Oct 18, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Missouri Tigers offensive lineman Mitch Morse (65) blocks against the Florida Gators during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
“His arm length wasn’t what they want for an edge [blocker], but I promise you, his feet are. His feet are as good as you’ll find. Great feet. Great feet.” – Josh Henson, Offensive Line Coach
I love Mitch Morse. When the pick was announced I was the first to say “Who?” However, after researching him I am convinced that Dorsey knows what he’s doing. Most importantly, Morse’s intangibles are beyond words. His toughness in the face of adversity is admirable. His determination is a characteristic that shines through in his play on the field, and he’s football-smart; something highly valued in an Andy Reid offense.
Morse is more than a hard worker though. He has talent. Yes, his arms are short, but his quickness and his feet are fantastic. Moreover, Morse has great versatility, having played all across the offensive line. Morse was announced as a center, and his first positional battle will be with Eric Kush for that role. However, Chiefs Andy Reid has constantly stated he will play the ‘five best guys’, and the right guard spot is wide open; Morse could easily make this role his own.
There is one major issue with putting Mathis on this list; he’s not even on the roster. However, should John Dorsey sign him, he would walk into the offensive line at right guard, opposite of Ben Grubbs. Mathis has been one of the best guards in football over the last few seasons.
Last season he was the second-best guard in football, per PFF ratings. Now, PFF ratings are flawed and are often not the greatest way to judge a player. However, it is worth noting that a player’s PFF rating is calculated cumulatively over the season. Mathis only played nine games, and only played the first half of Philly’s Week 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. That means, in a cumulative system, Mathis was able to record a greater score than nearly every guard in football in roughly half the games. That is incredible.
The Chiefs have been rumored to be interested in free agent guard Evan Mathis, although Andy Reid has sternly rejected such reports. However, there are two large obstacles to overcome in acquiring Mathis. The first is money. Mathis left the Eagles due to demanding too high a wage. John Dorsey has very little cap room to work with, approximately $800,00 per OvertheCap. These two do not go well together. If Mathis is to be signed, some of that Dorsey magic dust will have to be sprinkled, like earlier this offseason.
The second obstacle is Mathis’ age. He is now 34, and although has been excellent in his most recent seasons, cannot be expected to play at such a high level for more that one or two years. Are the Chiefs willing to invest a significant amount of money into someone who has very little to no long-term benefit? There may be some obstacles to overcome in signing Mathis, but if it were made possible, he would become the starting right guard as soon as he finished his signature on the contract.
So, there are the four men who are most likely to start at right guard come Week 1. Of these four, Fulton is currently in pole position, and I expect him to be the Chiefs’ starting guard this season. While I may have dreams about Mathis signing and nightmares about the prospect of Fanaika starting, I do believe that Reid and Dorsey have learned their lesson from last summer. Expect to see Fulton in for the first offensive snap, but don’t be surprised if Morse or Mathis (please, please, please) usurps the second-year player.
Do you agree that Fulton is currently favorite to win the right guard spot? Would you be happy with such a scenario in 2015? Do you rate Mitch Morse as highly as I do and are you also crossing everything you have in the hope that Reid and Dorsey can sign Evan Mathis?
Let me know in the comments below, and as always… GO CHIEFS!!