Chiefs Who Should Make the Cut
With final roster cuts looming, the 4th preseason game was a last, desperate attempt by many to make an NFL roster. For some, this could well be the only real shot they get at going to the show. Some Chiefs really stood out last night and, in one writer's opinion, earned a chance to be part of the final 53
This one is obvious, and quite likely inevitable. After seeing some time with the 1st team last week, Hemingway stood out more than any other player last night not named Tyler Bray (who is discussed here). 7 catches, 80 yards and a TD. He runs good routes, has good hands, and fights for extra yardage. Not only is he a lock to make the team at this point, but I wouldn't be surprised if he earned himself some legitimate playing time this year.
Despite the (crosses fingers) emergence of Donnie Avery as a viable #2 receiving option and the presence of Dexter McCluster (unless you think he's faking lupus or whatever the rumor is) as a slot WR, the Chiefs are still paper-thin when it comes to WR depth. Hemingway could go a long way toward helping that.
Things get complicated for McDougald very quickly, because we already have plenty of safeties. But he stands out when the rest of the 2's and 3's are playing. He's faster to the ball, hits harder than almost anyone else, and seems to constantly pop up.
One play in particular highlighted this to me. Vince Young had broke containment and was looking to rush for a 1st down. Naturally, given how that's been going for us this preseason, I assumed he would get at least 20 yards. Until McDougald very quickly recognized that the QB had turned runner and closed the distances so quickly that Young had nowhere to go. If I recall correctly, McDougald didn't even get the tackle, as Young (after trying to change directions) was hit by another player.
There's no stat for "scared QB into not getting a 1st down," but there should be, right?
Anyone who reads Arrowhead Pride knows that I've been conducting the MOAR Cyrus Gray train for months now. Well, last night showed you why. Not only is Gray significantly faster than Draughn (as well as more agile and with a far superior "burst"), but he also runs harder. If you get a chance, go back and re-watch his runs. On several of them, he flat out dragged tacklers and/or pushed the pile for a first down. The one long run he broke showed his impressive ability to gain positive yardage quickly.
He did get tackled for a loss quite a few times, but those plays were busted plays for pretty much any RB. When you're getting hit behind the line as soon as you get the ball, there's not much you can do.
Frankly, Gray looked every bit as good as our backup RB Knile Davis. I've never been a fan of that pick. Not because I dislike Davis as a player (I can see the talent), but because I think Gray has everything we need out of a backup for Jamaal Charles. He's done enough to make the team. You hear me John Dorsey?! We all want MOAR CYRUS GRAY!!!
OK, this one is perhaps even more of a stretch than McDougald, and maybe I'm relying too much on the "eye test," because Drakeford's stats are hardly eye-popping. But you know what does pop? Pads, whenever Drakeford is on the field. He, like McDougald, stands out among these preseason groups. A little faster, a little quicker to the ball, hits a lot harder.
Now, Our LB depth seems mostly set, but am I the only one who wouldn't mind seeing Drakeford make the team rather than Diles? He just stands out more to me. I know that's really scientific of me.
It's highly doubtful that all 4 of these guys make the final roster. But I hope they do. We'll find out tomorrow.
Seth Keysor is NFL Website Coordinator for PFS as well as a Chiefs Team Journalist. He also writes for Arrowhead Pride under the guise of MNchiefsfan. Follow him @RealMNchiefsfan
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