Grades for Chiefs-Rams
Here are the top takeaways from Thursday’s Chiefs-Rams game, including the highest-graded players for each team:
Kansas City Chiefs
–Utilizing plenty of three tight end sets in this game, the Chiefs had to make a decision on the third tight end to make the roster behind Travis Kelce and rookie James O’Shaughnessy. They settled on Demetrius Harris after seeing just 11 snaps from him this preseason, though both of their other options (Ryan Taylor and Richard Gordon) ended up with preseason grades firmly in the red.
–Former first-round pick edge rusher Dee Ford hasn’t impressed so far this preseason, ending with a -6.4 grade over 101 snaps. Tamba Hali isn’t getting any younger, but they’re still a year or two away from needing Ford to slot into the starting lineup. As it stands though, Ford isn’t looking much better than he did during his lackluster rookie campaign.
–After a poor showing against the Titans, DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches bounced back in a big way on Thursday, earning a +2.7 run defense grade on just eight snaps against the run. He won’t be kicking Dontari Poe off the field any time soon, but he could be a solid depth player or used in goal line situations, which isn’t bad value for a player taken with the 217th pick in the draft.
DT Loni Fangupo (+4.2)
DT Rakeem Nunoz-Roches (+2.6)
S Tyvon Branch (+1.9)
DE Nicholas Williams (+1.8)
C Zach Fulton (+1.4)
St. Louis Rams
–Matt Longacre was the clear standout in this game, recording three hits and three hurries on his 27 pass-rushing snaps. He didn’t make the final roster on a Rams squad littered with high quality defensive linemen, but with a position-leading +10.9 grade for his preseason work, another team would be wise to scoop up the undrafted free agent.
–Quarterback Sean Mannion, however, did make the final cuts, and figures to be the team’s third option at quarterback. He didn’t play quite as poorly as his stat line (11 of 24 for 107 yards) would indicate, thanks to six drops, but there is still plenty of work left for the rookie third-round pick to do before he’s NFL ready.
–Likely the last man in on the defensive line, Ethan Westbrooks put forth a well-rounded display, earning his first green grade of the preseason. Equal parts solid pass rushing and impactful run defense, Westbrooks recorded two quarterback pressures and three defensive stops.
DE Matt Longacre (+8.1)
DT Ethan Westbrooks (+4.1)
S Cody Davis (+1.8)
LT Isaiah Battle (+1.0)
DT Louis Trinca-Pasat (+0.8)