The latest mock drafts have the Chiefs protecting Patrick Mahomes with their top selection.
Every team has its weaknesses and the Kansas City Chiefs are no different. As the team prepares its postseason run in hopes of defending their Super Bowl win from last winter, the front office is also diving deep into prospect reports for the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Various mocks are already projecting where players will land, especially since most fan bases have turned their heads to the offseason as it is.
For the Chiefs, a few positions make sense as a prime area of focus for mock drafters but one area of the roster should receive the lion’s share of attention: the offensive line. The latest mock drafts fall right in line with this thinking as most first round selections for the Chiefs are going toward help protecting quarterback Patrick Mahomes for the next few years.
Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, the Chiefs’ best players along the line, have struggled with injuries in recent years, with Fisher missing 8 games in 2019 and Schwartz missing two thirds of the regular season in ’20. Both men are also nearing 30 (or have arrived already), so longevity remains a concern there even if both players can stay healthy into 2021.
Even more concerning was the interior line play that often failed to hold off disruptive tackles and/or create enough of a push in the run game. Left guard and center have been due for major draft upgrades for years, but the issues were magnified when Laurent Duvernay-Tardif opted out for the year and Kelechi Osemele was lost for the season after just four games.
The good news is that help could be on the way for the Chiefs in ’21. Over at the Draft Network, Joe Marino has the Chiefs selecting Wyatt Davis of Ohio State with their first round pick at No. 32 overall. He writes:
"The Chiefs gave Patrick Mahomes the richest contract in NFL history, so making sure their prized investment is protected is critical. Davis is an athletic blocker that has good size, power, and footspeed to help solidify the Chiefs’ interior offensive line."
Marino is right about Davis as a potential grab here. Davis is ultra-athletic for a man his size and comes with the sort of experience and intelligence to slot right in.
The same can be said of James Dator’s latest mock over at SB Nation, who has the right idea but a different player. He has the Chiefs taking Deonte Brown, a big guard out of Alabama.
"At a listed 6’4, 350, Brown is simply a monster of a man. He’ll eat up a lot of space, and time on the offensive line. When you have players like Patrick Mahomes and Clyde Edwards-Helaire they just need that time to get an edge. I think this is a sound, solid pick by a team already dominating."
FanSided’s Kyle Edmond follows suit in his latest mock draft but switches to center with the Chiefs taking Oklahoma lineman Creed Humphrey, an intelligent player with great experience who would be the best interior presence since Mitch Morse was allowed to leave in free agency.
"Humphrey was a second-team All-American in 2019 and has blocked for Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts and now Spencer Rattler. Athletic quarterbacks who scramble are no stranger to him, making him an ideal player to block for Patrick Mahomes who likes to extend and create plays at will."
If the Chiefs were able to import a player like Davis or Brown or Humphrey and also bring back LDT, the interior would be considerably improved. Nick Allegretti and Andrew Wylie remain under team control, although the latter is a restricted free agent, which would give the Chiefs an impressive amount of experience and security for the long-term.