KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spent last offseason adding developmental pieces along the interior of the offensive line last season, anticipating the loss of Mitch Morse.
It wasn’t an accident that the Chiefs extended contracts for Cameron Erving and Austin Reiter before the 2018 season and signed Jimmy Murray and Ryan Hunter after the draft.
Kansas City has provided ample time for two other guards Andrew Wylie and Kahlil McKenzie to develop.
While interior offensive line may not be a pressing need, there will be opportunities to address depth at those spots if the Chiefs elect to upgrade at left guard or center. Some of my favorite prospects are detailed below:
ADDITIONAL NFL DRAFT COVERAGE
[April 10 — Nick Jacobs: Best running back fits]
[April 11 — Nick Jacobs: Best wide receiver fits]
[April 12 — Nick Jacobs: Best tight end fits]
[Today — Nick Jacobs: Best interior offensive line fits]
[April 16 — Nick Jacobs: Best offensive tackle fits]
[April 17 — Nick Jacobs: Best edge rusher fits]
[April 18 — Nick Jacobs: Seven-round Chiefs mock draft, v 1.0]
[April 18 — Nick Jacobs: best defensive tackle fits]
[April 19 — Nick Jacobs: First-round mock draft]
[April 19 — Nick Jacobs: Best linebacker fits]
[April 22 — Nick Jacobs: Best cornerback fits]
BEST OFFENSIVE GUARD FITS FOR CHIEFS
G Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin
Height: 6-6 — Weight: 309 — Bench press: 20
Benzschawel has better athletic ability than expected. He has impressive footwork and a good pad level when pulling as well as the ability to change direction.
Additionally, Benzschawel's pass sets are well above average and he locks defenders out with his arm extension.
Benzschawel is a good drive blocker with the power to knock someone off the ball. He picks up and passes off well in protection and also gets to the second level quickly.
Javon Patterson, Mississippi
Height: 6-3 — Weight: 310 — Bench press: n/a
Patterson is a great pull blocker with quick feet. He stays low and delivers a good punch while driving out a defender. He has good sets in pass protection and stonewalls his defender when the pad level is right.
Patterson reads quickly when picking up and passing off defenders. He continues to drive his feet on drive and reach blocks when he is stuck in a stalemate.
Alex Bars, Notre Dame
Height: 6-5 — Weight: 312 — Bench press: n/a
Bars is a throwback to what offensive linemen use to be. He lays out defenders and goes hunting for more.
As a bonus, Bars is very athletic for his size, pulls well and finishes blocks. He is impressive at combo blocks and wants to put defenders in the dirt.
Bars can stonewall defenders in pass sets. If he is in pass protection, he goes looking to help out a teammate and lay out defenders.
Iosua Opeta, Weber State
Height: 6-4 — Weight: 301 — Bench press: 39
Opeta has fantastic size and strength. He has insane athletic ability for his size with very quick feet, locks down in pass protection and recovers quick on mistakes in technique or position.
While Opeta's pad level is a little high, he is a mauler in the run game. He has some of the quickest reaches in the draft class when getting to the second level.
Phil Haynes, Wake Forest
Height: 6-3 — Weight: 322 — Bench press: 33
Haynes is a good run blocker who continues to drive the defender off the line of scrimmage. He is almost impossible to disengage from when he locks on a defender.
Haynes has powerful combo blocks, a good anchor in pass protection and great arm length. He has solid short-area quickness on traps and draws, but needs to learn to keep his pad level down.
Other potential guards who fit the Chiefs: Cody Ford (Oklahoma), Dru Samia (Oklahoma), Ryan Bates (Penn State), Connor McGovern (Penn State), Mike Jordan (Ohio State), Chuma Edgoa (USC), Mitch Hyatt (Clemson), Nate Herbig (Stanford), Yosuah Njiman (Virginia Tech) and B.J. Autry (Jacksonville State)
Garrett Bradbury, North State
Height: 6-2 — Weight: 306 — Bench press: 34
Bradbury has good size and athletic ability. He is very good on reach blocks, great at combos and quick getting to the second level.
Widely considered the best center in the draft, Bradbury has a great anchor combined with the ability to set and hold the line of scrimmage. He is impressive at always finding an angle to get in front of the defender and constantly working to stay in position on his block.
Bradbury rarely knocked defenders off the line of scrimmage on tape. He was more of a maintainer but will plant defenders into the ground if given the chance.
Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State
Height: 6-4 — Weight: 310 — Bench press: 29
Jenkins is an athletic center who needs a full rebuild of his technique. He has poor pad level, grabs shoulder pads and often exposes his chest to punches from defenders.
At this stage, Jenkins takes on hits rather delivering them. It is a tribute to his strength and toughness that he can sustain his blocks and the line of scrimmage with poor technique.
Jenkins would likely be a two-year project to break him of those bad habits, but the payoff would be an athletic, strong and stout center who can knock defenders off the ball.
Other potential centers who fit the Chiefs: Erik McCoy (Texas A&M), Dalton Risner (Kansas State), Michael Jordan (Ohio State) and Ross Piersbacher (Alabama)
Veach doesn’t need to reach for an offensive lineman, but there are some uniquely athletic ones on the list that could be worth the right investment nad may fall into the Chiefs' lap.