That being said, Garrett Bradbury is a rare talent at the center position and if he’s still on the board at pick 29, it might be tough to go a different route.
Yes, the Chiefs need to focus heavily on defense, but they shouldn’t reach on a guy if they don’t have to. Picking Bradbury 29th overall wouldn’t be reaching at all. He spent time playing left guard as well during his time at NC State and that just so happens to be a position that isn’t shored up in Kansas City.
Cameron Erving is a fine player, but he’s a better backup. When given extensive work as a starter, he struggled a bit, so maybe Bradbury could be the starting left guard until Reiter’s contract is either up or he struggles enough that he’s removed as the starting center.
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:
Because of his arm length (33⅝”), some teams may view Alabama’s Jonah Williams as an interior lineman instead of an offensive tackle. This is what happened to 2015 first-round pick Cameron Erving (34⅛” arms), who played left tackle at Florida State but has settled in at guard for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Now, Williams is a more polished technician than Erving was as a prospect, but his ability to overpower defenders at the point of attack is similar.
“Draft him, put him at OT or OG, he will block the player in front of him,” former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz tweeted of Williams. “That’s what matters.”
The fact that Erving didn’t pan out with the Cleveland Browns shouldn’t make this a scary comparison. He’s become a terrific fit for the Chiefs, as he’s a reliable starter at guard who can fill in at tackle if needed.
They picked up 2011 first-rounder Phil Taylor’s, but cut him before the start of the 2015 season. The players they did not pick up the options for include: Trent Richardson (2012), Brandon Weeden (2012), Barkevious Mingo (2013), Justin Gilbert (2014), Johnny Manziel (2014), Danny Shelton (2015), and Cameron Erving (2015). They won’t exercise 2016 first-rounder Corey Coleman‘s either, since he’s on the Giants roster now. The streak should end when it’s time to do business with 2017 first-rounder Myles Garrett.
Blowing that many premium picks is an easy way to prevent your team from being good for years to come.
The Seahawks are 0-for-2 over the same span, since they so often trade down and out of the first round.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Panthers, Texans, and Chargers are a clean 5-for-5 through the 2015 draft class, while the Falcons are 4-for-4.
We’ll continue with the fifth round, where the Chiefs currently own one pick in this year’s draft (No. 167 overall). There have been several notable players taken with that exact selection in NFL history, including Minnesota Vikings’ defensive back Bobby Bryant (No. 167 in 1967) and Miami Dolphins’ two-time All-Pro punter Reggie Roby (No. 167 in 1983).
Kansas City didn’t pick in the fifth round last year, instead choosing to trade their selection to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for offensive lineman Cameron Erving.