The draft will have developmental left tackles for the KC Chiefs.
While the Chiefs would love to get an elite option at left tackle, they may have to go a developmental route. When the Chiefs come up in the third round, there are a slew of options that could be on the board for the Chiefs, all of whom have played left tackle in college.
Are they likely ready to play this season as the starting left tackle? Not likely. However, could they work their way into the starting lineup as the season progresses? Perhaps. And if the Chiefs move Joe Thuney to center (it’s an option, he did play there at NC State). Many of the players could play left guard as rookies.
Names for the 2021 Draft
Jackson Carman, Clemson
Jackson Carman is a rather large human, having measured at 6’5″ and 317 pounds at the Clemson pro day. A true junior, Carman has started 27 games during his career, including all games the past two seasons and he has 40 career game appearances.
Strong and physical, I have concerns about Carman’s ability to move laterally quick enough when Patrick Mahomes takes deep pass drops. If he can show the ability to at least push edge rushers behind Mahomes, Carman could develop into a starter. If not, his physicality would allow him to move inside to guard, with both Kyle Long and Laurent Duvarney-Tardiff not under contract past the 2021 season.
Alaric Jackson, Iowa
If there is a player on this list I’m a fan of, it would be the Iowa left tackle, Alaric Jackson. Entering the draft, Jackson has 42 career starts at left tackle. He shows an element of strength and effective blocking while also displaying an ability to block and move. Much like Carman before, Jackson can at times struggle to get outside against speed, though his length allows him to redirect more effectively than Carman.
Jackson is a player that looks like a really good guard, and in the event the Chiefs decide to move him there after the 2021 season (if they determine he can’t play left tackle), he would be an excellent guard. His versatility, both immediately and long term would be a welcome asset for the Chiefs.
Walker Little, Stanford
No player is more intriguing than Stanford tackle Walker Little. Entering the 2018 season, Little had all the markings of a future first-round pick and was earmarked as a top 10 pick as he started his junior season in 2019. He suffered a knee injury in the first game and was unable to play again that season.
Returning to Stanford in 2020, COVID-19 hit and Little opted out of the season when the PAC12 announced they would not have a fall season (and later on did play some games). Little hasn’t played a full game since Nov. 30, 2019.
If a team, and for discussion let’s say the Chiefs believe he’s fully healthy and is good to go, the team that is selecting Little is getting a player with elite-level talent at a discounted price. However, can he shake off the rust of not playing in basically two seasons?
He’s the type of player I could see the Chiefs looking at if they can move down into the 45-50 range, knowing he likely will need some time in practice before he’s game ready.