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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