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No big surprises on Chiefs’ initial depth chart

July 26, 2014; St. Joseph, Mo; Quarterback Tyler Bray (9) under center during training camp drills. Credit: Matt Derrick, ChiefsSpin.com.

July 26, 2014; St. Joseph, Mo; Quarterback Tyler Bray (9) under center during training camp drills. Credit: Matt Derrick, ChiefsSpin.com.

The Chiefs on Saturday night released the initial depth ahead of the Aug. 7 preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Because the first chart is often fluid, it’s best to remember there’s plenty of training camp left in addition to the four preseason games for numerous battles to settle.

Players currently buried on the depth chart, especially at the deep wide receiver and cornerback positions, can close the gap if they perform during preseason games.

Key dates to remember before the dust settles:

• Tuesday, Aug. 26 – Roster cuts from 90 to 75
• Saturday, Aug. 30 – Roster cuts from 75 to 53
• Sunday, Aug. 31 – Establish practice squad

In the meantime, here’s how the initial depth chart shapes out:

OFFENSE

Wide receiver Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins, Albert Wilson, Frankie Hammond, Fred Williams, Deon Anthony

Reaction: Wilson ahead of Hammond is a mild surprise. Look for this contest to remain heated throughout August, as both have enjoyed a solid training camp.

Left tackle Eric Fisher, J’Marcus Webb, Ryan McKee

Reaction: The Chiefs still have to identify the swing tackle in training camp, and it could come down between Webb and Ryan Harris.

Left guard Jeff Allen, Jeff Linkenbach, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

Reaction: Duvernay-Tardif transitions from playing offensive tackle in college, and he’s been lining up at guard since the second day of rookie minicamp. Linkenbach offers versatility at guard or offensive tackle.

Center Rodney Hudson, Eric Kush, Ben Gottschalk

Reaction: No surprises.

Right guard Zach Fulton, Rishaw Johnson, Ricky Henry

Reaction: Fulton’s emergence began during the mandatory minicamp leading to training camp. Johnson still has time to make up ground, but this is Fulton’s job to lose. The first clear hint the Chiefs were leaning the rookie’s direction occurred the last four practices when Fulton lined up with the first-team unit during 9-on-9 and 11-on-11 drills.

Right tackle Donald Stephenson, Ryan Harris, Otis Hudson

Reaction: The Chiefs need to identify the swing tackle and Harris, who also spent time at left tackle in training camp, is an ideal candidate.

Tight end Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Richard Gordon, Adam Schiltz

Reaction: No surprises.

Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, Junior Hemingway, Kyle Williams, Jerrell Jackson, Weston Dressler, Mark Harrison

Reaction: Dressler, the former Canadian Football League star, has a lot of ground to make up in the next month.

Quarterback Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray

Reaction: No surprises. This is the exact order the quarterbacks go during drills.

Running back Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, De’Anthony Thomas, Cyrus Gray, Charcandrick West, Joe McKnight

Reaction: Thomas’ listing puts Gray, last season’s No. 3 running back, on notice. Meanwhile, McKnight, who has missed all training camp practices after undergoing a knee scope after minicamp, needs to return soon. He was also set to compete on special teams as a returner.

Fullback  Anthony Sherman, Jordan Campbell

Reaction: No surprises.

DEFENSE

Left defensive end Allen Bailey, Jaye Howard, Jermelle Cudjo

Reaction: Bailey has been entrenched at the starting position since organized team activities (OTAs).

Nose tackle Dontari Poe, Vance Walker, Kyle Love, Dominique Hamilton

Reaction: Poe’s backup carries significance given the amount of snaps he played last season. Walker is versatile inside or outside, so he has the head start.

Right defensive end Mike DeVito, Mike Catapano, Kona Schwenke

Reaction: No surprises.

Left outside linebacker Justin Houston, Josh Martin, Frank Zombo

Reaction: No surprises.

Left inside linebacker Joe Mays, Josh Mauga, Nico Johnson

Reaction: The Chiefs signed Mauga days before training camp started, so seeing him listed at No. 2 signals Johnson, last season’s fourth-round pick, needs to close the gap.

Right inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, James-Michael Johnson, Alonzo Highsmith

Reaction: No surprises.

Right outside linebacker Tamba Hali, Dee Ford, Dezman Moses

Reaction: Ford played on the left side during Justin Houston’s boycott of OTAs and minicamp.

Left cornerback Marcus Cooper, Chris Owens, Phillip Gaines, Brandon Jones, Justin Rogers, Damond Smith

Reaction: Cooper started training camp at right cornerback, a position he manned the last week of OTAs and mandatory minicamp. He returned to the right side Thursday when the Chiefs moved Ron Parker to the right side. Owens has the first shot at the nickel position.

Right cornerback Ron Parker, Sean Smith, Phillip Gaines, Vernon Kearney, Kevin Rutland, David Van Dyke

Reaction: Parker moved from the left side to the right two days ago. Smith remains on second team.

Strong safety Eric Berry, Jerron McMillian, Daniel Sorensen, Steve Gregory

Reaction: Gregory, who signed Thursday, could make a move up the chart given his experience.

Free safety Husain Abdullah, Malcolm Bronson, Sanders Commings

Reaction: Bronson, a versatile defensive back, had been emerging even before Commings’ ankle and fractured fibula.

SPECIALISTS

Punter Dustin Colquitt, Ryan Succop

Reaction: No surprises.

Kicker Ryan Succop, Cairo Santos

Reaction: The kicker battle will heat up in the coming weeks.

KO Ryan Succop, Dustin Colquitt, Cairo Santos

Reaction: None.

Long snapper Thomas Gafford, Travis Kelce

Reaction: Kelce is in line to replace Sean McGrath as the backup long snapper.

Holder Dustin Colquitt, Chase Daniel

Reaction: None.

Punt returner De’Anthony Thomas, Frankie Hammond, Weston Dressler

Reaction: Thomas has impacted so many battle fronts given his versatility. Hammond and Dressler are also competing for a wide receiver position.

Kick returner Knile Davis, De’Anthony Thomas, Frankie Hammond

Reaction: No surprises. Running back Joe McKnight (knee) was supposed to compete, but he’s been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp started.