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The ultimate 4 is ready within the NFL with the championship video games kicking off this Sunday. Whereas these 4 groups put together to battle it out to make the Tremendous Bowl, 28 different groups sit at residence attempting to determine what went improper and the way they will get there.

Final yr, the Los Angeles Rams rode “F Them Picks” to a Tremendous Bowl championship earlier than falling again to earth this season. The Rams appeared to scoff on the notion that good groups have to be “constructed via the draft.”

What about this yr’s AFC Championship recreation? How did the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals construct their present groups to get them to the place they’re?

For this train, we’re going to have a look at each groups’ present 53-man rosters and the way they acquired these gamers.

Initially, you’ll discover that the Kansas Metropolis roster has simply 52 names on it at the moment. In response to Pete Sweeney at Arrowhead Delight, the crew waived defensive again Chris Lammons two days in the past however has not made a corresponding roster transfer but. Sweeney believes the Chiefs will deliver up tight finish Jody Fortson from injured reserve later within the week.

Kansas Metropolis acquired their 52 gamers within the following methods:

Drafted or signed as undrafted rookies: 32 gamers

The Chiefs have drafted a majority of their greatest stars together with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight finish Travis Kelce and defensive deal with Chris Jones. Of these 32 gamers, solely 4 have been with the crew for greater than 4 seasons with defensive deal with Derrick Nnadi becoming a member of Mahomes, Kelce and Jones.

Kansas Metropolis’s roster is made up of a number of younger gamers that they’ve drafted and developed however haven’t but hit huge second contracts.

Signed as free brokers: 17 gamers

The Chiefs haven’t needed to be huge gamers in free company however have added some vital gamers in that method. After buying and selling large receiver Tyreek Hill, the crew signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster to their large receiver room. Guard Joe Thuney, signed away from the New England Patriots, could have been their greatest free-agent signing.

Traded for: 3 gamers

Kansas Metropolis doesn’t make a number of trades however once they do, the trades are fairly massive. The Chiefs added offensive deal with Orlando Brown, defensive finish Frank Clark and receiver Kadarius Toney via trades. Brown and Clark have been vital items of the crew’s line of scrimmage whereas Andy Reid hasn’t discovered the way to unlock Toney since buying him from the New York Giants in the course of the 2022 NFL season.

Chiefs Roster Acquisition: 61.5% out of NFL Draft & undrafted free brokers, 32.7% in free company, 5.8% through commerce

For years, Mike Brown was seen as an proprietor that hardly ever dipped into his pockets without cost brokers and would let his personal gamers depart as soon as they grew to become costly. Former head coach Marvin Lewis watched his crew transfer on from gifted gamers in the course of their roster and by no means be capable of recover from the hump.

Brown’s seeming change of philosophy led to a Tremendous Bowl look final yr and much more spending in free company this yr

Cincinnati acquired their 53 gamers within the following methods:

Drafted or signed as undrafted rookies: 35 gamers

A overwhelming majority of the Bengals big-time offense has been drafted over the previous few years. Quarterback Joe Burrow, operating again Joe Mixon. and receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd have been all first or second-round draft picks by the crew.

Six of the 35 gamers added via the drafted or undrafted free company have been with the crew for greater than 4 seasons.

Signed as free brokers: 17 gamers

Cincinnati has gone procuring to deal with their wants, notably on the line of scrimmage. Defensive deal with D.J. Reader and defensive finish Trey Hendrickson are important elements of the line of defense whereas guards Alex Cappa and Ted Karras have been signed this offseason to buttress the offensive line and defend Burrow higher.

Traded for: 1 participant

Defensive lineman B.J. Hill is the lone addition through commerce. Cincinnati added the hulking defensive lineman in a take care of the New York Giants the place they gave up offensive lineman Billy Value and acquired Hill and a late-round choose in return. The crew gave a brand new contract this offseason to maintain him round.

Bengals Roster Acquisition: 66% from the NFL Draft or undrafted free brokers, 32% in free company, 1.8% through commerce


Based mostly on the 2 groups preventing it out within the AFC Championship recreation, the 28 groups sitting at residence can see how vital it’s to construct your rosters via the NFL Draft however be capable of complement in free company and trades. Each Kansas Metropolis and Cincinnati have additionally finished an ideal job of holding their roster younger as a substitute of holding on to gamers simply because they drafted them.

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