Keep an eye on the framework of the retooled Kansas City Chiefs offensive line
After one of the worst performances by an offensive line in Super Bowl history, the Chiefs took no time in addressing the issue with the signings of Joe Thuney, Orlando Brown Jr., Austin Blythe, and Kyle Long.
Alongside with the return of Laurent Duvernay Tardif and Lucas Niang, this weakness for the Chiefs, an offensive juggernaut, has now become one of its stronger points. At left tackle, Orlando Brown Jr. is one of the NFL’s best young talents. In fact, last season, the 25-year-old did not allow a single sack or quarterback hit in over 700 snaps at the position.
Alongside Joe Thuney, who is an experienced guard elite in both pass protection and the execution of run blocking schemes and who was recently rated as the third best guard in football, according to Touchdown Wires’ Mark Schofield.
The left side of the 2021 Chiefs’ offensive line will be among the NFL’s best. This improvement among the left side of the line will certainly improve the Chiefs mediocre 2020 rushing game that ranked 16th in the NFL in yards per game. This should help take pressure off of the passing game, which in turn could improve the overall efficiency of the offense.
By having the ability to run behind Brown, Thuney, and Blythe, the Chiefs will truly be a two-headed offensive juggernaut.
The right side of the Chiefs rebuilt offensive line is more built by the organization than the left side, which was acquired in free agency. The Chiefs will be getting guard Laurent Duvernay Tardif back after he sat out through 2020 season.
Along with him, the Chiefs will be debuting second-year player Lucas Niang at right tackle. Tardif has been a rock at guard for the chiefs over the past few seasons, proving to be a solid run blocker and a consistent presence in pass blocking as well.
Niang is the biggest wildcard among the whole unit as he sat out the 2020 season and has never started a game at tackle before in the NFL. Watching Niang fare against the likes of Frank Clark and Chris Jones in camp will really be telling in how Niang has progressed over the off season.
During Chiefs’ minicamp, Niang impressed Andy Reid with his improved physical fitness along with his progression developing an NFL IQ at right tackle.
Seeing if this mini camp excitement carries over into training camp is something for Chiefs fans to look out for. Overall, watching Niang battle on the right side of the line will be one of the Chiefs’ most interesting developments heading into the season.