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No major surprises on final Chiefs roster projection

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Here is a position-by-position look at who stays when the Kansas City Chiefs make their final cuts.

Quarterback (3)

Alex Smith

Chase Daniel

Aaron Murray

There are no decisions for the Chiefs to make at this position. Their only other quarterback, Tyler Bray, is on the non-football injury list.

Running back (4)

Jamaal Charles

Anthony Sherman

Knile Davis

Charcandrick West

Again, there’s not much for the Chiefs to decide here. Charles is the featured back, Davis is his backup and Sherman the fullback. West will probably play mostly on special teams, but showed a knack in camp and the preseason for making plays as both a runner and a receiver.

Wide receiver (7)

Jeremy Maclin

Albert Wilson

Jason Avant

De’Anthony Thomas

Chris Conley

Frankie Hammond Jr.

Fred Williams.

Seven is a lot of receivers but the Chiefs might need all of them when the season starts. Wilson, Avant and Thomas went through the latter part of the preseason with injuries. Either Hammond or Williams could get trimmed but both players were impressive in training camp and the Chiefs are in no position to be releasing promising young receivers.

Tight end (3)

Travis Kelce

James O’Shaughnessy

Demetrius Harris

I’m gambling that Harris, who only recently resumed practicing after breaking his foot last November, will be ready to help when the regular season begins. If he’s not, the Chiefs may go with just Kelce and O’Shaughnessy until Harris is ready, keep Ryan Taylor as a fourth tight end or acquire a tight end released by another team.

Offensive line (8)

Eric Fisher

Ben Grubbs

Mitch Morse

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Paul Fanaika

Jeff Allen

Donald Stephenson

Zach Fulton

I’m gambling here, too, that Allen will ready to play early in the season. He sprained his knee early in the preseason and hasn’t played or practiced since. He probably won’t be ready for the regular-season opener and if not, I’m leaving the Chiefs thin here. I’m cutting center Eric Kush, who began training camp as the starter. But that job will go to Morse and the Chiefs seem to like Fulton as their backup center.

Defensive line (5)

Allen Bailey

Jaye Howard

Mike DeVito

Mike Catapano

Nick Williams.

I’m putting Dontari Poe, who had surgery to remove a herniated disk from his back, on an injured list to start the season. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chiefs kept him on the active roster to begin the season.

Linebacker (9)

Justin Houston

Tamba Hali

Derrick Johnson

Josh Mauga

Dee Ford

Dezman Moses

Josh Martin

Ramik Wilson

Frank Zombo

I have the Chiefs releasing D.J. Alexander, one of their two fifth-round draft picks. It’s always a little bit risky predicting the release of such a high draft pick but the Chiefs are already heavy at this position group. The Chiefs have some promising young backup players in Ford, Wilson and Moses, a special-teams standout in Martin and a valuable veteran backup in Zombo.

Defensive back (11)

Ron Parker

Husain Abdullah

Marcus Peters

Phillip Gaines

Eric Berry

Tyvon Branch

Kelcie McCray

Daniel Sorensen

Jamell Fleming

Steven Nelson

Marcus Cooper

Like at linebacker, the Chiefs will go heavy at another position group where they have some depth. Under different circumstances, there would be no room for Cooper, a former starter at cornerback. But Sean Smith will serve a three-game suspension to begin the season and I can’t see the Chiefs keeping just four cornerbacks to begin the season, particularly since Peters and Nelson are rookies. The Chiefs could part with either of two young safeties: McCray or Sorensen. But both are good special-teams players.

Specialists (3)

Dustin Colquitt

Cairo Santos

James Winchester