Starters: Mike DeVito, Vance Walker; Backups: Allen Bailey, Mike Catapano. Others: Chas Alecxih, Risean Broussard, Dominique Hamilton, Jaye Howard. The Chiefs signed Walker as a free agent from the Oakland Raiders as a replacement for the departed Tyson Jackson. He might be able to provide more as a pass-rusher. That is something the Chiefs need. DeVito is much better as a run defender.
Starter: Dontari Poe; Backup: Cory Grissom. Poe was a Pro Bowler last season and came out of the lineup so infrequently that the Chiefs didn’t really need a backup. Unless the Chiefs add another player here, that could be the case again. Grissom is a developmental player.
Starters: Derrick Johnson, Joe Mays; Backups: Nico Johnson, James-Michael Johnson. Other: Alonzo Highsmith. Derrick Johnson had another big season last year, but he will be 32 in November and the Chiefs will soon need to begin to think about a replacement. Mays, who once played for coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia, was signed as a free agent.
Starters: Tamba Hali, Justin Houston; Backups: Dezman Moses, Frank Zombo. Other: Josh Martin, Ridge Wilson. Hali and Houston combined for 22 sacks last season despite missing six games between them. Zombo played well as an injury replacement.
Starters: Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith; Backups: Marcus Cooper, Chris Owens; Others: Vernon Kearney, Ron Parker, Kevin Rutland, DeMarcus Van Dyke. It wouldn’t be an upset if the Chiefs drafted a cornerback in an early round. Flowers had perhaps his worst NFL season last year. Cooper and Owens provide good depth.
Starters: Eric Berry, Sanders Commings; Backups: Husain Abdullah, Jerron McMillian. Other: Malcolm Bronson. The starting free safety might not be on the roster yet, but the Chiefs like Commings. He was going to challenge for playing time as a rookie last year when a broken collarbone in the first practice of training camp ruined his season.
Kicker: Ryan Succop; Punter: Dustin Colquitt; Long snapper: Thomas Gafford. Kick/punt returners: Knile Davis, Weston Dressler, Joe McKnight. Though it’s difficult to see anyone taking a job from Succop, Colquitt or Gafford, it’s possible the Chiefs bring in one or more return specialists after losing Dexter McCluster and Quintin Demps.