The date is October 17th, 2019 and Chiefs Kingdom is collectively holding their breath as the face of the Kansas City Chiefs franchise writhed in agony on the field. Even typing about that moment leaves an undesirable feeling in the pit of one’s stomach. Thankfully, Patrick Mahomes would come back from that injury and lead the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory later that year.
That day made one thing very clear for the Chiefs, however: The most important task is keeping the most important player healthy, and the team will look to the 2021 NFL draft to help accomplish that.
An early look at the interior offensive line prospects of the 2021 NFL Draft, and how they might fit in Kansas City.
The Chiefs have had a revolving door across their offensive line and can anticipate more change heading into the 2021 campaign. The Chiefs could see changes at potentially every single position. Change is not a bad thing, and too many games have included Mahomes running for his life after the offensive line fails to slow down an incoming defender. This issue culminated in an embarrassing loss in this year’s Super Bowl.
Offensive line will be a top priority this offseason. A complicated cap situation will have Brett Veach and his staff turning toward the 2021 NFL Draft for help. Thankfully, the 2021 class is relatively deep with players who could help Kansas City maintain their championship level play.
It is worth noting that the Chiefs did draft Lucas Niang from TCU last year. Niang played tackle for the Horned Frogs but has the potential to play guard as well. Even with Niang, there is still room for improvement across the line.
The Chiefs have to answer questions about Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, and if their health will allow them to continue to play for the Chiefs. The interior of the line has been uninspiring all year. Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff opted out, and Kelechi Osemele was injured early. The Chiefs would be playing a dangerous game relying on an aging player who just took a year off football, and an aging player who is oft-injured as their starters for 2021.
While the complete offensive line will be a need for the Chiefs, we’ll start our pre-draft tour with a look at some of the interior offensive line prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft.