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New Chiefs guard Trey Smith seen as draft steal who could overperform

In the 2021 NFL Draft, Smith fell very deeply — and Kansas City was ready to take advantage.

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Even a week after the end of the 2021 NFL Draft, sports sites covering the league remain filled with articles featuring post-draft analysis. On Monday morning, one such piece by ESPN’s Matt Bowen named one of the Kansas City Chiefs’ draft picks as one of his “potential Day 3 steals who could overperform” in the league.

Trey Smith • G • Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Round 6, No. 226 (Tennessee)

The Chiefs added offensive line depth and a potential future starter with Smith late in the sixth round. At 6-foot-6, 321 pounds, he is a mauler in the run game, a blocker who can move defenders off the ball — and finish them. Plus, with enough movement ability and strength/power to win in pass pro, Smith can develop into an interior presence to keep the pocket clean for quarterback Patrick Mahomes down the line.

How much playing time Smith will receive in the coming season remains to be seen. Newly-signed free agent guard Joe Thuney will almost unquestionably start on the left side of the interior — and Smith would have to work his way past previous starter Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and wild-card free agent Kyle Long to see playing time on the right. But there doesn’t seem to be much doubt that he will figure prominently in the team’s plans for 2022 and beyond.

Smith — ranked as the 81st best draft prospect in our consensus draft prospect ranking — fell almost to the end of the sixth round because of previous medical issues. The Chiefs had carefully checked on those — and were ready to pounce.

“I thought that we were really onto something — because again, [in] any area of gray, we’re usually taking a player off the board because we don’t want to put players in that position here in Kansas City,” remarked Chiefs general manager Brett Veach last Monday — right after describing the team’s approach to medical matters as conservative. “So I feel good about the work we did on him. Again, if everything works out, you’re getting a guy that obviously would have been drafted a lot higher [and has] tremendous upside.

“[I’m] looking forward to getting him here — and [having team doctor] Mike Monaco and our trainers work with him, getting him up to speed and seeing if we can tap into all that potential.”