2015 Depth Charts Update: Kansas City Chiefs

A breakdown of the Kansas City Chiefs' Depth Chart after Free Agency and the Draft.

| 2 years ago
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2015 Depth Charts Update: Kansas City Chiefs


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Notes

  • The addition of Ben Grubbs on the offensive line helps and, while the former Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints guard finished 2014 with an average grade after an up and down season, he was our 11th highest graded guard in 2013. He’s the only player without significant question marks about his ability on the offensive line however, with Eric Fisher the most notable name there. He finished 2014 as our 12th lowest graded offensive tackle, with the only saving grace being that he was much closer to average in the second half of the season. Much more is expected of the former number one overall pick though, and time is running out for him to prove he can live up to his draft status.
  • At wide receiver the Chiefs have essentially replaced Dwayne Bowe with Jeremy Maclin. If Maclin can perform at the level he did in Philadelphia last year that’s an upgrade, but there are still big question marks elsewhere at the position. Jason Avant figures to see most of the time from the slot and, while the veteran has had an impressive career, you have to go back to 2012 to find a season where he finished with a positive grade as a receiver.
  • Bringing back Justin Houston was massively important for the Chiefs, and they’ve done just that. That means they can continue to bring second year player Dee Ford along as slowly as required, with the 23rd overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft flashing potential at points last year, but failing to crack the line up consistently, and playing just 122 snaps in the end.
  • The Chiefs are solid up front, where they are lead by former first-round pick Dontari Poe. He struggled in the last five weeks of the season in 2014, which keeps him from being in the high quality bracket, but he was our 11th-highest graded defensive tackle in 2013.

 

 

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Chris

    I remember when someone told me last year how KC’s OL wasn’t going to be an issue.

    Somehow they got even worse.

    • Dalen Erickson

      They did acquire Grubbs at least. I dont think they could be much weaker at center though. Hopefully Fisher finally steps up for them at tackle. We all know he has the potential

      • Chris

        Yea but they lost Hudson, so that’s a net zero. Gotta feel sorry for Charles.

        • Dalen Erickson

          Id take it one step further, its a downgrade. Hudson is much better than Grubbs not to mention that Hudson is on the rise and grubbs is declining

          • Chris

            Definitely agree here.

    • Left footed pitcher

      I don’t remember any optimism about KC’s OL last year, and if there was any, it evaporated after Stephenson’s suspension and Allen’s injury. This year, their ceiling looks to be around average. I think starters will be Fisher, Grubbs, Morse, Allen, and Stephenson. I think Fisher, Allen, and Sephenson will all be average.

      So far it looks like Dorsey drafts 1) to proactively replace players whose contracts will expire soon, and 2) to address the biggest deficiency from last year. Category one is Fisher (Albert), Ford (Houston), Peters (Sean Smith). All the first round picks. Category two is Gaines (pass defence melt down against Indy in the play-offs), Morse/Grubbs (interior OL play last year), and Conely (you know how many WR TDs). Most of the second and third round picks.

      So, it’s strange, but the the only proactive early round moves are to safe-guard against upcoming free-agents, rather than actually improving positions that are under-performing. So I bet they’ll wait for the OTs and WRs to be average-at-best this year before fixing what looks like obvious problems to the rest of us. I guess that shows some trust/faith in the current players and coaches, but it must be frustrating for the fans.

    • Woody

      I think a line with Allen as guard and Stephenson as tackle, playing like he did in 2013 would have been average at best, but a lot better than what Chiefs had. McGlynn at LG was a disaster, and ruined the whole line by himself.

  • Dalen Erickson

    How is Knile Davis poor?! That is the most insane thing I have EVER seen on this site. I think if he was a starter in the right system with a good line (I.E Dallas) he would be good for 1500 yards from scrimmage. A rare combination of top level speed with brutal power and size. Great pass blocker, good hands and a top notch KR/PR. I think he is better than a few starters in this league. Please explain why this is

    • Chris

      Davis was the lowest graded HB in the league last year, and was negative in all 3 phases.

      He’s a classic example of ‘looks great at the combine and in OTAs but once he has pads on he’s too busy picking the wrong holes and fumbling’. Football isn’t about strength and speed.

      • Left footed pitcher

        Actually, he seemed to play pretty well when Charles was hurt early last year. He had pretty good numbers (production numbers, not PFF grades) for that three or four game stretch. I bet that’s why Dalen was surprised. PFF grades aren’t perfect, but I’m not sure why their ratings don’t seem to match perception in this case.

        • Woody

          Davis got good yards vs Dolphins on a lot of carries. After that everyone hyped him. As a Chiefs-fan, I can say that he is an incredibly frustrating player. He doesn’t take advantage of his speed and strength.

          • Chris

            What this guy said.

        • Chris

          What perception though? He had a 3.5 YPC on the year and only 2 after contact, both of which are well below average. His best stretch was weeks 2-4 when he piled up 300+ yards and 3 TDs. However it took him 70 carries to get there, so that’s barely over 4 YPC, during his “best stretch” of the year.

          • Left footed pitcher

            The perception, for me at least, came primarily in the early stretch you mentioned, with Charles injured. The other part of my perception is that after Charles returned, Davis took on more of a goal-line and short-yardage role, which inherently limits the YPC. So, I haven’t fact checked, just going by memory:
            – Helped KC win some games early in the year, good production as featured HB. (~4 YPC isn’t great, but it’s better than poor right?)
            – Had some impact plays later in the year (long TD catch on a slant and a few big kick returns).
            – Mostly worked goal line and short yardage when Charles returned.

            I don’t think PFF includes kick/punt return production when grading players, but fans certainly notice Davis’ KR work. Then again, if his pass blocking is poor, or runs a bad route, fans probably don’t notice as much as PFF.

          • Dalen Erickson

            well stated. He didnt get a large number of carries is very many games either. SOme players are better in a supplemental role but some players really get good after about 15 carries. I think his numbers would continue to improve if he was more involved in the offense. Chiefs also did not have a top notch O-line by any means

          • Left footed pitcher

            BTW, Bleacher report ranked him as the #9 RB in the NFL. That’s awfully generous, but PFF seemed to err on the other side. I almost never disagree with PFF’s grades, it just seems like they missed something in this case.

          • Dalen Erickson

            My sentiments exactly. Bleacher report is just awful lol. I always read their position rankings but I never agree with them

        • Dalen Erickson

          Thats where Im coming from. I only watched maybe 5 Chief games last year so its not like Ive watched hours of tape on him to TRULY evaluate his talent. I know the PFF guys know much better than I do but I saw a good player with sky high potential. It was, after all, only his second year

        • Anthony

          The grades for Knile Davis really highlighted the issues with how they grade. There’s absolutley no face validity.

          I’ll watch a game with an eye on a certain player on every snap, come up with a general perception of how they did, and then come here to see a drastically different opinion.

          Remember, they don’t grade using coach’s tape and they have literally no idea what anyone’s assignment on a play was.

      • Dalen Erickson

        but his production and YPC were decent at like 3.5 or 3.6, whatever it was. Im not sure what Im missing

        • Chris

          3.5-3.6 isn’t decent. That’s below average.

          • Dalen Erickson

            Well we have to consider the fact that he was mostly used in goal line and short yardage situations when JC was healthy. That means really tough yards in small chunks. i think he is a guy that would thrive as a starter rather than in a supplemental role. We really need to see what he could do with 15-20 touches a game. Left Footed makes a great case below

          • Chris

            That is true, but to me that 3 game stretch where he got the full workload is much more telling than short yardage/goal line touches the rest of the season.

            Bottom line for me is, a guy with great combine numbers put up a -9 grade over 3 games while he was the full time starter with negative grades in all 3 facets. I think we’re a ways from saying he’d thrive as a starter.

          • MosesZD

            The stats I use account for that. Getting 2 yards from the opponents 5 is far more important than getting 10-yards on your own 20.

            A 10-yard run from your own 20 does very little to increase your chances of scoring on that drive. OTOH, a 2-yard run from the 5 does.

            And, frankly, he was bad at it and graded out negatively for the year.

        • MosesZD

          3.6 is ‘failure.’ A running back that isn’t hitting 4.2 or better is doing little to nothing for his team. And even then, many of them aren’t that effective, despite the average either as they can’t perform effectively in anything but advantageous situations or their stats are somewhat padded by a few, odd big plays that massively skew their apparent effectiveness.

          With Davis, he was only successful on 33% of his runs (runs that increased the probability of a team successfully scoring). Charles was a full 10% higher at 43%.

  • Dalen Erickson

    I hope we get to see Demetrius Harris play this year. I have high hopes for him. Off the cuff he looks like he has physical tools that resemble a young A. Gates. Hopefully he can get it together

  • Woody

    Wasn’t Sean Smith ranked as your 44th best player last year, or something around that? How come he is only rated as good?

    • Left footed pitcher

      Shhh, not so loud … his contract expires at the end of the year; help Dorsey save a few bucks. But in all seriousness, we already know Sean Smith is cashing in with a new team next year — Dorsey already drafted Peters to replace him. This is Doresey’s MO in the first round (Fisher/Albert, Ford/Hali or Houston, Peters/Sean Smith). Honestly, until Dorsey did it in KC, I don’t ever recall 3 first round draft picks in consecutive years for FUTURE replacements rather than filling CURRENT needs. They definitely want to build through the draft … and are willing to wait for it.

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    • Anthony

      He was also a top 5 corner in their rankings.

      The reason he’s only rated as good is because they said they factor in previous years.

      Oh wait, then why are Jamaal Charles and Derrick Jonnson not elite?

      Because all of this is biased and subjective, despite what the staff here claim.

  • Dalen Erickson

    I love the people who comment on this site. Most every comment is backed by actual knowledge coming from real fans. Such a breath of fresh air compared to the forum on NFL.com. Ive had some great debates on here. Keep it up guys