Roster analysis 2013 to 2014: CB

Here’s another installment of our detailed look at the Kansas City Chiefs roster by position with a determination whether they improved or not since the end of last season. Keep in mind that the Chiefs can continue to make roster moves and could make significant additions or subtractions before they arrive at training camp. But the bulk of the roster they will take to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph is intact.

We’ll continue here with the cornerbacks.

End of 2013: Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Marcus Cooper, Ron Parker, Dunta Robinson.

Serious 2014 roster candidates: Flowers, Smith, Cooper, Parker, Phillip Gaines, Chris Owens.

Analysis: The Chiefs prefer bigger cornerbacks who can match up physically with the NFL’s bigger receivers. At 5-foot-9, Flowers doesn’t qualify. He didn’t play well last season, raising questions about how well-suited he is for the Chiefs and their preferred defensive style. The other starter is Smith, and he, Cooper, Parker and Gaines are 6-foot or taller. Owens is 5-foot-9 but he’s a veteran who will mostly cover slot receivers. Cooper, a rookie last season, started well but was horrible later in the season. Gaines, the third-round pick, is the major addition to this group. But after playing at Rice, he has an adjustment to make in moving to the NFL. He can certainly make it more quickly than this, but it’s wise to expect little from him as a rookie.

Better or worse? A tough call. I’m counting on an improved pass rush to make things better in coverage.