2021 NFL Draft: Four positional runs that would help KC Chiefs

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell greets a fan onstage during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell greets a fan onstage during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The K.C. Chiefs will have to wait until the 26th selection on Friday night before getting to make their first selection of the 2021 NFL Draft (barring a trade). Here are a handful of positional runs that will help optimize the Chiefs’ chances at getting a player they want when their time comes this evening.


The Chiefs are in no hurry to find a quarterback, obviously. They could potentially look for a backup quarterback in the next year or two, but right now is not the time. The top signal callers have been tapped in the 2021 draft, but there are still a handful of Day 2 caliber players available. Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, Florida’s Kyle Trask, and Stanford’s Davis Mills will hope to hear their names called this evening. Even one of them going in Round 2 will leave an extra player on Brett Veach’s board.

The landscape of quarterbacks has changed dramatically in the last few months, with as many as 18 teams going a different direction than they did in Week 1 of the 2020 season. Some teams to watch on the quarterback market in Round 2 are Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and (as usual) Denver.

Offensive guard

Hear me out. For what feels like an eternity, Chiefs Kingdom has clamored for immediate repair to the offensive line. Through free agency and a key trade, the Chiefs have done just that, completely overhauling what was left of the 2020 line.

Free agent guard Joe Thuney is one of the league’s elite interior players and will start. Recently acquired Orlando Brown will start at left tackle. Kyle Long and Austin Blythe were both signed to compete for a starting role. Returning linemen Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Mike Remmers, Nick Allegretti, and Andrew Wylie can all boast of starting experience in a Super Bowl. The team has hope for Lucas Niang and Martinas Rankin, both of whom are former Day 2 picks who can play tackle or guard if needed.

Count ’em. We just listed ten offensive linemen.

It may feel difficult to completely depart from this mindset which for weeks has told us that we must acquire one, maybe two, starters in the draft, but that’s not true anymore. As much time as we’ve spent scrutinizing offensive line prospects, all of a sudden this unit is deep, experienced, and nowhere near its ceiling. it’s just not a need like it was six weeks ago.

The one position that could be justified with the right player is if the Chiefs see a center who they think can step in and start. That might include IOLs like Ohio State’s Josh Myers, Alabama’s Landon Dickerson, WI-Whitewater’s Quinn Meinerz, or Grambling State’s David Moore. Other than center, another offensive lineman doesn’t make a whole lot of sense with much bigger needs at wide receiver, linebacker, defensive end and cornerback. So we are hoping to hear names like Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis, Illinois’ Kendrick Green, or Notre Dame’s Aaron Banks in Round 2. Teams that are needing a guard the most include the Bengals and Vikings.

I almost listed tackle here, but the fact is the Chiefs’ current plan to roll with Niang is not foolproof. In spite of his high ceiling, Niang is an injury concern. The TCU product has not suited up for a game in almost a year and a half, so the Chiefs would be wise to have a viable backup plan behind him. Having done plenty of homework on offensive tackles in this draft, Brett Veach has a handle on what he is looking for. It would not be a bad strategy for the Chiefs to acquire one more young tackle to the long-term plan.

Running back

The first round selections of Najee Harris (24th overall, Pittsburgh) and Travis Etienne (25th overall, Jacksonville) opened the door for the next wave of backs to come off the board. Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, both former Tar Heels, should be the next two drafted. Ohio State’s Trey Sermon and Memphis’ Kenneth Gainwell are also likely to be tapped tonight.

With Clyde Edwards-Helaire safely in the fold, we can assume the Chiefs aren’t picking a running back any time soon. There are several other spots on the depth chart that need attention, so it would benefit Kansas City if a few of these backs come off the board in Round 2. A few teams who might be looking for a running back include Miami, Buffalo, Atlanta, and maybe even San Francisco or Cincinnati.

Defensive tackle

The Chiefs are wealthy on the defensive interior, with All Pro Chris Jones, homegrown players like Derrick Nnadi, Tershawn Wharton and Khalen Saunders, and newcomer Jarran Reed. There is no immediate need for another defensive tackle at this time, so it would be nice for K.C.’s board to see a little run here.

Unfortunately, this is a poor draft for defensive tackles. Round 1 yielded exactly zero IDL’s, but tonight promises to be the night for several players on the inside. Just how many remains to be seen. We expect Alabama’s Christian Barmore and Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike to be gone before Pick #58, but wouldn’t be shocked to hear names like NC State’s Alim McNeil, Iowa’s Daviyon Nixon, LSU’s Tyler Shelvin, among a few others

Next. Best remaining options for the Chiefs in Day 2. dark