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Kansas City Chiefs 2016 offensive line has more questions than answers

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Taking a look at who we know will be back, and options to fill in the rest of the OL for 2016

The Chiefs went through at least nine different offensive line combinations in 2015 with mixed results. With so many moving pieces during the season, there is bound to be change in the offseason. Two of the regular contributors are free agents, two are nearly forgotten veterans coming off of IR, and of course, there will be many options to add to the group from free agency, the draft, undrafted free agency and roster cuts.

What we think we know

LT: Eric Fisher: The former No. 1 overall pick seems to have settled in and, entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, will be one of the Chiefs' starting tackles next season.

LG: Ben Grubbs: The veteran missed a good portion of 2015 with a neck injury but we've seen no indication that his career is over. His contract is such that he's very unlikely to be cut. Back at left guard in 2016? The injury is the only real question, so we may not know until he shows up for OTAs this spring.

C: Mitch Morse: The 2015 rookie had a very good first year, and is likely to enter camp as the team's starting center. The only other scenario is IF the team wants to try Zach Fulton as the full time center and give Morse a shot at guard.  We haven't seen or heard anything from the team on this idea but it makes sense on paper given how well Fulton played down the stretch last season.

RG: There are a number of options here including Zach Fulton, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Jah Reid and Paul Fanaika. The Chiefs could also invest a draft pick or free agent signing to attempt to upgrade the position.

RT: Not many options here at this point. Jah Reid is one. Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson are free agents but could be brought back. It's reasonable to expect a draft pick and / or free agent signing at tackle, as they'll need depth in addition to the starter on the right side.

Longshots: Jarrod Pughsley, Daniel Munyer, Reid Fragel, Laurence Gibson, Michael Liedtke.

These are futures contracts / practice squad guys, but there might be some potential there. It wouldn't surprise if one of them made it onto the active roster. Pughsley was close last September and eventually did make it up.

Free agent options

It's a safe bet that Dorsey and team will be looking to bring in some quality offensive line talent throughout the offseason process. It's early to say who they will actually be interest in, but here's a look at a few options, including two of the Chiefs own free agents.

Jeff Allen: Among the most valuable offensive linemen for the Chiefs -- when healthy -- he brings physicality and attitude to the left guard or right tackle position but has struggled to stay on the field. Depending on who you ask, he's either the most important Chiefs free agent, or a guy that's as good as gone. Could he be the first Pioli-era offensive lineman re-signed by John Dorsey?

Donald Stephenson: Was useful as a third tackle this season but has struggled as a starter. We all thought he was better at left tackle than right tackle. He has been "benched" by Andy Reid's staff before. Seems likely he'll play elsewhere in 2016.

More free agents (via Spotrac): Right tackleGuard

Andre Smith: The top name of the free agent right tackles (or FARTs), Smith should command a size-able contract.

Joe Barksdale: Struggles in pass protection, but is a generally a good run blocker.

Mitchell Schwartz: Arguably the best right tackle in the NFL last season, and the brother of former Chief Geoff Schwartz.

Don Barclay and Jamon Meredith: Former Packers tackles. Chiefs GM John Dorsey would know more about them than us.

Alex Boone: A very good guard. Might be in high demand.

Manny Ramirez: Did well in a reserve role in Detroit, was once a very good center / guard, but is 33 years old now and might not be a full time player anymore.

Evan Mathis: Former Eagle, struggled early on with the Broncos, but found his stride and played well in the Super Bowl.

Jahri Evans: Recently cut by the Saints after he was once among the best guards in the league. The Chiefs have one former Saints guard, would they be interested in the other?

NFL Draft options

So, the Chiefs could re-sign their own guys or dip into veteran free agency but we know that John Dorsey wants to build through the draft. After making Eric Fisher his first draft pick, adding LDT and Fulton late in the draft, then Morse in the second round this past year, it's clear that investing in the offensive line has been part of the plan on draft day.

It's very early in the evaluation process, but here are a couple of guys the Chiefs may want to look into.

Some names to remember early in the NFL Draft:

Tackles: Taylor Decker, Jack Conklin,Germain Ifedi, Jason Spriggs

Guards: Cody Whitehair, Nick Martin

Some names to remember late in the NFL Draft:

Connor McGovern, Evan Boehm, Graham Glasgow

Too early prediction of the 2016 offensive line

If I had to guess today, I'd say the starters in 2016 will be:

Fisher-Grubbs-Morse-Reid-(Draft Pick/FA)

With Fulton, Fanaika, LDT as the primary depth on the interior. As you can see, there are more questions than answers and more changes to come this offseason.