After filling needs at running back and linebacker in the draft’s first two rounds, the Chiefs drafted for depth in the third, and selected Lucas Niang, offensive tackle, TCU.
Over the next two seasons the Kansas City Chiefs will face significant, dynasty altering decisions all up and down their roster. These are the spoils of “having” to pay the best quarterback on the planet. Among the toughest of all of those decisions will be what to do with stalwart offensive tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz.
It is unlikely that Kansas City will be able to pay both of those tackles to remain on the team for much longer, and finding an eventual replacement for at least one of them was an imperative in the next draft or two.
Enter Lucas Niang, a two-year starter from Texas Christian. The Chiefs will be able to use Niang as depth this season with Fisher and Schwartz still playing at a high level. And, may be able to put him on the inside in a pinch at some point during the 2020 season.
"Dancing bear with good agility and a great football IQ. He doesn’t carry his weight proportionally and looked heavier/slower in 2019, but he clearly has NFL starting talent. Niang is a scheme-diverse run blocker with athleticism for move blocks and technique/leverage to open running lanes with power. He plays with top-notch awareness and instincts in pass pro, but he’s an early opener in his pass sets and I’m not completely sold he can meet edge burners at the top of the rush on a consistent basis. The medicals need to check out on the hip, but he’s a help-now right tackle prospect who should be a long-time starter."
Not only is this an important move for the future, but it also creates needed and desired depth this year with the departure for 2019 swing tackle, Cam Erving. The Chiefs did sign veteran Mike Remmers, but it was a one-year deal and he can also slide inside. Niang is huge, talented, agile and incredibly intelligent.
Niang could be the eventual left tackle of the future (projecting here). Remember Fisher is approaching 30 years of age and Schwartz has already passed that mark. In addition, Fisher missed half of last season with a core muscle injury. As a result, Niang will be tasked with protecting the league’s most popular player.
With the selection of Niang, the Chiefs have secured a long-term starter at one of the most important positions on the field to give them depth in the short term and flexibility and security for the long-term. A grade A pick by Veach for the Chiefs.