Kansas City Chiefs Offseason Recap and 2021 Outlook
The Chiefs are coming off a demoralizing defeat in the Super Bowl to end the 2019-2020 season, in which they went 14-2 and lead the league in offense yet again. The Chiefs had a very successful season, but if this team has any flaws it seems their defense is a few stars a way from elite, and the offensive line cannot stay healthy. GM Brett Veach, and Andy Reid have been very active over the years and this offseason was no different.
With Eric Fischer struggling with injuries for the last couple of years the Chiefs decided to release Fischer leaving the blind side spot a key need for the Chiefs. Brett Veach wasted little time addressing this issue, just a month later the Chiefs traded away their 31st overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens to acquire 25-year old Orlando Brown Jr. While this was a massive acquisition for the Chiefs they did not stop there, signing guard Joe Thuney to a massive 5-year 80-million-dollar deal and bring former guard for the Chicago Bears Kyle Long out of retirement for a one-year deal. Addressing the offensive line early in Free Agency put the Chiefs in a good spot to really focus on defense moving into the April Draft.
With no first round pick the Chiefs sat on the clock in Round 2 with the 58th overall pick in which they selected Nick Bolton linebacker out of Missouri. Bolton was highly touted as the best Linebacker in the SEC, although he is a bit smaller than the average NFL Linebacker, Bolton’s play recognition and ability to fly all over the speed make up for his lack in size. With their second pick in the 2nd round they picked up another addition to the O-Line with Center, Creed Humphrey out of Oklahoma. Humphrey has all the intangibles you look for in a center, and is able to make all the reads and calls at the line. He comes off as a very consistent player and an all-around solid center.
They did not make another selection until the 4th round compensatory with Defensive End, Joshua Kaindoh out of FSU. They concluded they draft with Tight End, Noah Gray out of Duke, Wide Receiver, Cornell Powell out of Clemson, and lastly, Guard Trey Smith out of Tennessee. By know means was the draft a huge win for the Chiefs, but acquiring Orlando Brown Jr, for the 31st overall pick is a major win.
The Chiefs have completely changed the offensive line, and did not lose any of their stars on offense. This new look Chiefs will be able to protect Patrick Mahomes, and mitigate the need for him to scramble. From an offensive stand point, we can fully expect the Chiefs to again lead the league in scoring.
The Chiefs are currently the only team in the league to be favorites in 16 of their 17 games in 2021. While it is extremely hard to improve on a 14-2 season, I like them to go 14-3 this year and contend for another Super Bowl.
Prediction: 14-3, AFC Champions.
Offseason Grade – B: The additions to the offensive line are huge. These will hopefully give Patrick Mahomes more time to throw, and will also help to improve the running game. The Chiefs struggled to run the ball on the Goal Line but expect that to change this year.