Expectations for Kansas City Chiefs offensive line after the 2021 NFL Draft

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15). Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15). Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs have been an offensive powerhouse. Now they have a great offensive line to boot. 

The Kansas City Chiefs are not fair. In 2013, they found Travis Kelce in the third round. In 2016, they found Tyreek Hill in the fifth round. In 2017, they got the best quarterback in the draft at 10th overall and were able to let him sit behind an established veteran for a season. In 2020, they added to their embarrassment of riches on offense by taking the best running back in the draft with their first-round pick three months after winning the Super Bowl.

But wait, it gets worse!

Fast forward to the 2021 offseason where they added a sickening amount of resources to their weakest position group and made everyone look like fools. If you’re not familiar with the moves I’m referencing, it’s basically this:

After seeing their offensive line successfully orchestrate an elaborate disappearing act in Super Bowl LV, Kansas City chose to let their starting two offensive tackles walk away. Chaos ensued as the football community refused to believe that the Chiefs’ front office had a plan.

Kansas City Chiefs had a great offseason gameplan

The Chiefs brought in the best interior offensive lineman available in free agency with former New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney, brought former Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long out of retirement, signed veteran center Austin Blythe in free agency, and re-signed veteran Mike Remmers.

After this, they dropped a bomb when they traded their 2021 first-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for the young, Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Brown Jr. In addition, they get their veteran starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif back for 2021 after choosing to opt-out of the 2020 season.

This is obviously all great stuff, but what’s even more impressive is that all of this happened before the NFL Draft.

If you read mock drafts, you would have seen that virtually all of them had the Chiefs selecting some sort of offensive line help in the first round, with a lot of them believing Kansas City would take Oklahoma’s center, Creed Humphrey. In fact, even I linked the two together in my perfect draft prospect fits article. However, after trading their first-round pick for Orlando Brown Jr., this outcome would no longer be possible – until the second round when the Chiefs somehow came out with Humphrey anyways.

This pick was mind-boggling in more ways than one. Humphrey was my top-ranked interior lineman in this draft class, so how did he last until pick number 63 overall? How did the Chiefs end up with the player they were supposed to take in the first round all along? How did the NFL and the other 31 teams allow this to happen? How did the Chiefs completely overhaul their offensive line in just a couple of short months?

Like the number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know. Here’s what we do know though: The Kansas City Chiefs are not fair.

What to expect from Creed Humphrey in his first season

With veterans Andrew Wylie and Austin Blythe on the roster, Humphrey will have to earn any playing time he can get. Being a 2021 day one starter isn’t the most likely, but it can be done. If he does end up being a starter in his rookie season, the pressure will be low. He will have some excellent guards next to him, some veteran centers on the sideline for advice, and the best quarterback in the league standing directly behind him.

There could not have been a better landing spot for Creed Humphrey. The expectations for him in year one are low, but the expectations for his career could and should be very high. This kid is set up for success like none other.

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The Chiefs’ offensive line might have been a disaster in the Super Bowl, but it certainly seems like they did everything right this offseason. Kudos to them for doing what most front offices refuse to do: identify their weakness and make the necessary moves to fix them.