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Updating key position battles: Offense

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – A week into training camp, some of the Kansas City Chiefs’ position battles are starting to resolve themselves while others remain undecided. Here, we’ll look at how some of the top offensive position battles are faring. Later, we’ll look at defense and special teams.

  • Quarterback: While Alex Smith is unquestioned as the starter, the Chiefs still have decisions to make regarding the rest of their roster. Chase Daniel’s hold on the backup job appears secure. He gets more practice snaps than any quarterback except Smith and he’s the only other QB with NFL game experience. Among the developmental quarterbacks, Tyler Bray has shown more ability than rookie Aaron Murray. Many of Bray’s throws are big-time impressive, but with him there’s also the occasional what-was-he-thinking mistake. At this point, it would be a surprise if the Chiefs parted ways with any of their quarterbacks, meaning the prediction is that they will keep four or put one on an injured list.

  • Wide receiver: The jockeying for the final one or two roster spots has become interesting. In Frankie Hammond Jr. and Albert Wilson, the Chiefs appear to have two young and promising players. But can they afford to keep both of them? That question will have to be resolved in the preseason. Veteran Kyle Williams is also playing well. He appears to have recovered from last year’s ACL surgery and is the most reliable slot receiver the Chiefs have. He deserves a roster spot. While the Chiefs should be limited in what they expect from starters Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery, they have reason to believe they will get more from their backups, a group that includes Junior Hemingway and A.J. Jenkins.

  • Right guard: The Chiefs have been rotating Rishaw Johnson and rookie Zach Fulton on the first team. Fulton is advanced for a sixth-round draft pick. He showed in offseason practice an aptitude for concepts such as combination blocks, and now, with the pads on, has shown enough ability that the Chiefs should be able to trust him with the starting spot. He should win the job if he plays well in preseason games.