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Chiefs vs. Saints preseason Week 1: 8 players to watch

Keep your eye on these eight players when the #Chiefs play the #Saints in their first preseason game on Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs host some serious talent on their 90-man roster and will need to get a good look at several up-and-coming prospects during their first preseason game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Several players have stood out in training camp, but impressing fans and coaches in practice means little if in-game results leave something to be desired.

Here are eight players to keep your eye on in Kansas City’s preseason tilt against the Saints on Sunday:

WR Nikko Remigio

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Remigio has looked like a game-breaking talent in training camp practices but is a total wildcard for Kansas City heading into the preseason. His upside as a returner could earn him a spot on the Chiefs’ 53-man roster, but his path toward that goal will start on Sunday against New Orleans. Watch for Remigio to be a featured weapon on offense and special teams as Kansas City’s coaching staff feels out his viability as a potential difference-maker in 2023.

DL Keondre Coburn

Ted Gangi/CollegePressBox/Texas

Given the Chiefs ‘ instability on their defensive line, Coburn could be thrust into the spotlight early in his NFL career. Chris Jones is still holding out, Charles Omenihu won’t see action until Week 7 of the regular season, and Kansas City needs guys to eat up space in the middle of their front four. With a standout performance against the Saints, Coburn could play himself into a starting role in September.

WR Justyn Ross

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Ross will be the top player to watch against New Orleans as Chiefs fans have already crowned him the steal of Kansas City’s 2022 draft class. His talent is undeniable, and the highlight reel he has put together in St. Joseph is approaching legendary status. But Sunday’s action will constitute his first NFL experience, and if he can’t produce against the Saints’ backups, all the hype will be for naught.

DL Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Ted Gangi/CollegePressBox/Kansas State

As a first-round pick, Anudike-Uzomah faces certain expectations heading into the 2023 season that players like Coburn and Ross don’t. The rookie defensive lineman will need to show that his selection with the 31st overall pick in April was warranted, and not just a product of his semi-local development at Kansas State. He doesn’t need to have a five-sack game, but some juice in the pass rush would go a long way toward helping coaches determine his viability as a first-year contributor.

QB Shane Buechele

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Buechele has looked like an MVP candidate in previous preseasons and will need to show even more promise this season. He seemed to be a shoo-in for the backup role after Chad Henne’s retirement in February, but with Mizzou legend Blaine Gabbert on the roster for 2023, Buechele has serious competition for the second-string spot.

S Bryan Cook

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has aspirations of turning Cook into the quarterback of Kansas City’s defense, so if the unit underperforms while he is on the field it won’t bode well for their 2023 campaign. Cook made careless mistakes as a rookie last season, mostly unforced penalties, so watch for him to try to contain some of his less-productive instincts as he applies what he has learned in training camp against the Saints.

RB Deneric Prince

(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

Prince has been a training camp hero for Kansas City but is a total unknown heading into the preseason. He has the most to gain with a big performance against New Orleans and could earn his ticket to the 53-man roster with enough flashy plays in his first NFL action. If he can break off some big runs and catch a few passes out of the backfield in this game, the Chiefs might have to consider keeping him instead of Clyde Edwards-Helaire ahead of the 2023 season.

LB Cam Jones

© Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times

Kansas City needs depth at the linebacker position, and Jones has an opportunity to sneak onto the Chiefs’ 53-man roster as the team looks to reinvent the middle of their defense. He is a long shot to make the team, but games like this are played to give players like Jones a chance to break through and earn their spot. Watch for him to play with an edge against New Orleans in pursuit of a chance to show what he can do in the regular season.

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