Yesterday we determined the starting positions for the two new Kansas City Chiefs Ikechuku Ndukwe (first time typing it without copy and pasting it!) and Andy Alleman.
Ndukwe lined up at right tackle during his first practice as a Chief. It appears, at least from his statements yesterday, that he'll stay there.
"Right tackle," Ndukwe said when asked about his position. "Right tackle is where I was told that I needed to work the most at. I appreciate them giving me the opportunity to learn one position."
Alleman, on the other hand, lined up at right guard. He stressed his versatility with right and/or left guard along with center.
"I have the ability to play both guards and center efficiently," he said. "I don't know that I necessarily have a best where I line up. I feel I can do a good job."
This means there will be some changes. The unofficial depth chart for the Seahawks game was released on Monday, before the two new players were officially traded, so we've yet to see where they'll end up.
Depth charts are below. The two new Chiefs are in parentheses and I guessed where they would start the season.
Mike Goff, (Andy Alleman) Tavares Washington, Colin Brown
Goff hasn't gotten many positive reviews in this space. It seemed he was consistently over-matched in the first two preseason games.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I thought he was going to be a solid starter and a major upgrade over the merry-go-round at right guard last season. Offensive linemen are hard to judge, Goff is a better-known name, and our right guards weren't anything pretty last season so his signing initially got a big "Yes!" out of me.
Judging by the fact that the coaching staff already felt the need to bring in someone to push him, I was probably wrong and initially overstated his potential impact on the line.
At best, Alleman beats out Goff for the starting right guard job. At worst, he's another versatile body on a line missing quality depth.
My prediction is that Alleman starts the season at Baltimore backing up Goff.
Damion McIntosh, (Ikechuku Ndukwe), Barry Richardson
Other than quarterback, this may be the biggest perceived position of need heading into the 2009 offseason. McIntosh wasn't up to par in the first half of 2008 when the Chiefs ran a more traditional offensive set. The move to the spread aided in hiding some of the line's weaknesses and McIntosh is part of that weakness in my humble opinion.
Barry Richardson has been seeing more and more time at right tackle. The past week and a half he's been working with the first team. How did he do? Well, the coaching staff traded for another right tackle. That should answer the question.
Like Alleman, the best case scenario for Ndukwe is winning the starting job. That means he's an upgrade over what the Chiefs had this time last week. The worst case scenario, and it's not even really terrible, is him, like Alleman, providing depth across several positions on the line.
With right tackle being such a glaring weakness, and the coaching staff giving McIntosh and Richardson opportunities to take the starting job, I predict Ndukwe is the starting right tackle at Baltimore in week one.
Bottomline? The Chiefs offensive line depth chart can't lose with this trade considering the compensation is presumably a low draft pick. One of these two players is bound to see some significant action in '09, which would mean they're an upgrade, which would mean the offensive line got better.
Where do you think Ndukwe and Alleman will end up on the Chiefs depth chart?