First round preview
As seen in the Super Bowl, it never hurts to have offensive line depth. The are multiple prospects in the 2021 NFL draft that could help Kansas City bolster the offensive line. The Chiefs should consider drafting one as early as the first round, as there may be some talent at the position that slides in the first round because of teams needing a quarterback.
An option that would be fantastic for Kansas City would be Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood. Leatherwood is viewed as a late first-round prospect, and in this draft with teams looking for quarterbacks, there are possibilities of great talent slipping. The Draft Network says:
"Leatherwood is a prospect that’s had experience at both guard and offensive tackle. Containing a towering and filled-out frame in many areas, he has adequate strength as a run blocker as he’s able to attach and drive defenders out of desired areas. As a pass protector, Leatherwood has a clean pass set that’s able to gain ground up the field in order to stymie rushers that simply attack him vertically."
If Leatherwood was not available at Kansas City’s selection, the Chiefs could not go wrong with drafting Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield. Mayfield will not turn 21 until May 23, and is a piece that the Chiefs could utilize as the future cornerstone of their offensive line. Mayfield is a 6’5, 319 pound tackle who can play on either side of the line, and that gives the Chiefs some flexibility in how they construct their offensive front—something that would have been very beneficial in the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay. Per the Draft Network:
"Mayfield projects as a high-quality starting offensive lineman at the NFL level. He’s got ample size and athleticism to play in space in pass protection and with just two years of starting experience under his belt, Mayfield is only going to continue to get better with more repetitions."
The jump that Mayfield took from year one to year two was highly impressive. With more coaching and development, Mayfield can be a sneaky-good pick late in the first round.
Samuel Cosmi is another solid option for the Chiefs in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. Cosmi, an offensive tackle from the University of Texas, has shown he is durable and can stay healthy at the next level. The 6’7, 300 pound tackle started 34 of 35 games at his time with the Longhorns. Versatile is a word affiliated with Cosmi, as he started at both left tackle and right tackle during his time with Texas.
Cosmi is also a prospect that has shown he is competent in run and pass-blocking. According to The Draft Network:
"Cosmi is a shield blocker that’s able to position his frame into winning alignments in order to create running lanes. In pass protection, his length gives him an advantage against defenders that are attempting to bend and turn the corner against him."
The Chiefs have a $450 million asset under center, and if Kansas City wants Mahomes to have a long and successful career, they must protect him at all costs.