6. Who will end up as the best starting five across the offensive line?
The Chiefs will have more options along the offensive line in the coming weeks when All Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and veteran Martinas Rankin return. There are a few things that we know, and a few others upon which we can only speculate.
If Schwartz is putting the helmet on, he’s going to play. This we know. The 9-year veteran never missed a snap in his career until last season, and has served as arguably the best right tackle in the entire league for several years running. Though Schwartz’s age is beginning to show, it’s a long way down the mountain for the 6’5″ 320 lb. tackle. Schwartz could return as early as next week against the Raiders, but the Chiefs are likely to take their time until they know he is 100%.
Veteran swing tackle Mike Remmers has filled in nicely for Schwartz, particularly in the passing game. Remmers has not yet allowed a sack in 2020. When Remmers moved from left guard to right tackle, second-year guard Nick Allegretti stepped in at left guard. Allegretti has held his own in the run game, he has left much to be desired in pass protection.
Rankin played both guard and tackle before his season-ending injury at Tennessee in 2019, and while it remains to be seen where he will be utilized in 2020, his versatility and athleticism will likely get him a shot at either guard position before season’s end.
I say either guard position because Andrew Wylie has played both left and right guard for the Chiefs during his tenure. There’s a slim chance that the team wants Rankin at right guard, and would subsequently move Wylie back over to left guard, where he played in 2019. More likely to happen is that Wylie and Schwartz stay on the right side while the Chiefs decide between Allegretti and Rankin at left guard. This would also leave Remmers on the bench as the team’s swing tackle instead of moving him back to guard.
Another question mark in the lineup is at center, where both Austin Reiter and Daniel Kilgore have been less than stellar in 2020. Neither Reiter or Kilgore have committed a penalty or allowed a sack this season, but neither has ever really taken over in the run game. Based on the eye test, I prefer the play of Kilgore based on the way the run game seemed to improve with him in the lineup. But either way, the team needs to commit. Center is not the place for a committee.