Lucas Niang becomes the second offensive Chiefs lineman to opt-out from the 2020-21 season from the Kansas City Chiefs. Will his absence hurt the Chiefs, or will the current offensive line be fine without him?
Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the aisle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we breakdown this week’s hot topic.
The NFL opt-outs have officially come to a close and the total number of players that have chosen to opt-out is 68. The majority of the opt-outs have come from the brutal/grudging trenches of the line as 20 offensive linemen have opted out and 10 defensive tackles have as well, which makes up almost half of the players who chose this route.
Among the 20 offensive linemen, two of them came directly from the Kansas City Chiefs: veteran Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and rookie Lucas Niang. Niang was the Chiefs third-round draft pick this year and was one of the last players to opt-out. I have already broken down the Duvernay-Tardif situation in this column, but now we must dissect Niang’s case as it’s now another offensive lineman that has jumped overboard.
Let’s go over both sides of the aisle to see if his absence will hurt the Chiefs.
Niang’s absence will hurt the Chiefs
The main calling to this point revolves around the basis of the depth in the offensive line. The offensive guard position is one of the biggest issues on that line, and due to the loss of Niang, who was supposed to fill in at guard, our depth has decreased.
Kelechi Osemele will be fine as he’ll be filling in for Duvernay-Tardif, but Andrew Wylie was injured quite a lot last season and Martinas Rankin, who only started five games, was out for the season due to a patella injury in week 10.
If the Chiefs lose both of them, they will only have Ryan Hunter, a guard who has never started a game, and Mike Remmers, who has only played in the interior for one season. It would be a rough season for the $500 million man if the line started dropping like last season.
Niang’s absence won’t hurt the Chiefs
One point that falls upon this claim is that the Chiefs have the starters set already. They have Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher leading the tackles, Kelechi Osemele and Andrew Wylie leading the guards, and Austin Reiter inside the dead center of that line.
In this light of information, his opt-out won’t hurt the starters in any way as the Chiefs have appropriately set them up to succeed. The Chiefs personally won’t have to worry about them if, someway and somehow, none face any type of injury.
While that holds true, another point to prove this further is that the backups should come to clutch if one of the starters fall. Mike Remmers, the lineman the Chiefs recently signed, has been a durable player as he started 14 games last season and he started all 16 games the year prior to that.
In addition, Martinas Rankin, the Chiefs backup guard, drew no penalties in the five games he started last season (per Pro Football Reference) and he allowed only one sack that year, which is not too shabby for a guard who has only started nine games in his whole career. Looks like the Chiefs do their amazing research with this roster.
Overall, this is the case for if Lucas Niang’s opt-out hurt the Chiefs in any way, shape, or form. It seems as though both sides hold some key areas of argument, but it’s now time for YOU to decide if his absence will hurt the Chiefs. Leave a comment down below to join the discussion. Thanks for reading and have a pleasant day!