Are Donald Stephenson And Jeff Allen Good Enough?


The offensive line was offensive last year for the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Alex Smith was under siege all season and ultimately ruptured his spleen in a Week 16 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This problem was not lost on general manager John Dorsey, who tried valiantly to keep center Rodney Hudson before trading for left guard Ben Grubbs and signing right guard Paul Faniaka. Perhaps just as important, Dorsey left Ryan Harris, Jeff Linkenbach and Mike McGlynn all leave via free agency.

With free agency all but wrapped up, we have a solid idea of the roster heading into the NFL Draft on April 30. At right tackle, the Chiefs currently have Donald Stephenson starting with Jeff Allen backing him up. Stephenson was slated to start there last year before being suspended four games for performance enhancing drug use. Once he returned, Reid nailed him to the bench for the remainder of 2014.

So, are Stephenson and Allen a solid enough duo going into training camp, or should Dorsey invest a high draft pick into the position?

With the 18th pick in the first round, Kansas City is going to have plenty of options for a starting-caliber right tackle. Most draft experts believe La’el Collins of LSU will be available, along with Pittsburgh’s TJ Clemmings, D.J. Humphries of Florida and even Iowa’s Brandon Scherff if he drops a bit.

Should Dorsey make a play for one of those men, it would fit his profile of first-round picks. Eric Fisher was drafted to take over left tackle for Branden Albert in his second season. Dee Ford was picked to eventually slide in for Tamba Hali. With Stephenson and Allen both scheduled to hit free agency in 2016, taking a player to fill the void would not be surprising.

Kansas City has needs at corner and center, along with receiver and inside linebacker. It will be interesting to see how Dorsey prioritizes right tackle when he is on the clock in a few weeks.