5 Things To Watch: Kansas City Chiefs Rookie Minicamp and OTAs

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The only starting position in serious doubt heading into training camp is who will play right guard for the Chiefs. A lot has been made about the turnover for the Chiefs on the offensive line, losing three offensive linemen in a matter of hours on the first day of free agency. Reality is the Chiefs are returning four offensive linemen who started at least seven games in 2013 and were apart of the Chiefs’ second half scoring outburst.

Still, there is the hole left open by the departure of Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz that needs to be filled. Pre-draft the competition seemed to be between Jeff Linkenbach and Rishaw Johnson, but the addition of Zach Fulton in the sixth round of the draft has further muddied the direction the Chiefs may be thinking of going at right guard.

Aug 23, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Seattle Seahawks guard Rishaw Johnson (63) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Seattle won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Linkenbach has the most NFL experience of the three by a great margin but may be the least talented of the three players. PFF reference has never given Linkenbach a season grade better than -7 in his four year career, and he graded at -18.3 in his one full season as a starter in 2011. One thing to note is Linkenback has play four of the five positions on the offensive line, with center being the one position not on his resume. His versatility seems to indicate the Chiefs would like to keep him in a reserve role, but it wouldn’t be a shock for him to start the first few games out of the gate.

Johnson has been written about several times as the Chiefs presumed starter prior to the selection of Fulton in the draft. Laddie broke down his start against San Diego back in March. An undrafted free agent, Johnson has only appeared in three games as a pro with only the one start. The lack of experience could cause him to lose out early to Linkenbach.

Fulton is the wild card. A sixth round draft pick, Fulton was a three-year starter on the best offensive line in college football. He flashes the aggressiveness you like to see in the running game, performed well when matched up against NFL talent in the SEC, and appears to be mobile enough to handle Andy Reid‘s screen and stretch plays. He has the biggest upside of the three and has the best chances of stealing the starting job midseason. But is he ready to start from day one?