The K.C. Chiefs have had a relatively quiet start to the offseason. While the team made some buzz right at the start of free agency with the signings of Joe Thuney and Kyle Long, the rest of their moves have mostly been bringing back their own players on cheap deals. While that may be a fiscally responsible thing to do, it has many Chiefs fans concerned about the amount of holes on the roster.
Two of the positions where most fans feel the Chiefs still need a starting caliber player are left tackle and wide receiver. While most fans would feel better if the Chiefs already had a proven starter on the roster at this point, the 2021 NFL Draft class is set up for the Chiefs to find players at those positions that can help them.
If you’re a fan of the NFL Draft, you know that different draft classes have different positions in which they are strong. Some years, like 2021, you may have four quarterbacks go in the top five picks. Other years, like 2013 when the Chiefs had the first overall pick, there isn’t a quarterback worthy of the top five picks anywhere in sight. While I’m as frustrated as the next fan with the lack of impact signings since the start of free agency, I am comforted by the fact that two of the Chiefs’ biggest needs line up with two of this draft class’s biggest strengths.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past two or three weeks looking at both the offensive tackles and wide receivers in this class. Originally I was planning on writing up some scouting reports on some of my favorite players at those positions, but I think before I get that specific it would be good to take more of a big picture look at this class at those two positions. It has definitely helped me to feel a little better about the state of the Chiefs roster to do so.
Now before we talk about the depth at those positions and how it could work to the Chiefs advantage, let me say that the best position for a team to be in is to not feel obligated to have to take any specific position in a draft so that they can simply take the absolute best player available at each pick to get maximum value. At this point it’s hard for me to see the Chiefs being at that point for this draft class, but they certainly aren’t alone in that regard as most NFL teams enter the draft with their own needs to fill.
So it isn’t great that the Chiefs have clear needs at wide receiver and left tackle. However, if that was going to happen, this is the perfect year for it. The depth at those positions means it is entirely possible that they won’t have to reach for a player who isn’t a good value at that spot just to fill a need. I’ll break down the positions separately in a moment, but my initial takeaway is that this draft is set up perfect for the Chiefs to take a tackle somewhere in the first two rounds and a wide receiver anywhere in the first three rounds. Doing that should give the Chiefs a dependable high talent player at both positions and would go a long way towards solving the current shortages at those positions on the roster.
Let’s start by taking a quick look at the depth of the tackle position and why it sets up perfect for the Chiefs to take a tackle in the first two rounds.