Ever since superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes arrived in town, the Kansas City Chiefs have experienced a lot of success. After winning Super Bowl 54 and playing in Super Bowl 55, the Chiefs will look to make it to football's biggest game for the third straight year in 2021.
However, before Kansas City achieves that goal, there's still a lot of football to be played. Their journey begins Saturday with a preseason road clash against the San Francisco 49ers. This game will be a great way for any fringe players to prove that they deserve one of the Chiefs' coveted roster spots.
Here's a look at three players to watch in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL preseason.
Kansas Chiefs Players to Watch
1. Noah Gray, Tight End
A fifth-round pick at the 2021 NFL Draft, rookie tight end Noah Gray is someone worth watching this week. While there's no questioning that Travis Kelce is Kansas City's No. 1 TE, Gray has the potential to give the Chiefs a two-head monster at the position. The rookie was garnering a lot of positive attention during June's minicamps and Saturday's game will give him the opportunity to prove if he can play that way outside of practice. Gray demonstrated some playmaking potential over his last three years at Duke, recording 100 receptions for 911 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns
2. Daurice Fountain, Wide Receiver
After spending an uneventful three years with the Indianapolis Colts, 25-year-old wideout Daurice Fountain has been impressing the Chiefs coaching staff throughout training camp. Kansas City is hoping that Mecole Hardman will emerge as the team's No. 2 WR opposite of Tyreek Hill, however, there's no guarantee of him breaking out after two straight nearly-identical seasons. Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle haven't been overly impressive either, so the opportunity to at least snag a depth wideout spot is there for Fountain. While he's only seen three targets in six career games, Fountain recorded over 2,000 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in 51 collegiate games, so there is some potential there.
3. Devon Key, Safety
Devon Key's football future was up in the air after going undrafted at the 2021 NFL Draft, however, the Chiefs decided to give him an opportunity and it's looking like he's close to cracking their 53-man roster. The rookie safety has been impressing coaches and teammates alike at training camp, making big plays along the way. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has said that he wants to see what Key can do in an in-game situation, so he could see a fair amount of playing time against the Cowboys. Key recorded 344 total tackles, 19 passes defended and 6 interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns) in 48 career games with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
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