The Kansas City Chiefs offensive line is the biggest question for the team entering the 2021 NFL draft. The team’s back-to-back Super Bowl dream completely collapsed as the offensive line fell apart on the biggest stage in all of sports. The team made big moves in free agency by signing Joe Thuney and Kyle Long. They also attempted to make a blockbuster trade for Trent Williams who is arguably the best tackle in the NFL.
General manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid have made it abundantly clear that the offensive line is a problem they intend to fix as quickly as possible. Who are the top five offensive lineman prospects the team could look at to continue to fix the offensive line?
2021 NFL Draft: Top 5 Prospects for the Chiefs
Samuel Cosmi is a perfect left tackle fit for the Chiefs offensive line. He has the athleticism to go up against a variety of different defensive linemen, he has the footwork to consistently get into a good position, and his ability to read and process the defensive front is among the best in the 2021 NFL draft class.
Arguably the biggest trait for Cosmi is his elite speed. He ran a 4.84, 40-yard dash on his pro day which is faster than any offensive lineman who ran in the 2020 NFL scouting combine. That speed is very important to a team like the Chiefs considering their screen and zone run scheme which needs the offensive lineman to get to the second level as quickly as possible. Cosmi should be the top Chiefs offensive line target in round one.
Teven Jenkins should be the second target for the Chiefs offensive line in the draft. Cosmi has speed whereas Jenkins has physicality. Jenkins uses his incredible power to drive defenders into the ground on every single play. Jenkins knows how to use his hands in a violent fashion and stop the momentum of the defensive lineman.
One of the most notable abilities of Jenkins is that he doesn’t wait for the defensive lineman to get to him; he takes the fight to them and uses his strength to immediately end the battle. Jenkins split time at left tackle and right tackle during his NCAA career. The Chiefs offensive line would benefit from having a physical presence like Jenkins anywhere along with the unit.
The Chiefs offensive line recently added former Rams center Austin Blythe to the mix. Blythe is a reliable center but not a long-term answer. Landon Dickerson could be the long-term solution for the Chiefs offensive line. Dickerson consistently shut down the interior pass rush and kept the front of the pocket clean for his quarterback on the way to a national championship. Dickerson is a massive-sized lineman who uses his physicality to create a clean interior pocket.
He is great at creating and using leverage to his advantage and is very effective with shotgun snaps which makes him attractive for the Chiefs. Dickerson also has one of the biggest red flags among all offensive linemen with his extensive injury history. He has the potential to be a first-round pick but his injury concerns could cause him to fall make him a target for the Chiefs offensive line in the second round.
The Chiefs have a finesse-style offense and that meshes very well with Alex Leatherwood. Leatherwood is a very athletic left tackle who is explosive going into his blocks and gets to the second level quickly. He keeps his head on a swivel at all times and is excellent at adjusting to a moving target. His footwork allows him to create blocking angles and shut down pass rushers. He also has the speed and agility to pull across the line of scrimmage and block while in motion.
His lack of physical prowess, however, leads to questions of if he can play left tackle at the pro level or if he should move inside to guard. His potential at left tackle makes him an attractive option for the Chiefs offensive line late in the first round if Cosmi and Jenkins are no longer available.
Dillon Radunz made the most of his time at the Senior Bowl and earned the practice player of the week award. He showed he plays with aggression and can hold his own against some of the top defensive prospects in the draft this year. Radunz has been dominant on a championship-caliber team but he faced lesser competition compared to the other top offensive lineman products. Can he go from small school blocking to blocking for one of the premier teams in the NFL?
The talent competition may concern some as well as his light frame for a left tackle but Radunz has the excellent fundamental technique and physical aggression to translate to the pro level with success. If Radunz can’t play left tackle, he still has a floor of a mauling guard which would still make him a solid addition to the Chiefs’ offensive line. If Radunz is available in the second round, he’d be the type of player the Chiefs should run to the podium for.
2021 NFL Draft: Offensive Line Prospects Recap
There will be an abundance of possible options to choose from to improve and re-enforce the Chiefs’ offensive line. One thing is clear though, they must address it with one of their first two picks. They need to draft one of the high-end options to come in and contribute on day one. The offensive line group is not a position they can wait until the later rounds to draft. They need an impact player right away.
Thanks for reading my article on the five offensive line prospects the Chiefs should target in the 2021 NFL draft. Follow me on Twitter @Hobby_Connect for more content and NFL talk!
Main Image Credit