When discussing the K.C. Chiefs biggest needs this offseason, the consensus answer for the greatest overall on the team is, of course, left tackle. The Chiefs released longtime starter Eric Fisher, which created a large hole on the offensive line. The Chiefs have addressed needs at guard, center, and right tackle very heavily already, which has only emphasized the hole at left tackle even more as the most important position on the line remains unfilled.
As everyone remembers by now, general manager Brett Veach and the Chiefs went hard after San Francisco 49ers free agent left tackle Trent Williams, who is one of the best in the league, in order to fill the massive hole at the position. In the end, Williams went back to the 49ers on a 6-year, $140 million dollar deal. While he didn’t pick the Chiefs, it was reported that Williams almost signed with K.C. and that the Chiefs were “In it to the end” which would seem to indicate the team was in a bidding war for Williams’ services.
Acknowledging that, it’s pretty crazy to think that Brett Veach was so hell-bent on acquiring arguably the best left tackle in the league, and it is most likely why the Chiefs freed up so much cap space to start the free agency period.
Really think about it. Brett Veach was willing to go above and beyond to not only address left tackle, but he was willing to pay top dollar for the best possible option at the spot. Now, the Chiefs still don’t have a replacement, and at this point, the free agency cupboard is bare. Many fans and analysts have linked the Chiefs to free agent stop-gaps Alejandro Villanueva or Russell Okung, it seems like if the Chiefs were serious about either one, a move would have been made by now. It’s also possible the Chiefs may feel more confident in the upside of an in-house option like Martinas Rankin or Yasir Durant as a stop-gap, but if not, it would appear that Kansas City isn’t settling for “just ok” at left tackle.
Brett Veach could get aggressive in the 2021 NFL Draft for a left tackle.
So what exactly does that mean for the draft? Will they go tackle at 31? Will they pick at 31? What about the possibility of trading up? It’s really not all that crazy to think it could happen. Yes, it’s a deep draft at tackle, but that doesn’t mean the draft is deep at starting tackle for a Super Bowl contender that is desperate for a blindside blocker for a franchise quarterback. Just maybe, Brett Veach and the Chiefs are thinking of trading up for a star left tackle of the future.
I get a lot of fans aren’t exactly fond of giving up a load of future picks to move up in the draft and select a top player, but the team has done it before.If they feel like it’s the best move for the franchise, then Veach will do it. The fact of the matter is the Chiefs have a lot of needs, but if they don’t have a good enough left tackle then they might as well pack it in for the season because Patrick Mahomes will be at a very high risk of injury.
We’ve seen what happens to quarterbacks whose teams don’t invest in the offensive line. Chiefs fans shouldn’t want that for Mahomes. I also hate to be one of those overly optimistic fans that think as long as Mahomes is upright then everything is fine and dandy and the Chiefs are Super Bowl contenders, but seriously, as long as Mahomes is upright, the Chiefs will be in contention.
With a bunch of top 10 teams shuffling in the draft order and the flurry of rumors that have quarterbacks going very early, the tackle board may fall just right to the point Veach feels like he has to make a move. Best-case scenario is Penei Sewell potentially dropping to around pick ten and the Chiefs trading up for him. Yet even if that’s unrealistic, there are still top tackle prospects Rayshawn Slater and Christian Darrisaw who the Chiefs could target.
It may take a 2017 Mahomes level trade package to move up and get one of those guys, but that may not deter Brett Veach. Many fans like prospects like Liam Eichenberg at 31 or an Alex Leatherwood type but are either of them good enough to step in and take over the starting left tackle spot day one? Maybe. However, given the fact Veach was so aggressive in trying to acquire Trent Williams in free agency, going after a top-tier left tackle in the draft is at least a conversation worth having.