecole Hardman
Reserves: Skyy Moore, Josh Gordon, Daurice Fountain, Justyn Ross
The trade of Tyreek Hill to Miami has left the receiver room in Kansas City up in the air. The Chiefs have signed Marquez Valez-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency as long as drafting Skyy Moore from Central Michigan. This is going to be one of the most interesting seasons for the Chiefs’ offense and with the loss of Tyreek Hill, there is still no solid number one receiver. Without the defense being able to focus on a single wide receiver, Patrick Mahomes should be able to spread the ball around the field and find open targets all over the field and maybe make the Chiefs’ offense more consistent.
Offensive Line (Left to Right): Orlando Brown Jr., Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Darian Kinnard
Reserves: Geron Christian Sr., Nick Allegretti, Darrel Williams, Andrew Wylie, Lucas Niang
The Chiefs’ offensive line was one of the best units in the league last year, allowing only ten sacks all year and having ballcarriers average more than 4.5 yards per carry. The offensive line will look the same as it did last year, even as we wait on the Chiefs to sign Orlando Brown to a long-term contract. The only thing the Chiefs will have to change is the right tackle, Andrew Wylie will probably start in the preseason for Kansas City, but Darian Kinnard should take the starting role by the time the season rolls around.
Kinnard is a physical beast and loves to destroy his opponent, Wylie was very serviceable late in the season for the Chiefs, but had some issues with his technique and allowed some pressures in key situations. Kinnard is one of these offensive linemen who can play all over the board and should be right at home next to Trey Smith. I feel like the Chiefs should be ready to make teams pay for not loading the box against them this season.