The Developmental Options
Of the three developmental prospects the Chiefs currently have under contract, Yasir Durant saw the most action last season. He was active for 11 games and even started the final game of the season when K.C. was resting many of their regular starters. The former Mizzou tackle definitely has the size to play on the outside in the NFL, but the question is if he has the movement skills needed to deal with the speed of NFL pass rushers on the outside. If the Chiefs feel like he has the skills needed, he could be a consideration at one of the tackle spots. If not he would likely need to kick inside to guard if he’s going to stick around.
With the departure of Eric Fisher, I would argue that Prince Tega Wanogho is the only true left tackle on KC’s roster. I’m not saying that I think he’d be better there this season than someone like Niang, Rankin, or Durant, but in terms of the natural skill set you look for in a modern left tackle, he’s the most natural fit with movement upside that no other current lineman has.
The problem is he’s about as raw as they come. Born in Nigeria, Wanogho came to the U.S. to try and play basketball. He played only one year of high school football and that was on defense. So his first reps as an offensive lineman didn’t come until he arrived at Auburn. Would I be shocked if the Chiefs were able to develop his high upside skills into their starting left tackle of the future? No, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if the light never turns on and he’s out of the NFL in a couple of years.
Darryl Williams is basically the exact opposite type of prospect as Wanogho. While Wanogho is all upside and no polish, Williams is mostly polish with limited upside. Williams has starting experience at both guard and center and is a smart player and former team captain. He could likely handle the mental aspects of starting at center when it comes to reading defenses and setting the line, but the question is if he has the physical tools needed to be successful.
Williams is neither an athletic move blocker or a power mauler. He’s simply a smart lineman who knows his job and did enough in college to be successful. If a NFL strength and conditioning program have helped develop Williams physically, it’s possible he could compete for the open center job. Otherwise he will probably find it hard to find a long-term job in the NFL.
So there you have it Chiefs fans, those are the offensive linemen that the Chiefs currently have on their roster. Do you agree that several of these guys are likely in KC’s plan going forward or do you think we are looking at a complete rebuild from scratch on the offensive line?
When free agency starts in a few days, I certainly wouldn’t mind if they made a splash and signed someone like Trent Williams at left tackle or Corey Linsley at center. I also will be thrilled if they spend an early draft pick (or two) bolstering their offensive line, but hopefully this post helped fans realize that the Chiefs may not feel like they need to find four or five new starters this offseason. In fact, I think it’s even possible that we could see LDT, Allegretti, Niang, and Rankin all in the starting lineup at some point early next year. My biggest concern right now is left tackle where there just isn’t much experience on the roster at arguably the most important spot on the line.
So what do you think? If you had to guess right now how many opening day starters on the offensive line the Chiefs currently have on the roster what would your guess be?