Bold Predictions for the Kansas City Chiefs 2023 season

Audacious? Yes. But NFL seasons are full of surprises and these are ones we're watching for.
Las Vegas Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs
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Wanya Morris will earn multiple starts at left tackle

On paper, the veterans have the starting roles along the Chiefs offensive line.

The Chiefs came into this offseason with the goal of rebuilding the bookend positions up front at both left and right tackle. Andrew Wylie left for the Washington Commanders and Orlando Brown Jr. ended up with the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency. In their place, the Chiefs responded with a long-term deal for Jawaan Taylor of the Jacksonville Jaguars and a short-term signing of Donovan Smith after the draft.

During the draft, however, the Chiefs also added third-round pick Wanya Morris after trading up for him on Day Two and he was already earning first-team reps in rotation during minicamp. It's nothing new for Andy Reid's staff to try out various combinations along the o-line during the summer months, so there's no reason to make a big deal there. But at the very least, it does show the team was curious to see how Morris would look protecting Mahomes' blind side.

Here's why we think Morris might be a candidate for multiple starts on the left side, however. First, the season is long and Morris's stock should only go up over the next several months. From training camp through a 17-game season, the coaches will be watching Morris improve with practice and coaching from now through 2024.

Second, the Chiefs brought Smith on board from Tampa Bay in a bid to rehabilitate his reputation, stay healthy, and hit the market again next spring. But as a nearly 30-year-old player, he's also just as likely to re-injure himself and/or find his play sliding a bit, which could leave his position vulnerable.

Third, if Morris can even play on a similar level as Smith, it makes the most sense to give him the reps up front rather than the veteran. After all, the Chiefs have Morris on a cost-controlled deal from now through the 2026 season. With big deals coming for Creed Humphrey and possibly Trey Smith alongside Joe Thuney's mammoth contract, the Chiefs could use a starter or two on a rookie deal along the offensive line.

Morris might be green, but he's a versatile player who was well-coached at a school who has their linemen ready to play (Oklahoma). Even if he has to wait in the wings for a while for someone to get injured or just to acclimate to the pro level, it wouldn't surprise us at all to see Morris eventually challenge Smith (and win) the Chiefs' starting left tackle role.