- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Chiefs Need to Solve Last Piece for Dynasty Quest

A week from Thursday, the NFL Draft begins in Detroit, and the Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the NFL world as back-to-back Super Bowl Champions. However, they are at the bottom of the first round and have one big hole to fill before training camp.

The Kansas City Chiefs had a clear plan in the offseason to retain most of their defensive free agents and grab an elite wide receiver in free agency, which they accomplished with Hollywood Brown. They intended to re-sign critical defenders such as Chris, Jones, Drew Tranquill, and Mike Danna, but the core of KC’s Super Bowl-winning defense remained intact.

- Advertisement -

Yes, the Chiefs traded Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and let Linebacker Willie Gay sign with the New Orleans Saints, but those were calculated losses. General Manager Brett Veach already has their replacements in-house, Tranquill and a young cornerback crew, to offset the losses on defense.

However, the Chiefs still have one gaping hole that might only be filled in the upcoming NFL Draft. At stake is finding a man who can protect the blindside of Quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Last season, Head Coach Andy Reid lined up veteran Donovan Smith and Rookie Wayna Morris at left tackle. Smith was a free agent signing from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and despite dealing with a neck injury toward the end of last season that caused him to miss several games, he did a solid job.

Morris, on the other hand, showed promise but needed more to anoint him the starter in 2024. He was solid in run blocking but struggled in pass protection and forced Mahomes to hurry throws or escape the pocket before routes developed.

It’s no coincidence that when Smith returned to the starting lineup, the Chiefs offense found its groove. Morris was highly regarded coming out of Oklahoma, and there is time for him to develop into a reliable starting left tackle. However, to hedge that bet, Brett Veach should use the 32nd pick of round one to find a long-term left tackle.

However, depending on the run of tackles taken in the first round, which tackle might be available at the end of the first round?

- Advertisement -

The best in the draft is Joe Alt, the son of former Chiefs standout left tackle John Alt. Unless the Chiefs want to mortgage the future, there’s not a chance they could climb high enough to grab what I believe to be the best prospect in this draft.

In no particular order, the following best are Tealiese Fuaga from Oregon State, Troy Fashanu from Penn State, and JC Latham from Alabama. Of those three, Latham has the most upside, but he’s also a penalty machine. In other words, outside of Alt, many tackles are lumped together.

At 32, the Chiefs might have a shot at landing Amarius Mims from Georgia or going back into Oklahoma well and drafting Tyler Guyton, who some project could fall to Kansas City. He has all the physical attributes you want from a left tackle but struggles with leverage. At the NFL level, that’s the name of the game.

It’s hard to value any of the tackles outside of Alt, but that’s why Veach relies so heavily on his scouting department and his overall understanding of what Reid is looking for in a left tackle. If I’m throwing out a wild card candidate, it would be Arizona Tackle Jordan Morgan. He has the size and skill set to be a long-time NFL starter for Kansas City.

If the Chiefs don’t draft a starter in round one or round two, the free-agent class will be thin at best. They could re-sign Smith or go after New York Jets free agent Mekhi Becton. He’s just 24 years old, but injuries and disappointing play have teams avoiding him thus far in free agency.

Conversely, Veach likes prospects, especially former first-round picks who graded high. The former 11th pick of the 2020 draft is the type of reclamation project Veach loves to spin the wheel each season.

Becton is a solid option; he could compete with Morris for the starting job. A change of scenery away from the Jets might turn his career around. If Veach did sign him, he could use a second or even third-round pick to find another left tackle.

Luckily, there is depth at the tackle position in this draft, but finding an NFL-ready starter outside of Alt is genuinely a crapshoot.

If, for some reason, the Chiefs can’t solve their left tackle spot, they could move veteran Guard Joe Thuney to left tackle and find a guard such as Barton Graham from Duke. He’s more of a center, but that might allow Creed Humphries to switch to left guard.

Much of Veach’s decision-making right now remains in his gut. Does he believe Morris can improve as a pass blocker, or does he trade up in round one to get one of the top four tackles that is not named Alt?

Time will tell, but if Kansas City wants to three-peat as NFL Super Bowl Champions, it needs to find a permanent solution at left tackle.

Follow Chiefs Blitz on Twitter and Facebook!

Please Subscribe to Chiefs Blitz on YouTube to get our Chiefs Podcasts! #KansasCityChiefs, #ChiefsKingdom, #ChiefsNews, #ChiefsRumors

- Advertisement -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More Articles

- Advertisement -
Check our #hashtags for more great Chiefs content organized by microtopic.

Latest Podcasts

- Advertisement -