Projected 2015 starters: Kansas City Chiefs


Around The NFL predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. See every breakdown here.

Chiefs Projected Starters
  Offense Defense
  QB Alex Smith DE Allen Bailey
  RB Jamaal Charles NT Dontari Poe
  WR1 Jeremy Maclin DE Mike DeVito
  WR2 Albert Wilson OLB Justin Houston
  TE Travis Kelce ILB Derrick Johnson
  FB Anthony Sherman ILB Josh Mauga
  LT Eric Fisher OLB Tamba Hali
  LG Ben Grubbs CB1 Sean Smith
  C Mitch Morse CB2 Marcus Peters
  RG Paul Fanaika SS Ron Parker
  RT Donald Stephenson FS Husain Abdullah

» Jeremy Maclin will provide Alex Smith with a receiver who can create separation, something Chiefs receivers couldn't seem to do in 2014. We expect Albert Wilson -- who displayed speed and promise in a good December run -- to be the No. 2 guy. Jason Avant is barely a No. 3 wideout at this stage and De'Anthony Thomas is a gadget player.

» Travis Kelce will be unleashed! Praise the Greek gods! Without Anthony Fasano for Andy Reid to stubbornly turn to, Zeus should be the prime, Gronk-like target for Smith.

» Rookie Mitch Morse will earn the starting center nod after Rodney Hudson -- the team's best lineman -- left for Oakland. While Morse will be a downgrade, the addition of Ben Grubbs and Paul Fanaika are upgrades at the guard spots.

» We are assuming Mike DeVito and Derrick Johnson will return healthy from Achilles ruptures and Justin Houston will eventually sign his franchise tag tender (or get a long-term deal). Jaye Howard performed well in stretches last season but wasn't consistent enough to knock DeVito out if he returns healthy.

» With Eric Berry still battling cancer (get well, sir), the Chiefs will enter with Ron Parker as the strong safety. Parker's play vacillated from great to poor last season in 1,037 snaps, but KC loves his upside. We should also note that there is a chance Sean Smith could face a suspension due to a DUI arrest last summer.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the most recent developments in the Tom Brady suspension saga and makes rookie predictions for the 2015 season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.