The Kansas City Chiefs have made a flurry of moves to the offensive line. Even so, the Chiefs left tackle position is still questionable. Amongst the multiple signings, the front office brought in All-Pro guard Joe Thuney, fresh out of retirement guard Kyle Long, placing a tender on guard Andrew Wylie, made an offer to center Austin Reiter, and re-signed tackle, Mike Remmers.
What the Chiefs haven’t done is address, not only the biggest piece of the offensive line, but one of the biggest pieces of any football team; left tackle. What are five possible options for the Chiefs left tackle position?
Chiefs Left Tackle: Best Options
Joe Thuney is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in history. He has been named to an All-Pro team at left guard. He has also taken snaps at center and left tackle. The most likely scenario for Thuney is playing left guard.
However, the team has not confirmed where he is playing and Thuney himself said there haven’t been any discussions with the coaching staff on what position he will play. “I just want to contribute to winning, and that’s really my main thing, so wherever that is, that’s fine with me,” Thuney said when asked about his position. Thuney’s elite play and versatility will provide one option for the Chiefs’ left tackle.
The team drafted Lucas Niang in the 2020 draft with their third-round selection. Niang was one of the top tackle prospects before a hip injury ended his final year in college. In 2020, Niang opted out of his rookie season. With his extended period of rest, he should be fully healed and ready to be the tackle the Chiefs envisioned when they drafted him.
Which side will he play on though? Currently, Niang is projected to compete for the right tackle spot. He has mobility, power, strong hands, long arms, and moves well in pass protection; these are all qualities you want your left tackle to have. Like Thuney, Niang likely isn’t the biggest hope for the Chiefs left tackle spot but he provides another possible solution for the team.
Russel Okung hasn’t played 16 games in a season since 2018. While injuries may be a concern, he is still a solid veteran that can be a reliable stop-gap option if the Chiefs want to draft and develop a left tackle. Last season with the Carolina Panthers, Okung only allowed three sacks in 260 pass-blocking snaps. His quality of play may not be spectacular but he is solidly reliable. Okung is one of the top free-agent choices for the Chiefs’ left tackle.
If the draft is the choice for the Chiefs to fulfill this need, Teven Jenkins may be their guy. The best way to describe Jenkins is simply “physical”. He is a massive tackle who uses power to drive defenders into the ground. Jenkins only allowed four pressures in the entire 2020 season. The Chiefs have dealt with a lot of injuries among the offensive line in recent years. Jenkins could help fix the attrition issue as he started 35 of a possible 37 games in his college career. He also adds more versatility to the group as he’s played snaps at both tackle positions and right guard. Jenkins is a top rookie option for the Chiefs’ left tackle job in 2021.
Sam Cosmi is another top tackle option in the 2021 NFL draft. Cosmi has great athleticism, long arms, quick feet, and a tremendous ability to read and process defensive pressure. Cosmi has incredible upside in the passing game and that makes him a great fit for a pass-happy team like the Chiefs. Another thing that makes him a great fit with Kansas City is his speed.
At the 2020 NFL Combine, Tristan Wirfs had the fastest 40 yard dash time among offensive linemen with 4.85 seconds. Cosmi ran a 4.84 during his pro day. The Chiefs run a lot of screens and have a zone-based run scheme, so having a lineman who can get to the second level quickly is a must. Cosmi can do that for them. Sam Cosmi might be the best option for the Chiefs’ left tackle job in 2021 and beyond.
Thanks for reading my article on the five best options for the Chiefs left tackle for 2021. Follow me on Twitter @Hobby_Connect for more content and NFL talk!
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