Category Archive: TOP STORIES

  1. The Sports Wire: The Drew Lock Debate, Mizzou’s Non-Con Problem & Cris Carter’s Advice

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    HOUR 1:

     

     

    8:00 — Opening Monologue… BK breaks down last night’s Columbia High School games, a winning Friday night for the Chiefs & Royals, and a walk-off stinker for the Cards.

     

    8:15 — The Drew Lock Debate… Drew Lock might be Mizzou’s best chance at producing a successful NFL starting quarterback. And I believe it’s in Mizzou’s interest to redshirt Lock in 2015. Allow me to explain.

     

    8:30 — David Lesky of Pine Tar Press… Is Yordano Ventura back to his 2014 self? Which Mike Moustakas is going to show up for the postseason? And is Kris Medlen winning himself a postseason rotation spot?

     

    8:45 — Grantland found five qualities of every college football champion… How many of those five qualities does this Mizzou team exhibit?

     

    8:55 — Best & Worst of the Week… The plane breakup & a parent’s worst nightmare.

     

    HOUR 2:

     

     

    9:00 — Mizzou’s Non-Con Schedule Leaves Me Wanting More… The Tigers added Middle Tennessee and Delaware State to their 2016 non-conference slate. Those kinds of games aren’t going to appeal to the masses.

     

    9:15 — Mizzou’s Best Ever Recruiting Class? The Tigers could get more than 10 multi-year starters out of this recruiting class. Does that mean it’s going to go down as Gary Pinkel’s best?

     

    9:30 — Top 3 Most Intriguing Mizzou Home Games… There are two home games that truly intrigue me for this season, but one stands out above the rest.

     

    9:45 — The BK Lounge: Cris Carter Gave Good Advice… It wasn’t the right platform. It might not have been given in a productive manner. But his message was a good one.

     

  2. The Big Show: Gabe DeArmond

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    Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou joined Matt and BK on The Big Show to put an end to the great debate: Will Drew Lock play this year? Find out Gabe’s stance on the podcast.

     

    PODCAST:

     

  3. BK’s Projected Mizzou Depth Chart

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    Mizzou’s 2015 fall camp has come to a close after the Tigers’ third scrimmage of the fall. That can only mean one thing – yepp, you guessed it – prediction time! I’ll go through each position and predict &/or project what I believe the depth chart will look like when it’s released come Monday morning. Without further adieu…

     

    Quarterback:

    1) Maty Mauk (6-0 195 RS Jr.)

    2) Eddie Printz (6-3 215, RS Soph.)

    3) Drew Lock (6-4 205, Freshman)

    4) Marvin Zanders (6-1, 185, RS Fr.)

     

    Maty Mauk is the clear-cut starter. There is no question there. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. I wouldn’t be shocked if Drew Lock gets a redshirt. But he’s been so damn good in the three scrimmages open to the media that I also wouldn’t be totally shocked if he’s the de-facto number two quarterback opening the season. By that, I mean if Mauk were to go down for an extended period of time, I’m not sure the staff wouldn’t go with Lock over Printz as the long-term answer.

     

    And then there’s Marvin Zanders, who is a big play waiting to happen. He’s fast as hell and he’s really developed as a quarterback, as well. I don’t think we’ll see a lot of him, but I think the staff could put together a package of him as a “wildcat-esque” quarterback.

     

    Running Back:

    1) Russell Hansbrough (5-9 190, SR)

    2) Ish Witter (5-10 190, Soph.)

    3) Tyler Hunt (5’11 215, Sr.)

    4) Trevon Walters* (5’10 200, RS FR.)

    5) Morgan Steward (6’0 210 RS Jr.)

    6) Chase Abbington (6’2 225 RS Soph.)

     

    The running back position, despite having a lot of “guys”, is still pretty unsettled. Russell Hansbrough is the clear-cut number one. Ish Witter has asserted himself, by default, as the number two option. Behind Witter, though, there are a lot of question marks. Can Tyler Hunt produce in short-yardage situations against an SEC defense the way he does against the Tigers’ defense in scrimmages? I have Trevon Walters as the Tigers’ number four running back, but he’s out until October. Morgan Steward has shown flashes in his first action since injuring his hip last fall, but I’m not sure if he’s back to 100% yet. And Chase Abbington really hasn’t shown much this fall, but he’ll be listed on the depth chart simply because he has already used his redshirt season.

     

    Wide Receiver:

    X-Receiver:

    1) J’Mon Moore (6-3 190, RS Soph.)

    2) DeSean Blair (6-3 190, RS Fr.)

    4) Justin Smith (6-7 200, Freshman)

     

    Z-Receiver:

    1) Wesley Leftwich (6-1 200, RS Sr.)

    2) Keyon Dilosa (6-3 200, RS Fr.)

    3) Emanuel Hall (6-3 200, Freshman)

     

    H-Receiver:

    1) Nate Brown (6-3 205, Soph.)

    2) Thomas Richard (6-1 190, RS Fr.)

    3) Raymond Wingo (5-11 175, RS Fr.)

     

    There are so many possibilities at receiver. I think the top six are fairly established. J’Mon Moore, Wesley Leftwich and Nate Brown are the starters, if they’re healthy. And that’s no guarantee. Moore has a shoulder injury and has been sitting out of the team portion of practice for a week or so. And Leftwich has a knee issue that seems to be lingering. But, if they’re healthy, those are the three starters. The second group of DeSean Blair, Keyon Dilosa and Thomas Richard also seem to have established themselves. The third group is tough to determine. I would be shocked if Emanuel Hall ends up redshirting. He’s been very, very good. Justin Smith *could* redshirt, but I think a 6-foot-7 receiver could be useful, even if he’s raw. I do believe Ray Wingo is the number three H-receiver. So, there’s that.

     

    I will say this – I don’t think Mizzou has a receiver problem. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I don’t think they have a Bud Sasser on this year’s team, but I think they have a few Jimmie Hunts. It wouldn’t be a shock to me to see Leftwich, Blair, Brown, Richard, and/or Hall finish the year with 40(ish) receptions. I mean – think of it this way – Maty Mauk is going to complete roughly 200 passes this year. That’s going to happen. And someone has to catch those passes. I think Missouri has plenty of receivers that are capable of doing so. I did not believe that before fall camp. Quite an impressive camp for the young receiver corps.

     

    Tight End:

    1) Sean Culkin (6-6 245, RS Jr.)

    2) Jason Reese (6-5 240, RS Soph.)

    3) Kendall Blanton (6-6 250, RS Fr.)

    4) Clayton Echard (6-5 260, RS Sr.)

     

    The tight end position is pretty well set for Missouri for the next couple years. It’s Sean Culkin and Jason Reese as the 1-2 combo with Kendall Blanton developing into a rather nice third option if need-be. Clayton Echard will come into the game in some short-yardage situations, too. I’ve said all offseason that Reese is a guy that really intrigues me. He’s fast, he’s strong, he’s a fluid route runner, and he has above-average hands for a pass-catching tight end. I think Missouri’s tight ends could surprise some people this year.

     

    Left Tackle:

    1) Connor McGovern (6-4 300, RS Sr.)

    2) Paul Adams (6-6 290, RS Fr.)

    3) Mike Fairchild (6-5 295, RS Fr.)

     

    The coaches established late in spring ball that Connor McGovern was the player they wanted as their starting left tackle, and he’s done nothing to change that sentiment since. He’s been solid in fall camp. Paul Adams is listed as the number two left tackle, but I think Malik Cuellar would play left tackle *if* anything were to happen to McGovern. Adams is more of a placeholder on the depth chart – and that’s no shot at Adams, he’s only a redshirt freshman and has done an admirable job of battling with Charles Harris in the team’s scrimmages.

     

    Left Guard:

    1) Taylor Chappell (6-5 300, RS Sr.)

    2) Alec Abeln (6-3 290, RS Soph.)

    3) Andy Bauer (6-3 310, RS Fr.)

     

    This could be a spot that the coaches continue to work with throughout the first game of the season. I wouldn’t be totally shocked if Brad McNulty or Alec Abeln split reps with Taylor Chappell against Southeast Missouri State. However, coach A.J. Ricker has noted multiple times that he wants his offensive line to have some continuity, so that could be something he hopes to avoid. Regardless, none of the guys that spent time at left guard (Chappell, McNulty & Abeln) really established themselves. So, I’ll go with the guy that had the most playing time in 2014 – and that’s Chappell.

     

    Center: 

    1) Evan Boehm (6-3 320, SR.)

    2) Brad McNulty (6-4 305, RS Sr.)

    3) Sam Bailey (6-5 265, RS Fr.)

     

    Evan Boehm and Connor McGovern have been the constants along the offensive line. Brad McNulty is the new addition behind Boehm. McNulty and Alec Abeln are cross-trained at guard and center, and either could fill in along any of the three interior positions if needed.

     

    Right Guard:

    1) Mitch Hall (6-5 310, RS Sr.)

    2) Kevin Pendleton (6-4 315, RS Fr.)

    3) Adam Ploudre (6-4 295, RS Soph.)

     

    At first it looked like right guard could be a battle position like left guard, but that position battle quickly ended and Mitch Hall seems to have a stronghold on the starting spot.

     

    Right Tackle:

    1) Nate Crawford (6-5 290, RS Soph.)

    2) Malik Cuellar (6-5 300, Jr.)

    3) Clay Rhodes (6-5 280, RS Soph.)

     

    Nate Crawford’s assent to the starting right tackle position is not one that should be overlooked. He transitioned from defensive line to offensive line in the spring of 2014. Then he had back surgery in June. But he was ready to go for day one of fall camp, and he has won a starting spot along the offensive line two months later. Pretty amazing, really.

     

    As a whole, McGovern, Boehm, Hall and Crawford seem to be pretty locked in as starters. Left guard is a bit in flux, but it will be one of Chappell, Abeln or McNulty. The primary offensive line backups appear to be Cuellar as the swing tackle with the two guys that don’t win the left guard job backing up the three interior positions. If the Tigers need any players beyond that, something has gone horribly wrong. But the next most reliable players would seem to be Rhodes, Adams and Pendleton.

     

    Left Defensive End:

    1) Marcell Frazier (6-5 265, Jr.)

    2) Walter Brady (6-3 255, RS Fr.)

    3) Nate Howard (6-4 230, Freshman)

     

    Right Defensive End:

    1) Charles Harris (6-3 255, RS Soph.)

    2) Spencer Williams (6-3 245, RS Fr.)

    3) Rocell McWilliams (6-2 240, RS Fr.)

     

    Marcell Frazier and Charles Harris will be Mizzou’s starting defensive ends. That much I’m sure of. Walter Brady and Spencer Williams would seem to be the next two in the rotation. I think Rocell McWilliams is the fifth guy in the rotation, but it’s Nate Howard that’s the real wildcard here. Howard is a true freshman, but he has the size and speed combination that you would want in order for him to get on the field early. I’m not sure if he’s shown enough to avoid the redshirt, but I would like to see him as a part of that defensive end rotation.

     

    Defensive Tackle:

    1) Rickey Hatley (6-4 285, RS Jr.)

    2) Terry Beckner Jr. (6-4 300, Freshman)

     

    Nose Guard:

    1) Josh Augusta (6-4 335, Jr.)

    2) A.J. Logan (6-2 300, RS Soph.)

     

    The defensive tackle rotation is set. Josh Augusta and Rickey Hatley will start with Terry Beckner and A.J. Logan as their primary backups. Here’s the rub: who comes into the rotation if someone gets hurt? That’s not a question I have the answer for. Please stay healthy, big guys.

     

    SAM Linebacker:

    1) Donavin Newsom (6-2 230, RS Jr.)

    2) Clarence Green (6-0 220, RS Sr.)

    3) Terez Hall (6-2 215, Freshman)

     

    MIKE Linebacker:

    1) Michael Scherer (6-3 230, RS Jr.)

    2) Brandon Lee (6-2 220, RS Fr.)

    3) Eric Beisel (6-3 225, RS Soph.)

     

    WILL Linebacker:

    1) Kentrell Brothers (6-1 235, RS Sr.)

    2) Joey Burkett (6-2 210, RS Soph.)

    3) Grant Jones (6-3 225, RS Sr.)

     

    This might be, top-to-bottom, Mizzou’s best unit. The starters are entrenched, the backups are competent and the third unit is full of promise. Kentrell Brothers and Michael Scherer are among the best linebackers in the conference, which means they’re also among the top linebackers in the country. Donavin Newsom has shown a lot more production throughout fall camp, and he’s always been incredibly athletic. Clarence Green, Newsom’s backup, would start at most SEC schools. He’s outstanding in coverage. Brandon Lee is one of my favorite under-the-radar backups. He has a real chance to be a standout on special teams this year before taking over a starting role in 2016. The only freshman linebacker that I have avoiding a redshirt is Terez Hall. He’s been in with the one’s on special teams. I would be surprised if he doesn’t see the field early & often.

     

    Cornerback:

    1) Aarion Penton (5-10 185, Jr.)

    2) John Gibson (6-0 190, RS Jr.)

    3) Finis Stribling IV (5-11 175, RS Fr.)

     

    Cornerback:

    1) Kenya Dennis (5-11 195, Sr.)

    2) Logan Cheadle (5-10 180, Soph.)

    3) DeAndre McKenzie (6-1 195, Sr.)

     

    Aarion Penton and Kenya Dennis are the starters. John Gibson and Logan Cheadle are the next two off the bench. That’s about as good as it gets in terms of depth and top-end talent at cornerback. Not much movement on the depth chart.

     

    Strong Safety:

    1) Anthony Sherrills (6-0 190, RS Soph.)

    2) Thomas Wilson (5-10 190 Soph.)

    3) Tavon Ross (6-0 200 RS Fr.)

     

    Free Safety:

    1) Ian Simon (6-0 195, RS Sr.)

    2) Cam Hilton (6-0 180, Freshman)

    3) Cortland Browning (6-1 205, RS Sr.)

     

    A whole lot of talent in the back end of Mizzou’s secondary. Anthony Sherrills is unproven, but the coaches rave about him. Thomas Wilson made some plays as a true freshman in 2014. Cam Hilton has shown enough in fall camp to shed the redshirt and I believe he would be the number two free safety if the season were to begin today.

     

    So, there you have it. That’s my projections. Some are likely to be wrong. Others may be right. I have Drew Lock, Justin Smith, Emanuel Hall, Nate Howard, Terry Beckner Jr., Terez Hall and Cam Hilton skipping their redshirt season. Junior college transfers Chase Abbington and Malik Cuellar are also likely to contribute in 2015. That’s nine players from Coach Pinkel’s 2015 class that could see time right away. That would be a hell of a start.

     

  4. The Big Show: George Schroeder

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    George Schroeder of USA Today Sports joined Matt and BK on The Big Show to determine how much of an impact Maty Mauk’s overall numbers will have on the Tigers’ success in 2015. Plus, which non-Georgia conference game will be the most important? All of that and more in our conversation with George Schroeder.

     

    PODCAST:

     

  5. Most Intriguing 2015 Mizzou Home Game

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    ESPN came out with a post on Tuesday ranking the top 10 SEC games for the 2015 season, and Missouri landed one game on the list: MU vs. Georgia in Athens on October 17.

     

    “With all the talk around Georgia and Tennessee, it’s easy to forget about Missouri in the East. Yet all the Tigers have done is win the division two years in a row. What’s maybe more impressive is that they haven’t lost a road game since 2012. That streak will be put to the test at Georgia in a game that could decide the East.”

     

    I think most Missouri fans would agree that the Georgia game is the most important game of the season for the Tigers. It’s the one game MU fans circled immediately when the schedule came out. But if you narrow down the options to only home contests, which game is the most intriguing?

     

     

    Ranking Mizzou Home Games:

     

    UCONN

     

    #6 — Sept. 19: vs. UCONN:

     

    I’m trying to figure out an angle to say that Mizzou vs. UCONN on September 19th will be interesting, intriguing, or entertaining. All I got is this: Mizzou will be playing their third football game of the season. So, there’s that. Otherwise, there’s just not much here. Missouri was in need of another non-conference opponent, they had an open date that matched up with UCONN, and now we, as fans, get to watch the game.

     

    UCONN hasn’t finished a season with a winning record since 2010. Roughly 20 players from last year’s Huskies team left the team for one reason or another. Their team is full of underclassmen, and only four starters are seniors. The Tigers should roll. And your day will continue with Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech, Auburn vs. LSU, Stanford vs. USC and Ole Miss vs. Alabama.

     

    SEMO Logo

     

    #5 — Sept. 5: vs. Southeast Missouri State

     

    Football’s back! SEMO is the opening game of the season. That’s really the only reason why I’m interested. It will be the first time we’re able to watch the 2015 version of the Mizzou football team on Faurot Field against a real, live opponent. Other than that, ehh, not much intrigue. SEMO has three winning seasons in 25 years as a FCS/D1-AA team. They’re not particularly good. The Tigers should trounce them. But, like I said, it’s the first game of the year. So it’s more intriguing than the game against UCONN.

     

    SCar

     

    #4 — Oct. 3: vs. South Carolina

     

    This is where the rankings become a bit more difficult. I think there are four clear ‘tiers’ within the SEC East. There’s Georgia in tier 1, Missouri and Tennessee in tier 2, South Carolina and Florida in tier 3, and then everyone else (i.e. Kentucky and Vanderbilt) in tier 4. I, personally, have more interest in watching Missouri’s offense against Florida’s talented defense this year. But the South Carolina battles have always produced drama. In 2013, it was the Baggett missed field goal. In 2014, the Tigers had an epic comeback in the fourth quarter. 2015 will likely prove to be more of the same, and I’ll be proven wrong. But, for now, I’ve got Mizzou-South Carolina as my fourth most intriguing home matchup of the season.

     

    Florida

     

    #3 — Oct. 10: vs. Florida

     

    Mizzou will *likely* come into their game against Florida with a 5-0 record after beginning the season with SEMO, Arkansas State, UCONN, Kentucky and South Carolina in the first five games of the year. If the Tigers beat Florida, they will go into the Georgia game at 6-0, with a massive showdown in Athens.

     

    Florida isn’t going to be very good this year. You guys know that. But they do have talent. Antonio Morrison is a really good linebacker, and Vernon Hargreaves is among the best players in college football. The Tigers offense against the Florida defense could be fun to watch. Add in the fact that Missouri has gotten the better of the Gators over the past couple years, and I think there is some legitimate intrigue in this matchup.

     

    Tennessee

     

    #2 — Nov. 21: vs. Tennessee

     

    It doesn’t get a whole lot bigger than this. Not for a home game, at least. Two weeks left in the season. The talk all offseason has been about the Vols’ improved roster, and how they are ready to overtake Mizzou in the SEC East. The Vols return their starting quarterback, running back, wide receiver, four of their five offensive linemen, and the majority of their defense. This team will be better than they were in 2014. How much better? That remains to be seen.

     

    Coach Pinkel has said for years teams that win in November will be remembered . This is one of those games. If Missouri beats Tennessee, it’s *likely* that they will be fighting for at least a share of the SEC East title when they travel to Arkansas for the final game of the season.

     

    Miss St

    #1 — Nov. 5: vs. Mississippi State

     

    I have a theory that Thursday night road games are the most difficult games for road teams to win. My theory doesn’t have a ton of data to back it up (SEC road teams are 9-5 in Thursday night conference games since 2005), but I do believe it to be true. Thursday night football games provide a different kind of energy and spark to a team, and I expect that to be true for the Tigers when they take on Mississippi State on November 5th.

     

    Here’s the other thing: This game has the potential to be the beginning of the Tigers’ stretch run in November that includes games against Mississippi State, BYU, Tennessee and Arkansas. The homestretch of the schedule ain’t easy, and it would be nice for ‘ole Mizzou to get a little bit of a boost from their Thursday night nationally televised game against the Bulldogs.

  6. The Big Show: David Lesky

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    David Lesky of the Pine Tar Press joined Matt and BK on The Big Show to discuss how the Royals should attack the final month of the season and whether he would prefer to see Kansas City give Alex Gordon or Ben Zobrist a contract after the season.

     

  7. Mauk, Brothers, Boehm & Hansbrough Named to Coaches All SEC Teams

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    The Missouri Tigers come into 2015 with a lot more hype among SEC coaches than they do in the media if preseason awards are any indication. The Tigers landed four players on the coaches All SEC teams today after landing two players on the media’s All-SEC teams in late July.

     

    Quarterback Maty Mauk and linebacker Kentrell Brothers were named to the second team, while center Evan Boehm and running back Russell Hansbrough were named to the third team. The postseason All SEC team does not include a third team, but there is an honorable mention category.

     

    The Tigers have not had a player named to the first team preseason All SEC since joining the conference. Justin Britt, Michael Sam, Kony Ealy and E.J. Gaines were named to the first team after the 2013 season. Bud Sasser, Shane Ray and Marcus Murphy were first team All SEC following last season.

     

    The top “snubs” for the Tigers in this year’s All SEC teams are offensive tackle Connor McGovern, linebacker Michael Scherer and cornerbacks Kenya Dennis and Aarion Penton. It would not come as a shock to me if any of those four were named first or second team All SEC following the 2015 season.

     

  8. Mizzou Fall Camp Central

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    Matt and BK will have your latest updates from Mizzou Fall football camp each and every day on The Big Show from 4-6 pm Central on ESPN 100.5 & 103.1 FM KTGR in Columbia.

     

    Listen to ‘The Big Show’ LIVE on KTGR.

     

    The guys will also keep you updated on the latest Tigers happenings right here on KTGR.com.

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  9. The Big Show: Ralph Russo

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    Ralph Russo of the Associated Press joined Matt and BK on The Big Show to discuss the recently revealed AP Top 25. Ralph says he wouldn’t have Mizzou in his personal top 25. Why? He explained on the show.

     

    PODCAST:

     

  10. Report: Kansas City Chiefs Could Be Active On Trade Market

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    The Kansas City Chiefs are a team to watch as the preseason roster cuts come around, according to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora. LaCanfora said in his Inside Football column that the Chiefs have a surplus of quarterbacks, cornerbacks and safeties and that rival evaluators could be interested in trading for one (or more) of Kansas City’s players.

     

    “Other teams continue to look for the Chiefs to be active on the trade market. They remain overloaded with safeties and some teams have called to make initial inquiries about veteran Tyvon Branch, sources said, who could be the most likely to be dealt. Coach Andy Reid is taking it cautiously with safety Eric Berry in his return from cancer, and he continues to get work with backups in the second half of preseason games, but he is making real strides.”

     

    The safety proposition is an interesting one. Kansas City currently has last year’s starters Ron Parker and Husain Abdullah on the roster, and as LaCanfora mentioned, Eric Berry is back after finishing his cancer treatments. The Chiefs signed Tyvon Branch in the offseason as insurance in case Berry was not able to come back this season, and he may be a piece that other teams are interested in. The question then becomes this: what would other teams be willing to part with? Because right now it appears the Chiefs have too many safeties to play. But what happens if and when a safety goes down to injury? You would like to have at least three guys at the position that you know can really play.

     

    “Baltimore is monitoring the market for defensive backs closely, and should they lose another safety, I could see a trade with the Chiefs still materializing. The Chiefs could deal a corner as well and they have plenty of intriguing candidates at quarterback as well beyond starter Alex Smith. I get the sense GM John Dorsey is going to be on the phone quite a bit the next few weeks and could be open for business on several levels.”

     

    I would be much more surprised if the Chiefs traded a quarterback or a cornerback than I would be if they traded a safety. The quarterback that other teams are likely to be interested in is Chase Daniel, who has been outstanding in the preseason. If Aaron Murray attempted more than one pass in his first two preseason games, maybe I would be more willing to part with Daniel while his value is at its peak. But I’m worried that Murray still may not be 100% healthy.

     

    At cornerback, the Chiefs have 1st and 3rd round draft picks Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson, along with veterans Sean Smith, Marcus Cooper and Jamell Flemming, and Phillip Gaines has reportedly shown huge progress in his second year in the Chiefs’ system. That’s six players that could conceivably make the Chiefs roster. Trading one of them (Peters or Flemming, most likely) would make sense, but would another team be willing to part with anything? That remains to be seen.

     

    Regardless, the next couple weeks should be interesting to watch. Roster cuts are coming, trades are possible, and the Chiefs are right in the middle of all of it.