On Saturday night, the K.C. Chiefs got their first look at a completely rebuilt offensive front. They had to be pleased with what they saw. While there are always things to fix and flourishes to add, the combination of Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, and Lucas Niang looked ready to ride as a unit.
The biggest lesson learned from the ’20 campaign, however, was that a team like the Chiefs can never have enough strength in the trenches. That means that even if the new starting five players all look solid together, the likelihood is that the team will likely lean on one or more backups for 2021. Fortunately the Chiefs look set there as well.
If Niang holds on to the right tackle job, Mike Remmers is more than capable of holding down the swing tackle role. Austin Blythe is a backup center who was a 16-game starter last year for the L.A. Rams. Andrew Wylie has started consecutive seasons at both left guard and right guard and could play either once again. Nick Allegretti is a versatile interior lineman who started several games at left guard last season.
Beyond that, the Chiefs have more options waiting to return. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has returned with hopes to resume his long-term starting role at right guard but has been nursing a broken hand. Kyle Long has a leg injury that’s kept him out of the preseason but he could be a factor once the regular season rolls around.
The Chiefs should also feel good about developmental prospects like Prince Tega Wanogho outside or the likes of Yasir Durant and Darryl Williams along the inside. And if one has feelings about Bryan Witzmann or Wyatt Miller, you can insert those here as well.
The Chiefs should have no problems finding a trade partner for their offensive line pieces.
Suffice it to say, the Chiefs are deep along the offensive line.
Heading into the regular season, it’s going to mean that some of these names will no longer be around. While some might find a home on the team’s practice squad, it’s also true that several franchises are likely waiting for roster cuts knowing the Chiefs are going to have to dump one or two promising players who could help another team in need.
Online Twitter reports are hardly the sort of hooks to hang a hat on here, but this has been the feeling all along—that the Chiefs ended up grabbing too many items from the shelves this offseason. That’s not a bad thing at all, since Brett Veach was just adding what he could along the way as the team’s general manager. When free agency begins, it’s impossible to know who will be available in the draft and so on.
All this means is that the Chiefs have a piece or two who could prove useful to another team yet be valuable enough to also provide a return of some sort—likely in the form of a low-level draft asset. Remember, Veach turned a sixth round pick into Trey Smith this season, so the ability to acquire that sort of compensation could yield serious dividends down the road. It also offers more flexibility in the draft to have extra picks.
What those deals could be is a matter for a different time. At this point, it’s just good to know that the Chiefs are holding a lot of cards at a position in which other franchises are starved for talent. The Chiefs aren’t loaded at each position, to be sure, since there are questions for K.C., too, but Veach gave himself options. Now other teams might have to go shopping at his store.