AFC West: NFL Roster Analysis 2010

Kansas City Chiefs cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
Check here for a full list of Kansas City’s roster moves.

Biggest surprise: There were some eye-openers on Kansas City’s cut list. Perhaps the biggest surprise was cutting defensive tackle/fullback Derek Lokey. He had a fine training camp and preseason. He appeared to have found a niche for himself as a fullback in short-yardage downs. Fullback Mike Cox was kept. Second-year player Alex Magee was kept ahead of him. Magee, a third-round pick, appeared to be on the bubble. The team cut third-year safety DaJuan Morgan, who was highly valued by the previous regime, but never caught the imagination of the Scott Pioli-Todd Haley regime.

No-brainers: The entire draft class was kept. Haley has lauded this group and he thinks it can be special. Undrafted rookie receiver Jeremy Horne made the team. He was a training camp star, who played well with the first team during the preseason. With Jerheme Urban being put on the injured reserve, Horne could have a role as a rookie.

What’s next: Perhaps Kansas City will pursue a third quarterback. Tyler Palko was cut. Matt Leinart is available. He played for Haley in Arizona and with Matt Cassel at USC. Still, as of Saturday evening, there were no indications that the Chiefs were pursuing Leinart. The team could also look for experience at receiver, the offensive line and on the front seven. Perhaps the team would be interested in a veteran pass rusher such as Derrick Burgess, who was cut by New England.

San Diego Chargers cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
Check here for a full list of San Diego’s roster moves.

Biggest surprise: If there was surprise cut it was Nathan Vasher. The cornerback was supposed by a key backup. But San Diego definitely kept enough defensive players. Of the 53 players on the roster, 29 of them are defensive players. San Diego kept 21 offensive players and three specialists. San Diego has 10 linebackers and 11 defensive backs. The team kept four receivers. That is a very low number. However, all four receivers on the roster – Malcom Floyd, Legedu Naanee, Buster Davis and newly acquired Patrick Crayton -– will be active on game day. Veteran Josh Reed was cut.

No-brainers: The Chargers kept both fullbacks, Mike Tolbert and Jacob Hester. Both players are very valuable. San Diego kept two undrafted rookies, linebacker Brandon Lang and tackle Ryan Otterson. Both players were good in training camp and provide depth at key positions.

What’s next: San Diego could look at help at receiver and tackle. The team is officially without holdouts Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill. Jackson could still be traded, and McNeill could still show up to the team. But, for now, it looks like San Diego is heading to the regular season without both Jackson and McNeill, and without any solution in sight. Jackson is essentially going to miss six games because of an NFL suspension and a roster exemption list San Diego put him on. McNeill is facing a three-game wait because he is also on the roster exemption list.

Oakland Raiders cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
Check here for a full list of Oakland’s roster moves.

Biggest surprise: There wasn’t a lot of surprising names on Oakland’s cut list. Defensive end Jay Richardson can qualify as a mild surprise. Richardson’s departure may mean Trevor Scott will play more end. He was an end who was moved to linebacker and was supposed to start at linebacker. However, he played end in the preseason finale Thursday night. Fullback Luke Lawton is on the suspension list and Oakland currently doesn’t have a traditional fullback on its roster. Center Chris Morris was cut and the team announced rookie Jared Veldheer will be the starting center. The smalls-school Veldheer was drafted as a tackle and played on a limited basis at center in the preseason. But he is a better long-term player than Samsom Satele, who will be the backup. Still, Veldheer will have his hands full as a rookie playing center against NFL competition. Still, he is new blood and Oakland needs an influx talent on the line.

No-brainers: The Raiders cut just one of their draft picks, seventh-round pick Stevie Brown. Oakland really likes this class and if resurgence is under way in Oakland, this class will have a lot to do with it. Defensive tackle John Henderson was kept. There was talk he could be on the bubble. But he is too valuable. He may not be an every-down player, but he can help against the run in a limited role. Second-year receiver Nick Miller was kept. The Raiders really like this small, but tough player. With Michael Bush potentially out several weeks with a broken thumb, the team needed veteran running back Michael Bennett. He had a fine preseason.

What’s next: The Raiders could do anything. Remember, they shocked the league by trading for Richard Seymour last year the day after he roster was set. Expect Oakland to look at veteran receivers, including former Seattle receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The team could also look for a veteran center to give Veldheer more time to develop. Also, veterans Thomas Howard and Chris Johnson could still be subject to trade talks if the right deal comes along.

Denver Broncos cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
Check here for a full list of Denver’s roster moves.

Biggest surprise: There were a few surprises from Denver on Saturday. The two big ones involved second-year cornerback Alphonso Smith and free-agent pickup Jarvis Green. Denver traded Smith to Detroit for reserve tight end Dan Gronkowski. Smith was the No. 37 overall pick last year, and Denver gave up its first-round pick in 2010 (No. 14) for Smith. He was a failure in Denver. Still, basically giving him away was a shocker. Denver paid Green several million to come in and be a starter on its new-look defensive line. Yet, Green could never win a starting job, losing out to Ryan McBean. Still, it never appeared Green’s job was in jeopardy. Also cut was second-year guard Seth Olsen. He was a fourth-round pick in 2009. Thus, Denver got rid of second-round pick and a fourth-round pick from a year ago. That’s not the way to build a program.

No-brainers: A big reason why Smith was expendable was the play of rookie cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Syd’Quan Thompson, fifth and seventh-round draft picks, respectively. These two players are keepers. Expect Cox to immediately play a huge role as the nickel cornerback and as a return man. Matthew Willis had a great camp and he deserved a roster spot. Keeping Willis was made easier when Denver put receiver Brandon Stokley on the injured reserve with a groin injury. There were reports earlier Saturday that Stokley was released. Recent pickup, linebacker Jason Hunter, excelled in the preseason and was an easy choice to make the roster, as was backup running back Lance Ball

What’s next: Denver will look to upgrade at a few spots. First on the list is running back. The Broncos have been decimated by injuries at the position this summer, and it is not clear if starter Knowshon Moreno will be ready to play opening day at Jacksonville. Denver will look at every running back option available. Other areas Denver could look to upgrade include tight end, offensive line, receiver and the defensive front.