The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs square off Friday evening in the first preseason game of the year for each team. Starters will be playing no more than about a quarter, which means we’ll get plenty of second, third, and even fourth string players hitting the field.
During the regular season, we’ll talk with the opposing team’s blog to get a handle on their team, and preview various matchups. For preseason games, we are doing things a little bit different. Matchups are not as big a deal because teams use the preseason to prepare their teams rather than win games. There is less game-planning against the opposing team, and more game-planning to see what your various positional units can do.
With that in mind, I chatted with Arrowhead Pride editor Joel Thorman, and we talked about players to watch. He broke down offensive and defensive players facing the chopping block who could be decent waiver options. He then offered up a couple players worth watching when the fourth quarter arrives. We’ll have some unknown players on the field who likely will be either out of the NFL or on a practice squad when Week 1 of the regular season arrives. It helps to know who we’re watching. Here is what I had to say about the 49ers over at AP.
Chiefs offensive players who could be a waivers option
If the Chiefs keep just three running backs they're going to be cutting a decent running back in CJ Spiller or Charcandrick West. You know Spiller, he's a veteran who has some years on him but he has shown this offseason that he might have some juice left. It might be tough to rely on him given some of his injury history but he could fit on a committee. West has cut some weight this offseason and looks faster. He's a former undraffted free agent but he can be a role player in someone's backfield. He can do a lot of things OK but he's not elite in any area. Other offensive candidates could include WR Seantavius Jones, QB Tyler Bray and perhaps a stray offensive lineman like G Zach Fulton or OT Jah Reid depending on how the numbers shake out there.
Chiefs defensive players who could be a waivers option
How about Marcus Rush? Just kidding. The Chiefs have a logjam at inside linebacker where former undrafted free agents Justin March or Terrance Smith could be available. They both have their limitations but have good instincts. The Chiefs could also lose a good cornerback like De'Vante Bausby or even Phillip Gaines depending on how things shake out in the secondary where they are loaded.
Players to watch in the fourth quarter
G Damien Mama is an undrafted free agent who was PFF's 10th rated guard in the 2016 class. He may be a practice squad candidate because the Chiefs have a few bodies at guard.
WR Gehrig Dieter is from Alabama and has developed a nice rapport with Patrick Mahomes in camp.
S Leon McQuay was the Chiefs seventh round pick this year but they're so loaded at safety that I think he's on the bubble.