Who Will Kansas City Target at OL?
The Kansas City Chiefs walked out of the 2020 regular season with the number one offense in the league. Yet, the Andy Reid led Chiefs exited the Super Bowl with an unfortunate loss and a career-low game from number 15 at quarterback.
The Chiefs will be motivated and headed back to the drawing board this offseason. The biggest takeaway from the Super Bowl rests on the need to improve the pass protection. In particular, the Chiefs will need to revamp their offensive line.
Headed into free agency, the Chiefs will have four offensive linemen facing free agency. Three of the free agents (Austin Reiter, Andrew Wylie, Mike Remmers) were starters due to the injuries to Eric Fisher, Kelechi Osmele, and Mitchell Schwartz. The Chiefs must come out with an appropriate depth and starting-caliber players to push for starters next training camp.
How could the Chiefs look to bulk up the OL, return to the promised land, and come out with a W? Let me unveil a few candidates to get the job done.
The elite performances from Russell Okung, also known as the first-ever player to be paid in bitcoin, have shown up well, but his health is a concern. Okung notched five games with a pass-blocking grade over 75 in five of his six starts for Carolina last year.
From 2016 to 2018, Okung only missed two games. Yet, he’s been battling the injury bug as of late. If Okung can put the injury scenes behind him, the Chiefs could have a legit pass blocker on their hands.
There’s a chance that Eric Fisher AND Mitchell Schwartz won’t be ready for Week 1, so it’s crucial that the Super Bowl aimed has “quality” answers for at least one tackle spot. They’re aiming for a return by mid-August for Fisher, but there seems to be a shot that one tackle isn’t ready to answer the bell.
David Andrews is the well-rounded veteran that Andy Reid needs in his offensive line unit. Pro Football Focus stated how Andrews has graded as the 87th percentile in pass blocking sets since 2015 and he’s also posted the lowest negative plays in run blocking, as well.
It’s vital that the Chiefs can prevent interior pressure, but also create a stronger run game – which helps Tyreek Hill more on play action. The Chiefs rushing attack was 16th in YPG. It’s hard to decompress elite defenses with a medicore rushing game. Even if the Chiefs get to play opponents that are below average in run defense in the AFC, there’s a high probability of playing the Bucs or Saints, who pose elite front sevens.
Austin Reiter was stronger in the passing game, as opposed to the running game. Andrews would be a sure-fire upgrade at the Center position for what Big Red needs moving forward.
The once KC Chiefs should return to Kansas City and help cement proper depth on the OL. Cameron Erving is a more athletic pass blocker than Mike Remmers, who was victimized by Shaq Barrett in the Super Bowl.
Erving has experience at guard and tackle, so Erving could very well slot in as a starter at guard — if Osmele doesn’t return. Erving started 13 games for the Chiefs in 2018, so it would be an ideal fit. Erving was often victimized when filling in for Eric Fisher at LT during his old Chiefs days, but his guard versatility could be very important in the short term.
Erving was on a $2.5 one year deal with the Cowboys, but it came to closure after six games. There may not be a better deal at the guard position than acquiring Erving to prove his worth. Helping Clyde Edwards Helaire and stronger, yet familiar depth in the interior could go a long way in a long hopeful season.