Jeff Allen is ready to compete. Just where that will be is not quite clear.
The Kansas City Chiefs made several moves this offseason to bolster the offensive line, both in free agency and the recent NFL Draft. The free agent signing of Paul Fanaika, the trade for Ben Grubbs and the early selection of Mitch Morse brings three potential starters onto a roster that had plenty of candidates already in-house. The depth chart gives Andy Reid plenty of options to find his "best five" up front.
"I'm coming to compete," said Allen to reporters on Thursday. "Competition never made anybody worse. I don't feel anyway about it besides me getting better and coming in and winning the job, whether it be right tackle, left guard, right guard, anywhere. I'm a versatile guy and I can play anything. Coach Reid's motto is best five. My goal is to just be one of those best five, whether it be right tackle, right guard or wherever it might be. Left guard, it doesn't matter."
Allen has both the talent and the investment to earn one of those coveted five slots. As a former second round selection, Allen has the upside to help at multiple spots along the line. Unfortunately an early elbow injury cost him the entire 2014 season, which means he's had to focus much of his time and energy on rehab. Fortunately he's good to go now.
"I've been good for about six weeks," he said. "So I feel good, I have no restrictions. I will be out there at OTAs when you guys are able to come out. I'll be full go with the rest of my teammates."
Allen stayed in Kansas City this offseason to work with the team's strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin. His focus remains on the right side of the line, since Eric Fisher and Ben Grubbs are slated to start on the left, but he says the change from left to right or guard to tackle isn't a big deal since coaches have utilized his versatility since his days at the University of Illinois.
"I've been doing this my entire career," said Allen. "Since college I've been doing this. It's something that I'm accustomed to. It's not like a big change for me. I'm used to being able to play one spot and switch it to a different spot. That's a whole part of my game, versatility. The more you can do the better. If I can't play left guard then hey, put me somewhere else and give me a chance to compete."