NFL Draft: Early options for the Kansas City Chiefs

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(G) Cody Whitehair

Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports /

Recent signee Mitchell Schwartz may make a case as the top free agent acquisition, at any position, in the first wave of free agency. He was a phenomenal addition to an offensive line group that struggled mightily a year ago. Unfortunately, the Chiefs also lost an important member of the offensive line interior for the third-straight year. The remaining options at guard aren’t exactly impressive: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Paul Fanaika, Zach Fulton, and Jarrod Pughsley — take your pick.

The loss of arguably their best offensive lineman in 2015 (Jeff Allen) and starter Ben Grubbs puts the guard spots in a precarious situation.

Cody Whitehair was a four-year starter and former team captain at Kansas State. There he distinguished himself as one of the best offensive linemen in the Big 12 after earning first-team honors as a senior. Line versatility may be a reason why the Chiefs take a serious look at Whitehair with the 28th pick.

He played at three different spots along the Wildcats offensive line (left tackle, left guard, and right tackle). His experience and rock solid technique may well make him the most NFL-ready offensive lineman in this class.

Whitehair’s ability to pull and lock onto a moving target at the second level should have Reid salivating. He can also mirror a defender and has smooth enough feet to recover from being out of position on a play. All of that being said, he could stand to gain more functional strength at the next level.

At February’s NFL Combine, Whitehair repped 225 pounds just 16 times on the bench press. A move inside may require some adjustment time, but I believe he’ll have a chance to come in and win a starting job right away like Mitch Morse did in 2015.

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