Kansas City Chiefs Mock Draft Special

The Chiefs released both starting offensive tackles. Here's how we'd fix the offensive line.

News came quickly on Thursday morning as the Kansas City Chiefs attempted to clear the -$23 million hole they were in as the 2021 salary cap loomed.

Former No. 1 overall pick and starting left tackle Eric Fisher? Cut.

All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz? Cut.

Before the news had even sunk in that two franchise pillars would be gone, fans were wondering who the heck would be protecting quarterback Patrick Mahomes II next year.

We all watched the Super Bowl. We know that the Chiefs’ offensive line is a mess—in fact it was already the team’s biggest need even if you counted Fisher and Schwartz as returning.

With eight selections in the upcoming NFL draft, the Chiefs have an opportunity to rebuild the offensive line in a manner that is sustainable. Drafting players means an inexpensive contract and it means (at least) four years of continuity.

Factoring in the expected return of right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out of the 2020 season, and the play of 2020 third-rounder Lucas Niang (who also opted out), here’s how I would go about addressing the needs on the defending AFC Champs’ roster.

Round 1 | Pick No. 31 — OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Jenkins has experience mostly at right tackle but did play two games on the left side for Oklahoma State in 2020. He’s a big man (6’5 1/4”, 320 lbs) who in the Kansas City scheme I believe could make a long-term home at right tackle. When I spoke to him recently, Jenkins said he was comfortable playing anywhere (“right tackle, right guard, left tackle, I don’t care”) and has the length and quickness to protect a scrambling Mahomes while also creating that pocket to step up into. In the run game, Jenkins is a monster on the right side and plays with a meanness offensive line coach Andy Heck would love.

Round 2 | Pick No. 63 — OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

The Chiefs used a third-rounder in 2020 on Lucas Niang, who missed part of his final year at TCU due to a hip injury and then opted out of the 2020 NFL season. We haven’t seen him to know where he slots into the future of this offensive line, but the expectation on him coming out of college is that he was a future right tackle or guard prospect.

The selection of Alex Leatherwood gives the Chiefs a lot of options. Leatherwood, a college left tackle, can play both tackle spots and both guard positions. In Kansas City, though, slide Leatherwood into the left tackle spot and get him flourishing like he did in Tuscaloosa.

With Leatherwood, Jenkins and Niang added to the offensive line plus the return of Duvernay-Tardif, four of the five positions have been rebuilt.

Round 3 | Pick No. 95 — OC Josh Myers, Ohio State

A full offensive line makeover has taken place with three draft picks.

Josh Myers is a physical, smart, nasty center prospect who can anchor the middle of the offensive line. Coming from the Ohio State scheme he’s also accustomed to protecting a moving quarterback and keeping his head on a swivel to know where the passer is as a scrambler or thrower.

Myers at center with Niang (LG) and Duvernay-Tardif (RG) gives the Chiefs’ a mean interior.

Round 4 | Pick No. 137 — TE Brevin Jordan, Miami

Oh, yeah, the Chiefs have needs other than the offensive line.

Tight end Travis Kelce is the league’s best at his position, but at 31 years old he’s starting to show the wear-and-tear of all the hits he’s taken over the last eight years.

While Kelce doesn’t need replaced, the Chiefs would be wise to add a second tight end to the roster who can be a reliable pass-catcher and spell Kelce at times. Miami’s Brevin Jordan is a bit raw but has the athletic upside to be a Jonnu Smith-type receiving weapon at tight end in the NFL.

Round 4 | Pick No. 145 — CB Keith Taylor, Washington

The Chiefs found a steal in cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, but he’s been at his best while moving around the defensive formation and not playing one set position. With Bashaud Breeland very unlikely to return in 2021, the Chiefs have to think about immediate depth and long-term needs at cornerback.

Taylor, a 6’2”, 191-pound cornerback from Washington, can play in press coverage and has the toughness to live at the line of scrimmage. But I also see someone savvy enough to excel in Cover 3 with his length and instincts.

Round 5 | Pick No. 176 — WR Cornell Powell, Clemson

Wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson are expected to leave in free agency, leaving Kansas City thin at the position. Cornell Powell fits the mold of a WR4 in the Chiefs’ scheme given his toughness over the middle, excellent run blocking and his ability to contribute immediately on special teams.

With Mecole Hardman needing a big Year 3 in his development, the Chiefs need at wide receiver is sneaky big. Powell projects well as a future depth receiver and anchor on the track team that is the Chiefs’ wide receiver room.

Round 5 | Pick No. 182 — LB Monty Rice, Georgia

Anthony Hitchens remains a highly-paid player with little production to back it up. But the role of a thumper in this defense is important—and it’s a role 2020 draftee Willie Gay is not suited to fill.

Monty Rice can be that dude. A 238-pound inside linebacker from the SEC, Rice is battle-tested against the run. And while he might not have jaw-dropping ability in coverage, the Chiefs have players for that.

As a fifth-rounder, expectations shouldn’t be huge, but a healthy Rice was one of the SEC’s best linebackers. He has two-down starting potential in the pros.

Round 7 | Pick No. 259 – WR Tamorrion Terry, FSU

A knee injury held Terry back in 2020, which (combined with drops) is why he’s available this late in the draft, but he’s the big, linear wide receiver many Chiefs’ fans believe this offense needs.

At 6’3” and 200 pounds he would be the biggest receiver on the roster; and with good deep speed (if limited as a YAC player), Terry can stretch the field vertically. He’s a long-strider with jump ball skills—which is something the Chiefs currently have none of at the position.

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