The Kansas City Chiefs went hard for left tackle Trent Williams. All to fill the left tackle hole and came up short. However, could the Chiefs make a major trade before the draft? Let’s dive a bit deeper, and find out:
Left Tackle Needs
Consequently, after releasing the injured, starting left tackle Eric Fisher to help free up some cap space. The Chiefs find themselves still dealing with that huge hole in their offensive line. Meanwhile, if no suitable tackle is picked up, it could be a very long and unsafe season for QB1 Patrick Mahomes. After being so close to signing LT Trent Williams, one would think the LT position is high on the Chiefs’ priority list.
Most other needs on the offensive line have been addressed. Left Guard in signing Joe Thuney, Right Guard with the returning Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, and signing veteran lineman Kyle Long, Right Tackle in re-signing Mike Remmers, and returning Lucas Niang and Center in signing Austin Blythe. Now any of these guys could play anywhere, but this how I see them stacking up. That still leaves Left Tackle, Mahomes’ blindside blocker.
Trade or Draft?
Who could they trade for? Is any team willing to give up a solid left tackle? To do so now, so late in the offseason, doesn’t make any sense to me. That being said, even a second LT or even a solid O-linemen with good playing time could solidify that position for a season to give a draft pick time to mature. Names like Alejandro Villanueva or Russell Okung could fit the bill. But, if the Chiefs were interested in either, one would think the Chiefs would’ve made a move by now.
Maybe, using who they have. Martinas Rankin started in Week 17 against the Chargers but showed little promise as the starter. Prince Tega Wanogho is still a work in progress at best.
I truly see the Chiefs moving up in the 2021 Draft to get their solid Left Tackle. Now, possibly is the better word because this year’s Draft is full of Tackle options, so even waiting to see who drops down to pick 31 is actually a great option for the Chiefs.
Suppose the Chiefs are willing to give up a lot and move way up in the Draft. Best-case would be Penei Sewell out of Oregon. If it’s even remotely possible, he drops to 10ish, and KC could grab him there. I believe they would do that in a second. However, the chances of him dropping that low are very slim.
Would they trade up to higher to get him? With the top 10 teams jocking for every position they can get, the chances of them moving much higher than 10 are very slim as well. Not to mention, it would take a blockbuster, Patrick Mahomes level trade package to move up higher to take him. But that may not deter GM Brett Veach. This is the NFL, and stranger things have happened.
Taking Who is Available
Many experts and fans alike like Liam Eichenberg out of Notre Dame, at 31. If so, is he ready to step in right away and protect Mahomes? That is a big ask. Maybe Alex Leatherwood out of Alabama would be a better fit, or possibly moving up a bit to get Samuel Cosmi out of Texas or Spencer Brown out of Northern Iowa.
How about Christian Darrisaw out of Virginia Tech? Darrisaw is expected to go in the first 20 picks. The move up to get him doesn’t seem to be such a stretch. As stated, this draft is full at the Left Tackle position. The top 14 prospects listed are expected to be taken during the seven rounds of the draft. One would think Brett Veach and the Chiefs’ Brass have a couple of chances of getting a solid Left Tackle in the Draft.
As a long-time Chiefs fan, I am itching to know who will protect the blindside of “our” superstar quarterback. As we saw in the Superbowl, even he is vulnerable when not properly protected. The thought of watching a whole season of him running for his life makes my head hurt.
In short, we as Chiefs’ fans must put our faith in the front office that they will continue to put Mahomes’ safety at the forefront of their decisions and make the proper choices to keep him upright and doing what he does on the field.
Thank you for joining me for this deeper dive into the Chiefs’ LT postition.
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*Stats, postitions and info from NFL.com and arrowheadaddict.com