Jayson Oweh, DL, Penn State
For those interested in options away from the offensive line, defensive end is likely going to rank as one of the top positional concerns for the Chiefs heading into 2021 and for good reason.
The Chiefs have dealt with defensive end depth all season long thanks to injuries to Alex Okafor, Michael Danna, and Taco Charlton. Even pass rusher Frank Clark has struggled with aggravating injuries throughout the weeks, which has left the Chiefs thin up front.
It only gets worse in the future. Okafor restructured his deal to be finished after the 2020 season. Tanoh Kpassagnon is also set to hit free agency. Charlton was signed to a one-year deal as well. This means that Clark and Danna are the only two ends under contract going forward, unless you want to also include the likes of Tim Ward at this stage. No offense to Ward, but we don’t either.
That shifts our attention to defensive end in the draft, where the Chiefs could select a cornerstone to permanently fix the rotation opposite Clark. It would also provide a bridge to the future in case Clark doesn’t age well and/or deals with a more severe injury. It also helps to control costs up front by bringing in a young impact player who doesn’t demand $20 million annually just yet (a la Clark and Chris Jones).
The one caveat here is, like Mayfield, Oweh might not be around for the Chiefs at the bottom of the first round. Projectable pass rushers like Oweh often go higher than the bottom of the first. Kyle Crabbs writes about Oweh: “The sky is the limit here.” Still, Kyle Edmond of NFL Mocks thinks it’s possible:
"As for Jayson Oweh, he’s been one of the players at Penn State that has stepped up in the absence of Micah Parsons on the defensive side of the ball. In just the three games that Penn State has played, Oweh already has 18 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. He has yet to register a sack this year but logged five during the 2019 season."
If Oweh is the pick, the needs in other places remain, but the Chiefs front line would suddenly resemble one of the NFL’s best overall with Oweh, Clark, Jones, and Derrick Nnadi along with rotational help like Tershawn Wharton, Khalen Saunders, Mike Danna and whoever else Veach would sign to round things out—perhaps bringing Charlton back.