Heading into the offseason, one of the Kansas City Chiefs biggest needs was along the offensive line, specifically at tackle. With that in mind, Scott Pioli went out and grabbed Eric Winston, formerly of the Houston Texans. The Chiefs got Winston at a very cap-friendly four-year, $22 million contract. Winston is a very good addition to the OL and at a very good price, but with the uncertainty regarding Brandon Albert’s expiring contract next year, the Chiefs can still stand to add a tackle in the 2012 NFL Draft.
While the need may not be as pressing as before, here are some details on offensive tackle prospects that could interest the Chiefs in each of the seven rounds of next month’s NFL Draft:
First Round – Riley Reiff – Iowa – 6-6, 313 lbs.
Fans in Kansas City have heard the name Riley Reiff a lot so far this offseason, and rightfully so. If available at No. 11, Reiff would be very solid pick. With Eric Winston now aboard, the need for an OT has become less of a need and more of a luxury. The only OT other than Matt Kalil, of course, that I’d take in the first round in Kansas City’s position would be Reiff.
Reiff comes from a school rich in tradition along the line, so he will already be well coached. He has ideal OT size, is a good enough athlete, and has good technique. He has good bend in his pass drops, and is able to handle both speed and power rushes sufficiently. As a prospect, he reminds me a little of former Iowa OT and current Packer Bryan Bulaga, but with better physical tools.
Second Round – Mitchell Schwartz – California – 6-5, 318 lbs.
A much underrated player in the draft process so far has been Mitchell Schwartz, and I think some people could be surprised at how high he ends up going come late April. Schwartz will likely be a better fit as a right tackle in the pros. he is very good player in the run game, showing power and explosion off the ball, and a willingness to complete his block.
In pass protection, he sometimes has trouble with speed off the edge, which is a reason why he may find a home on the right side of the line. Overall, he could be a real solid value on day two for the Chiefs, if they don’t address the OT position in round one. Schwartz may never be an All-Pro but will likely be a starting OT in the league for a long time.
Third Round – Brandon Mosley – Auburn – 6-6, 314 lbs.
Mosley is a converted, former Junior College TE, who has a lot of room to grow as an OT prospect and in the pros. He has prototypical size, with room to add to his frame. He is a solid athlete for the position, and possesses some natural bend in pass protection. He needs to get stronger, especially in his base, and continue to work on his technique. Mosley is someone who can blossom after a few years in the league, but has some good potential. He is a hard worker with toughness.
Fourth Round – Nate Potter – Boise State – 6-6, 303 lbs.
Very good athlete at the OT position that reminds me a little of Nate Solder in that regard. Potter has a natural bend, and can handle speed on the outside, but has a tendency to be overpowered at times. He will need to bulk up and add strength to both his upper and lower body and improve his technique in both run and pass protection, but has legitimate starter potential within a few years.
Fifth Round – Andrew Datko – Florida State – 6-6, 315 lbs.
Datko struggled with nagging injuries throughout his career at Florida State that caused him to miss chunks of time on the field. When he did play, his potential and ability was evident. Datko is a solid athlete, and a good player in both pass and run protection. He is someone who could end up having a better pro then college career if he can stay healthy. He could be very good value in round five.
Sixth Round – Tom Compton – South Dakota – 6-5, 315 lbs.
Coming out of a small school like South Dakota, Compton needed a big showing in the pre-draft process, and so far he has done well. Competing in the East West Shrine game, Compton was very solid. At the Combine, he showed very good athletic ability and movement skills that weren’t always displayed on tape. Compton has a very good base and is a very good player in the run game. He needs work on his pass protection and overall technique, but that can be expected coming from where is coming from. Compton is a very intriguing developmental project that has starter potential down the line.
Seventh Round – Markus Zusevics – Iowa – 6-5, 303 lbs.
Zusevics is another player coming from the OL factory of Iowa. He's is a very good athlete that has a thinner frame that looks like that of a TE. He will need to bulk up and add both upper and lower body strength. Coming out of Iowa, Zusevics has good technique, and can add depth to an OL with the potential to become a starter down the line.
For more on the Kansas City Chiefs offseason plans and the upcoming draft, check out Arrowhead Pride.