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Grading the Chiefs’ pick of OT Lucas Niang

The AP Nerd Squad has instant grades on the Chiefs’ third pick of the 2020 NFL draft.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs have made their third selection of the 2020 NFL Draft!

With the 96th overall pick, the Chiefs took TCU offensive tackle Lucas Niang. We have insta-grades from the three members of the Arrowhead Pride Nerd Squad.

Craig Stout: While some may have wanted a cornerback in this spot, there’s just far too much value in this pick. Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are potential cut or retirement candidates in the near future — and Niang projects very well as a starting-level offensive tackle in a year or two. Protecting Patrick Mahomes will be paramount — particularly after the Chiefs pay him a large chunk of their cap — and Niang is a future candidate to do so. He may or may not get early reps at guard, but his ceiling as a solid starting tackle makes this an absolute steal at pick 96 — even if they sacrificed some secondary help. Grade: A

Kent Swanson: I don’t care if this is a redshirt year for Niang. I don’t care if they’re trying him at guard long-term — or short-term before kicking him back outside. Whatever the developmental plan they have in mind, at pick 96, the Chiefs got exceptional value on a player who would’ve gone earlier if it weren’t for a hip injury. He’s still raw and he’s coming off an injury — but he possesses great movement skills. He’s got a great frame, he’s still young and has a lot of projection remaining in his game. Grade: A

Matt Lane: Even if he doesn’t see a lot of playing time early in his career, Lucas Niang is a fantastic value for the Chiefs at pick 96. If the Chiefs so choose, he has the make-up and power to play on the interior, but there are few examples of players starting at guard before kicking out to tackle. As a potential tackle of the future, Niang may be a redshirt pick — but the upside is phenomenal. He needs some work on his kick-slide — even before his hip labrum injury, it looked uncomfortable — but his raw athleticism and upper body power is eye-opening. The biggest thing to monitor is the position where the Chiefs will use him; in his final two years at TCU, he played right tackle. Grade: A-


What’s your grade for the Chiefs’ third-round pick?

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