On Monday, the Chiefs released their first depth chart of the 2022 season. We’re taking a look at the biggest highlights and surprises from the team’s first official release.
On Monday afternoon, the Chiefs released their first unofficial depth chart ahead of their first preseason game against the Bears, this Saturday afternoon. Andy Reid and company have been known in the past to not give the viewers much in regards to the depth chart, especially with how where he puts rookies. In the depth chart, you will see some obvious placements, however, there are some surprises along the way.
Take a look at the official depth chart below before we give our thoughts!
Here’s the Chiefs’ unofficial depth chart before their preseason opener Saturday against the Bears. pic.twitter.com/R0xw0DSr6t — Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) August 9, 2022
Key Observations From The Chiefs Offensive Side Of The Ball
In my previous article, I talked about how the battle in camp at the wide receiver position was shaking up. The six players I had making the roster are the top six receivers listed on the depth chart. As most of us know, the top 4 wideouts include Mecole Hardman, Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and rookie receiver Skyy Moore. The last two spots will be a battle over the next 3 weeks! It is worth noting that veteran Josh Gordon is at the end of the chart. He will need a great 3 weeks to make this roster!
As long as Clyde Edwards-Helaire can stay healthy, he will be the main back for the Chiefs this year. One surprising factor was newcomer Ronald Jones listed behind Chiefs fan-favorite Jerick McKinnon. Ronald Jones will be a great change of pace back for the Chiefs this year with his hard-nosed running style! Rookie running back, Isiah Pacheco has impressed many at camp and seems to be a lock to make the 53-man roster. He immediately comes in listed above his counterparts: Derrick Gore and Tayon Fleet-Davis. Look for Pacheco to have meaningful snaps this year for Kansas City.
"He's got a little juice to him."#Chiefs seventh-round pick Isaih Pacheco is getting some good reviews early in camp. He will get a chance to be the starting kick returner in the preseason, but he's also a big, bruising back that is making his case in a crowded backfield. pic.twitter.com/44fo9UZZMe — Chris Roush (@chrisRroush) August 4, 2022
The Chiefs bring back the same starting offensive line as last season and the group has a chance to be the best offensive line in the NFL this season. One spot to keep an eye on over the next 3 weeks is the right tackle position. Andrew Wylie is currently listed as the starting right tackle and it seems as if it is his job to lose.
Geron Christian and rookie Darian Kinnard have also been taking reps with the first team at right tackle. Something to follow over camp is the use of Kinnard. He has had a slow start to camp, but if he can get things figured out look for him and Christian to give Wylie a run for his money.
Key Observations From The Chiefs Defensive Side Of The Ball
Returning starters, Nick Bolton and Willie Gay lead the starting unit for the Chiefs linebackers, with Elijah Lee getting the nod so far as well. The Chiefs should know what they are going to get from Bolton and Gay this season. Look for Bolton to be the lead play-caller this season on the defense.
Darrius Harris, Jermaine Carter, and rookie Leo Chenal round out the second team. Chenal brings a very physical hard-hitting style to the group. Many of the Chiefs coaches and fellow players have had high praise for their young rookie.
"You can tell that the game has slowed down for him a little bit. It's opened up his vision…He's progressing every day. I'm proud of where he is, and I'm excited for his future." – Nick Bolton on rookie linebacker Leo Chenal — Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) August 7, 2022
One big surprise from the release of the depth chart was a rookie corner, Trent McDuffie. He was listed as the starter. In the past, Coach Reid and Spags have been hesitant to give rookies the starting spot early on in camp. However, McDuffie has had an excellent start to camp and has established himself as a top corner along with Sneed.
Another rookie who has been running a lot with the first team is Joshua Williams. The Chiefs have been using Williams with the ones in the nickel package. Returning starter, Rashad Fenton finds himself at the end of the depth chart, however, today was his first practice coming off the PUP list. Look for him to move up quickly now that he has returned.
Trent McDuffie is going to be a beast 🔥 pic.twitter.com/GI3uxggRSW — Brad Henson Productions (@BradHensonPro) August 9, 2022
The starting defensive line features three returning starters from last season: Chris Jones, Frank Clark, and Derrick Nnadi. Rounding out the defensive line is the third-year end, Mike Danna. Danna played some meaningful snaps for Spags’ defense last season and knows his system really well. Giving Danna a run for the starting spot are new additions Carlos Dunlap and rookie George Karlaftis.
With the addition of Dunlap, the idea is he will take the starting spot once he is familiar with the defensive scheme. The rookie, Karlaftis, has had an excellent start in camp and will continue to push for valuable playing time this season.
#Chiefs DT Chris Jones on NFL Network about rookie DE George Karlaftis: "High-energy guy, willing to learn, willing to listen. He has a motor– I thought I had a motor but my god. . . He's going to be an exciting piece for our defensive line." — Charles Goldman (@goldmctNFL) August 8, 2022
Mecole Hardman and rookie Isiah Pacheco lead the way for the returners. Both players have excelled early in training camp with the ball in their hands, and special teams coach Dave Toub let them lead the attack. Look for rookie receiver Skyy Moore to make his presence known as well as camp proceeds.
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