2. Right Tackle
Names to Watch: Mike Remmers, Lucas Niang, Mitchell Schwartz?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the Super Bowl last season was the perfect example of how problems at other positions can keep the Chiefs stars from being able to shine. Even after revamping their offensive line, there is still one spot on the line that is a pretty significant question mark going into camp, that being right tackle.
A lot of Chiefs fans seem to be less worried about this position than I am. There seems to be a belief that because Mike Remmers was solid filling in for Mitchell Schwartz last season, that if he has to start there this year the Chiefs will be fine. I hope that is true.
My worry is that last season was arguably the best Remmers has ever played in his NFL career. Now maybe that is because he’s a great fit for K.C.’s system and their coaching staff brings out the best in him. If that’s the case, then he may be fine or even better this season if he plays there again. However, it’s also possible that he takes a step back towards his career average play. That would leave the Chiefs with an all-world quarterback being protected by a replacement level right tackle. I don’t love that.
The other option is Lucas Niang. Niang was a third round pick last year that opted out for COVID-19 concerns. Could Niang (who has much better physical upside) be a clear upgrade over Remmers? Sure, but he could also be really sloppy since he’s basically a rookie who was out of football last season.
The Chiefs really need either Remmers to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke or Niang to prove he’s a dependable NFL starter in his first ever NFL season. If one of those things happens in camp then K.C. will be fine. If neither thing happens, it could be a problem for the Chiefs all season long. That is, unless…
Mitchell Schwartz is still a free agent as he continues to rehab from his back problems last season. He still lives in Kansas City and was still wearing a Chiefs hat at a recent offensive line clinic that he and his brother were helping with. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I’m not completely convinced that the door on Schwartz returning to K.C. at some point this season is closed. However, how Remmers and Niang do in camp could have a lot to do with if this could happen or not.
My prediction: I have a feeling that this is Mike Remmers job to lose. I think Niang will have to prove that he’s clearly the better option to unseat the veteran who played pretty well there last season. I am genuinely worried that Remmers may struggle to repeat his performance from last season though.
Finally, the biggest battle on this list.