What do the Chiefs Look for?
The four-axis profile displays the attributes of the core offensive linemen in 2015. That, in turn, highlights what the Chiefs look for on the offensive line. Dorsey and Reid have prioritized athleticism in building the core offensive line group. They have been particularly focus on using their selections to draft athletic linemen.
Dorsey and Reid have drafted four offensive linemen in their three drafts in Kansas City. Three of those draftees are now the most athletic offensive linemen currently on the roster.
Eric Fisher, Mitch Morse and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif represent a range of draft options. The three possess both the movement skills and power that stands out. In the four-axis above, they have better SAQm and and PAm grades, showing as wider and taller on the scale.
The former #1 overall draft pick is joined by the 2nd round selection Morse and the 6th rounder LDT. The attributes that Dorsey and Reid look for are available at multiple tiers in the 2016 draft.
As a reference to other teams trends toward athletic linemen, Nick Martin’s profile looks similar. Martin was also one of the NFL’s top interior linemen in 2015.
Interior Linemen Balance: Power vs SAQ
The balance of PAm and SAQm is important to the evaluation of offensive lineman as well. Dorsey draft picks show excellent SAQ, but bring power as well. In general, they have a 1:1 ratio or better, often showing more functional strength than movement skills.
The notable exception happens to be newly acquired Mitchell Schwartz, whose 2012 pre-draft performance doesn’t quite measure up to his new teammates’ grades. However, his intelligent play has proven his worth on the field.
Of the interior linemen in the 2016 draft class, several fit the Power/SAQ balance mold of current Chiefs linemen. The group of Josh Garnett, Connor McGovern, Christian Westerman and Joe Thuney show the balance Kansas City’s leaders have shown interest in.
Finding value in the late first round of 2016 is going to be hard to come buy, especially for interior offensive linemen. Josh Garnett or Cody Whitehair could be options that give that value for Kansas City and both offer some elite athleticism. If John Dorsey trades back, one could still be available in the first 8-10 picks of the second round.
The late rounds offer some interesting athletes in Joe Thuney, Joe Dahl and Anthony Fabiano, who could be a developmental guard much like LDT.
The sweet spot for value on interior linemen looks to be the 3rd round. If the Chiefs win an appeal and have a third-round selection in this draft, they would be smart to look at Christian Westerman and Connor McGovern. McGovern has solid film grades and offers the team elite athleticism at guard.
There will be more draft science next week.