On the Friday edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory, our Matt Lane had us all pick an unresticted free agent and draft pick to pair together to improve the offensive line. We then tried to rip each other’s takes to shreds.
Here are the scenarios we created:
Jacksonville Jaguars’ Cam Robinson and Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins (Kent)
Robinson has played outside at tackle, but his future could be inside at guard. He shouldn’t cost too much but should be able to hold up outside while the Chiefs wait for Eric Fisher’s return. He becomes a long-term solution inside when not being forced back to tackle.
Jenkins should be given the chance to prove he can hold up at tackle — and I believe he will. He could be the right tackle of the future but also has the makings of an elite guard if he doesn’t. The Robinson-Jenkins approach saves cap space to allocate to other areas of the team and provides a lot of versatility up front.
The critique: Robinson is a below-average tackle and this move doesn’t solve the tackle problem, even in the short-term. Jenkins certainly does, but the Chiefs may still have struggles up front.
Green Bay Packers’ Corey Linsley and USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker (Craig)
Linsley is one of the better centers in football and gives the Chiefs a long-term solution in the middle of their offensive line to pair with Patrick Mahomes. Dropping a player of Linsley’s talent into that group not only improves the talent level but also the communication.
Vera-Tucker is an exceptional talent that also has versatility. He deserves a shot at tackle but the fallback for him at guard is still an intriguing option.
The critique: Signing Linsley will cost a pretty penny and is likely the biggest move the Chiefs make in free agency to secure his services. Of the three draft picks selected, Vera-Tucker is the least likely to be available at 31 — where the Chiefs select. Would acquiring him require a trade-up? The Chiefs would be putting a lot of eggs in the offensive line basket to secure these two.
New England Patriots’ David Andrew and Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield (Matt)
Andrews is better than Robinson as a player and a downgrade from Linsley. His market likely won’t be as hot as the former Packer and could present good value — all while being a little younger.
Mayfield is a promising tackle that made improvements every year at Michigan. A little more upside has been realized every season. He has the best chance to reach his potential at tackle of all the draft picks we’ve listed — boasting a quality athletic profile and flashes of excellence from a young player.
The critique: Mayfield might require a move-up as well — especially if the athletic testing goes well for him. He will be 20 on draft day and put some good tape out this year. He also might be the least ready of the three draft picks mentioned to step in — even though his ceiling is higher than both.
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