The Chiefs play their final preseason game on Thursday night. Here are three bold predictions for the final game before the regular season kicks off.
The regular season is almost here, but there is still one preseason game left to play. This game will consist mostly of backups, and players competing for the final spots on the roster, or even to secure a practice squad spot. While the 53-man roster seems to be almost fully complete, there are still a few positional battles remaining. It’s unlikely one preseason game will change much, but for some players, this game could land them on a practice squad where they can eventually climb the ranks to a roster spot, or be called up due to injuries. So, let’s make some bold predictions for the final game of pre-season football.
Unexpected Chiefs’ Wide Receiver Has Standout Game
With the top five wide receiver spots on the roster almost certainly locked in, all eyes have turned to Daurice Fountain and Cornell Powell for the final spot. While some may think Josh Gordon still has a chance, the final spot needs to be a player who can play special teams as well, and Gordon doesn’t have that in his skill set. So, with all eyes on Powell and Fountain, what if another wide receiver is instead the one who steps up and proves he deserves the final spot?
These are bold predictions, not something I guarantee will happen. With that out of the way, I’m proclaiming that Corey Coleman will have a breakout game on offense and special teams. Coleman is a former first-round draft pick who never quite lived up to expectations with the dysfunctional Browns and Giants. He hasn’t played a game in the NFL since 2018. This is what makes this a bold prediction.
Most don’t even have Coleman factored into the Chiefs top eight receivers, let alone making the final roster. Coleman only has one reception so far in the pre-season, but he has returned a couple of punts and kickoffs. I expect Coleman to get a decent amount of action in the final game, and it’s up to him to make the most of it. That being said, even if he does have a breakout game he is unlikely to make the final roster, but he may stick around on the practice squad. In a pinch, he could be called up on game days.
A Chiefs’ Rookie Takes The Spotlight On The Defense
Last year the Chiefs had one of the best draft classes in the league despite not having a first-round pick. This year they had two first-round picks, and once again look to have struck gold in their first three picks of Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, and Skyy Moore. Karlaftis especially has shown his tenacity in the preseason, catching the eyes and hearts of the Chiefs Kingdom. However, there is one more unsung rookie who may make a big impact on the team this season.
Third-round pick Leo Chenal is an athletic freak. While the knock on him is his coverage skills, Chenal can already play run defense better than any Chiefs linebacker other than Nick Bolton, and even that is a close battle. Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also loves to send his linebackers downhill on blitz packages, which is what Chenal is perfect for with his speed.
Chenal finds himself in a surprisingly crowded linebacking room. He factors in as perhaps the third or fourth linebacker on the roster. This means he will probably get a lot of snaps this game. I’m sure Spags wants to see the extent of what Chenal is capable of. I fully expect Chenal to take full advantage of this opportunity and run with it. My prediction is that Chenal is what Twitter will be talking about after this game. He’ll be flying around the field making plays, and the Chiefs will have hit on a linebacker for three straight years in the draft.
Undrafted Player Beats Out Chiefs Draft Pick For Final Roster Spot
Outside receiver, there is really only one other positional battle heading into the final preseason game, and that is for the final corner spot. Once again, this player must be capable of playing special teams. This means it comes down to Chris Lammons versus Nazeeh Johnson for the final spot. Chris Lammons has hung around the Chiefs for a couple of years, floating between the practice squad and main roster. Nazeeh Johnson was the Chiefs’ final selection of the seventh round in this year’s draft.
This may be the least bold of the “bold predictions” but I expect Lammons to outperform the rookie and win the final roster spot. There are a lot of advantages of picking the rookie in a close decision. The Chiefs would retain Johnson for four years on a cheap deal, and can slowly develop him over time. Whereas Lammons is unlikely to develop much more, he is a known commodity. The team knows what they can expect from him.
Regardless of who wins the final roster spot, I fully expect the other to be stashed on the practice squad. We saw just last year with the team cutting Cornell Powell that the team isn’t committed to players just because they drafted them. Johnson may end up being the only player cut from this draft class, but we will have to wait a week to find out.
So, there are my three bold predictions. Give me your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, and let me know what your bold prediction is for the final preseason game.
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