The KC Chiefs selected offensive tackle Lucas Niang with the 96th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Even though he played right tackle in college, don’t be surprised if he makes a strong run at the left guard job.
Left guard has been a revolving door for the Kansas City Chiefs for quite some time now. It appeared to finally be addressed with Stefen Wisniewski in the back half of the 2019 season, but Wisniewski took his talents to Pittsburgh and the Chiefs had a vacancy at left guard once again.
The Chiefs depth chart prior to the 2020 NFL Draft had Andrew Wylie at the left guard spot, but don’t expect that to be the final verdict heading into the 2020 campaign (assuming there is an NFL season this year).
Lucas Niang might have spent his college days at right tackle, but Brett Veach made it known that Niang could very well compete for the left guard job in 2020 and beyond. Ron Kopp Jr. of Arrowhead Pride wrote about how Niang could be a short-term and long-term solution and in that piece, he quoted Veach’s Friday press conference.
“He’s a guy that can play some guard too,” Veach pointed out during his Friday night press conference. “We think he can come in right away. The kid is smart and talented at guard and can potentially work and develop at both right and left tackle.”
Why not give Niang a shot at left guard? His preferred position of right tackle is shored up by Mitchell Schwartz for the unforeseeable future and Eric Fisher – who is at left tackle – is signed through the end of 2021. Niang could spend the next two years at left guard and if the team decides to part ways with Fisher after 2021, that’s when Niang could make the switch to left tackle.
Andrew Wylie will be given every opportunity to win the left guard position and he’s played well there in years past. This past season, however, he struggled and once he was injured, Wisniewski stepped in, played well, and held onto the job through the end of the season. Wylie did win the team’s Rookie of the Year award in 2017 and has played well in the past, but the drop-off this past season was noticeable.
Niang brings a versatile offensive lineman, who has a shot to compete at the one vacant position along the line this offseason. If he wins it and plays well, don’t be shocked when he becomes the next long-term member of the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line.