The KC Chiefs should not target an offensive lineman in round one.
Many mock drafts have the Kansas City Chiefs pegged to select an offensive lineman with their first round pick. The Chiefs currently have a good passing game and don’t care about the running game but can go to it when they need to, and have invested heavily financially on defense in recent years. The only spot Brett Veach has truly not spent major resources has been along the offensive line.
In fact, since Andy Reid came to town, the Chiefs have never used a pick in the fifth round or higher on an offensive lineman that didn’t play left tackle in college. True story. Even the players the Chiefs traded for (Cameron Erving) played left tackle in college. This is an important factoid to keep stored away for the future.
Another important factor, the Chiefs have two offensive linemen returning next season coming back from 2020 opt-outs, third-round pick Lucas Niang and veteran Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Martinas Rankin, who had missed a majority of the season due to the lingering effects of a 2019 injury, has returned, having started the Week 17 matchup against the Chargers.
So, in essence, the Chiefs have three offensive linemen set to return for next season that basically had not been available to the team this season. An offensive tackle, a guard, and a college offensive tackle who might move inside to guard.
Eric Fisher is set to return next season as is Nick Allegretti. Combined with the return of backups such as Yasir Durant and players such as Darryl Williams on the practice squad, the Chiefs have a combination of both players capable of starting and playing at a high level while also having affordable, cost-effective reserves.
The KC Chiefs have other needs to address in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
So while I certainly expect the Chiefs to select an offensive lineman or two in the draft at some point, it won’t be, nor should it be, in the first round. The team simply has areas they need to address sooner, such as the depth at cornerback, wide receiver, and linebacker, maybe even safety.
The Kansas City Chiefs have shown an ability to find depth along the offensive line in the middle to later rounds of the draft. While future replacements are obviously on the mind, the Chiefs don’t need to find a new left tackle in this draft.