Chiefs news: Trey Smith named Kansas City's most underrated player

Pro Football Focus says Smith gets overlooked in the shadow of other more well-known interior linemen.
Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs
Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The buzz on Trey Smith is starting to get louder, and it's coming at a perfect time as the Kansas City Chiefs guard is coming into a contract season.

Smith has held down the right guard spot for the Chiefs ever since they claimed him in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He was a Week 1 starter up front for a Super Bowl contender, and he's played nearly every snap ever since along an offensive line that's won two rings in that span.

Pro Football Focus says Smith gets overlooked in the shadow of other more well-known interior linemen.

For all his efforts, however, Smith remains largely overlooked. He plays next to Creed Humphrey, a player who came into the league at the same time and instantly became a top 2-3 player in the NFL at his position of center. Next to him on the other side at left guard is Joe Thuney, perhaps the best interior pass protector in the game. There's only so much spotlight to go around for the Chiefs o-line and those guys are going to steal what's available.

Fortunately, the folks at Pro Football Focus are there to shine a light on causes just like this with their list of each team's most underrated players. Regarding Smith, PFF's Zoltán Buday wrot"He is one of just three players to have played more than 4,000 snaps over the past three seasons — with Humphrey and Patrick Mahomes being the other two — and his 76.5 overall grade over that span ranks 11th among guards."

The good news is that Smith's youth, durability, and productivity married with the Chiefs' platform should ensure a significant pay increase less than a year from now. It will also likely enable him to step outside of the shadow he's under to be recognized as one of the league's better guards. For now, however, Chiefs fans should appreciate Smith and what he brings to the table as a reliable protector up front and one of the best draft finds of Brett Veach's career.