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Illinois’ Kendrick Green could be last piece of Chiefs’ offensive line

On the 26th day of Draftmas my true love gave to me, an athletic IOL that plays with a mean streak

Syndication: LafayetteIN Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier, Lafayette Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

A very Merry Draftmas to you!

We continue our tradition of profiling an NFL Draft prospect every day in April, leading up to the NFL Draft on April 29th. Every day, you’ll get a prospect profile that includes how they would fit with the Kansas City Chiefs.

For much of the offseason, the Chiefs’ biggest emphasis has been offensive tackle — but now with the trade for Orlando Brown Jr., the focus may have to shift. With Lucas Niang’s NFL ability still relatively unknown — along with his potential to play on the interior — offensive tackle could still very much be in play. But the bigger hole has to be at center. During Brett Veach’s press conference on Friday, he referred to Austin Blyth as “good depth” rather than as a starter — and said several times that newly-signed free agent guard Joe Thuney could also play center. It sounds like the Chiefs are still looking for what they think will be the best five linemen they can field at once. Adding more high-upside interior linemen — preferably with some ability at center — could be the only missing piece.

Kendrick Green, IOL

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 13 Purdue at Illinois Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

6’2” | 302lbs | Illinois

Peoria, IL

Pro Day: 4.85 40-yard dash, 36” vertical jump, 119” broad jump

Expected draft range: Day 2

One-sentence bio: Entered Illinois as a defensive tackle and didn’t switch to offensive line until 2018 — but was immediately able to earn a starting role at guard.

One-sentence scouting report: An explosive athlete along the interior offensive line with unlimited range in space, a mean streak when finishing blocks and experience playing both guard and center.

One clip:

How he fits in Kansas City: Green is a little undersized for a typical NFL guard — and for some teams, even as a center — but in the past, head coach Andy Reid has found success with smaller centers. Green has the flexibility to play multiple positions across the line, but his best fit is likely at center — which happens to be the biggest hole the Chiefs have on the line.

Slotting Green between Kyle Long (or Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) and Joe Thuney would give the Chiefs an active (and mobile) interior group. Green is incredibly explosive off the line of scrimmage, showcasing abilities to quickly work up to the second level or work laterally to get his hips around a shaded defensive tackle. Utilizing his natural leverage and raw strength, he’s able to generate torque, resulting in fantastic finishes to his blocks. Green does play a little too fast — which can result in over-aggressive angles or bumping into his teammates — but it’s nothing a veteran both to his left and right couldn’t help him sort out.

While Green has more experience at guard than at center, he played both at Illinois. He will need to continue to grow in terms of calling protections and identifying blitzes, but he’ll make up for that with quick lateral adjustments. His ability to mirror rushers — or re-direct his momentum and slide into another defender’s path — is phenomenal. He will need to continue to grow as a one-on-one blocker in the passing game, but his physical gifts — paired with strong hand fits — will provide a huge NFL upside.

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