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Chiefs Draft Strengthens the Trenches: Draft Grades of the New Offensive Linemen and the Tight End in Kansas City

Kingsley Suamataia // Courtesy of USA Today

The Kansas City Chiefs addressed concerns in key positions throughout the draft, especially with the offensive line. The Chiefs lost two starters from the Super Bowl to free agency and while they addressed them, do all of them fit? Will the new tight end take over for Kelce in the future? Let’s find out.

Pick 63: OT Kingsley Suamataia – BYU

Grade: A

The defending Super Bowl Champions usually don’t spend picks along the offensive line, but the Chiefs needed to address their left tackle situation and handled it by trading up to select OT Kingsley Suamataia from Brigham Young University in the second round. While it seems like there will be a battle the left tackle position, Suamataia has all of the tools to be the starter.

Suamataia is a very smart player, he seems to read defenses pretty well and communicates what he sees. His tape against Oklahoma is pretty impressive. He continually finds ways to get and keep his assignment away from the quarterback and seems to do it effortlessly. He’s also a freak of an athlete, he can easily set an edge on an outside zone or find a defender on screens. Suamataia seems like the ideal fit for the Andy Reid system, strong, athletic, and is smart enough to adapt and communicate.

I really like this pick for Kansas City mostly because it helps to solidify Patrick Mahomes’ blind side for years to come. Wanya Morris will more than likely come into the season as the starter because of his experience last season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Kingsley takes over at some point in the season. Kingsley is really raw, but the Chiefs like to use players like Kingsley to get reps in. 

Pick 131: TE Jared Wiley – TCU

Grade: B

 There have been many articles and people (me included) who have wanted the Chiefs to draft a tight end in the past couple of drafts and now it seems like the Chiefs finally bought in by drafting Jared Wiley. Wiley seems like he’s going to be very low on the depth chart and will have to show a lot of flashes to make it on the field consistently in his rookie season, especially since the Chiefs signed Irv Smith Jr this offseason. 

Wiley will more than likely be a package player for the red zone since he stands at 6-foot-6 and has a long frame, he seems to be the Jody Fortson replacement for this season, but his tools and size could make him the future of the position for the Chiefs. Wiley needs to work a bit on his blocking technique to be on the field for more than throwing downs, he’s a mismatch wherever he lines up.

Wiley ran a 4.6 40 yard dash and is really shifty on his routes, while I think the pick makes a lot of sense, Wiley will probably be a project for the Chiefs. Coming into camp this year he’ll be behind Travis Kelce, Noah Grey, and Irv Smith Jr and will have to fight to get more snaps. While I don’t think he’ll be the Kelce replacement everyone thinks he is, he could possibly be the redzone TE by the time the playoffs roll around just due to how much of a mismatch he could be.

Pick 159: OG/C Hunter Nourzad – Penn State

Grade: B

With Joe Thuney dealing with a torn pectoral muscle and possibly still being hurt into camp or the regular season, the Chiefs needed to make sure they have the depth going into defending their title. Drafting Hunter Nourzad helps to solidify the depth and replace Nick Allegretti as the utility offensive lineman. Nourzad played center and guard at Penn State and it seems like Veach wanted someone who could be uniquely versatile on the interior of the offensive line.

Nourzad’s tape shows a very violent and effective blocker, he was able to adjust to two different roles while at Penn State and did so at a high level. When he gets his hands on an opposing player he’s able to hold his own and works really well off of double teams, he’s a very solid player and people should expect him to rotate throughout the season. 

I like the idea of having another interior offensive lineman in the fold, especially since the Chiefs don’t have a lot of depth in those positions. Like most of the offensive linemen picks the Chiefs made, it feels like Veach is preparing to replace the current starters after going for the three-peat this season. Nourzad will probably come into the season as an important reserve and as a possible future starter. 

Pick 248: Utility Offensive Lineman CJ Hanson – Holy Cross

Grade: B

While it seems likely that Hanson will be a camp body and probable member of the practice squad, he’s a very talented player. Hanson played at a lower level of football than his classmates, but he was a four year starter who played almost every position on the offensive line at some point. There isn’t a lot of tape of his games, but it seems like he is the typical late-round lineman who could be integral to the team in the next couple of seasons. 

Hanson will come in with a lot to prove and it will be fascinating to see what he could bring to this team when camp comes. It’s another depth piece for the offensive line that could be critical for the team going forward and I think that’s a good move to make late in the draft.

While most of these players are more for depth and future use, these players have a lot of potential to be important for Kansas City by the end of the season. Kinglsey and Wiley might be playing important snaps in big games and it feels like Brett Veach wanted to secure depth for a team while trying to keep contending for championships.

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