Joined: 07 Jan 2008
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|Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:33 am Post subject: 2017 KC Chiefs Roster Analysis - The Specialists
|The little chart below is a depth chart excerpt from the 2017 KC Chiefs Skeleton Depth Chart linked in the database. Throughout the analysis we will use that (continuouslyy updated) chart as a reference point for our considerations.
black: 2016 player
bold: under contract through 2017 (in italics: status not confirmed)
violet: 2016 Practice Squad player
red: Free Agent
green: Draft Pick
P - Colquitt
LS - Winchester
Other Players: Santos
A General Look at the Unit:
The Chiefs' Special Teams built a reputation of being more than solid. However, this can only in part be attributed to the players listed above, as the return and coverage guys have a big say in the production as well. However, it all starts with those three guys.
The Guys Under Contract:
Dustin Colquitt is the senior here. The long term punter still is one of the best in his job, but he also is the most expensive league-wide. However, I wonder whether a piunter really can be worth close to 5 M$ in the final year of his contract. His brother had to take a significant paycut in Denver - and even that didn't keep him the job long term. A decision is due the latest after the season, but I would not be surprised to see a young guy being brought in, and a decision being made later in pre-season.
James Winchester was re-signed early in the offseason, and there's no reason why he should not be the team's long snapper in 2017.
The Guy in Red:
It's not a secret, I'm not the biggest fan of Cairo Santos. While he has a pretty good field goal percentage I question his leg strength. I'd rather have a kicker I can trust from 56 yards out. The Chiefs punted several times in situations where a team with a big leg kicker would probably have gone for a FG. Thus the Chiefs are at a tactical disadvantage in potentially critical situations. The same lack of leg strength becomes obvious on kickoffs every now and then and may be the cause for the relatively bad performance in kick-off coverage, where the team ranks 6th worst at 24.1 yds/return.
As a RFA he's more or less under team control for the year, so I expect him back for the offseason. But I'd hope he'll face competition throughout camp.
Colquitt's contract is something to consider. The Chiefs can save 4.1 M$ in cap (minus the cost for the replacement) here. Quite a bit of dough on a 3 men unit.
This unit may return as it was last year or experience a 2/3 overhaul. While there is no need to decide now, consideration should be given whether improvement and/or cost reduction is an option. I'd like to see competition for both kickers and base a decision on the performance in camp.
Dave Toub is probably one of the best ST coaches in the league. The performance of his units contributed massively to the team's success during last season. The departure of Bruck Olivo will only have limited impact, however, his promotion to the Eagles' ST coach demonstrates the high standing Toub has in League circles. I don't expect any change here.
2017 SPECIALIST PROJECTION:
K - Santos or UDFA
P - Colquitt or UDFA
LS - Winchester
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