Aug 16, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher (72) and guard Jon Asamoah (73) block against San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie (63) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. San Francisco won the game 15-13. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Where Do Right Guards Come From?

There has been some debate amongst Chiefs fans about when the team should address the right guard position in the draft. As things currently stand the Chiefs do not have a starting right guard, unless you want to count Rishaw Johnson as being the man. This has led some to argue the Chiefs should select a right guard in the first round of the draft in order to fill the current void.

To get an idea of where some of the better guards come from, I put together two very simple charts of what some of the better teams are doing with the right guard position and where some of the more notable right guards were taken in the draft. Let’s start with what some of last year’s best team’s did at the position first.

 
 
 
 
TeamPlayerDraftPFF Grade2013 Cap Number
Seattle SeahawksJ.R. Sweezy7th Round-6.1$494,212
Denver BroncosLouis Vasquez3rd Round+33.6$3,250,000
San Francisco 49ersAlex BooneUndrafted-1.9$1,940,000
New England PatriotsDan ConnollyUndrafted-13.7$3,333,333
Green Bay PackersT.J. Lang4th Round+11$3,100,000

There is a lot of diversity in terms of how much money each team is willing to spend on the position, but it is notable none of them spent higher than a third round pick on their start right guard. In fact, three of the teams used a seventh round pick or no pick at all on their starting right guard.

Green Bay was added to this list because of the John Dorsey connection. It should be noted both of their guards, Lang and Josh Sitton, ranked among the best guards in football last year. At the very least we can assume Dorsey has been exposed to offensive line scouting that has been successful at identifying good interior linemen. Whether Dorsey can transfer that into his role as a general manager will be something to pay attention to.

Also keep in mind Andy Reid came up through the coaching ranks as, among other things, an offensive line coach. One would hope between Dorsey’s scouting experience and Reid’s coaching knowledge will help the Chiefs in their search for a guard.

At the very least, we at least learned from this chart that it is not necessary to have a top-end right guard to have a successful offense. This isn’t to discredit the importance of the position, but to say that their are places more important along the line of scrimmage then right guard.

Here are five more right guards who were among the best in football last year.

 
 
 
 
TeamPlayerDraftPFF Grade2013 Cap Number
Detroit LionsLarry Warford3rd Round+22.8$579,250
New Orleans SaintsJahri Evans4th Round+10.5$6,740,000
Houston TexansBrandon Brooks3rd Round+13.8$654,359
Baltimore RavensMarshal Yanda3rd Round+10.7$7,450,000
Pittsburgh SteelersDavid DeCastro1st Round (24th overall)+11.8$1,775,886

Note that only one of these guys  - meaning one of the 10 guards we’ve discussed in this post – was drafted in the first round. And DeCastro isn’t much more valuable or in some cases as valuable as some of guards taken in the mid rounds our later. It would seem that if the Chiefs are particularly concerned about the position then they should select a player in the third or fourth round where there appears to be several valuable options historically.

With this said, Kansas City may not be too worried about the position. Seattle, San Francisco, and New England all received below average production from their right guard’s according to PFF’s metric. Keep in mind that the guard many wanted the Chiefs to re-sign, Geoff Schwartz, was a seventh round draft pick. In terms of former Chiefs greats, Will Shields was a third round pick, Brian Waters was undrafted, and Dave Szott was a seventh round pick. Both Shields and Waters may end up in Canton one day.

Guard – or at least right guard – seems to be a position a team can fill and fill well at any stage of the draft. There does seem to be a trend of the best guards being third and fourth round picks, so that’s something to keep in mind once we get to the end of day two of the draft. This may be why it would be unwise for the Chiefs to select a guard with the 23rd overall pick.

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