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Should the Chiefs start three rookie offensive linemen — or three veterans?

On Thursday’s Out of Structure podcast, we debated how we’d want the three undecided offensive line positions to be filled.

Super Bowl LV Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

On Thursday’s mailbag edition of the Arrowhead Pride Out of Structure podcast, Matt Stagner and I went over some “Would you rather” questions for the Kansas City Chiefs that sparked some thoughtful discussions — from “Would you rather block Chris Jones or cover Tyreek Hill?” to “Would you rather have the league’s top offense or a top-10 defense?”

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Check out the rest of the segment on the podcast. One particular discussion point deserved more than just the air time it got:

Would you rather start three rookies — Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith and Lucas Niang — or the three veterans: Austin Blythe, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mike Remmers?

For this question, we’re assuming that you can only have one or the other; there’s no mixing some of the rookies with some of the veterans. We’re also assuming the three options are playing at center, right guard and right tackle.

First, you have to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each side: starting three rookies may result in some growing pains and communication issues in 2021 — but it helps the three players progress faster to being legitimate starters in the future. Starting three veterans could be the safer, more dependable choice for 2021 — but all three veterans possess a ceiling: we already know how good they can be.

It’s important to remember that the Chiefs are in a position to have sustained success for however long Patrick Mahomes is their quarterback. Everyone — fans and the team — want to win right now, but they also need to be able to win in 2022, 2023 and beyond.

There’s a lot of value in getting the three young players this early starting experience. It allows them to learn from their rookie mistakes and be more capable during their second or third seasons. This also accelerates the team’s process to determine if they’ll be worth extending at the end of their rookie contracts.

Besides that, the talent of the three veterans isn’t incredibly superior to the talent of the three rookies. Are the Chiefs gaining that much of a short-term advantage by starting the veterans? They may be more comfortable taking on NFL defensive linemen or playing in Andy Reid’s complex system — but we still aren’t talking about a vast difference in talent.

Matt Stagner and I agreed that this season, we’d rather see the rookies get their shot — and live with the ups and downs that come with it. Let us know which side you land on!


Should the Chiefs start three rookies or three veterans on the offensive line?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Start the rookies
    (2077 votes)
  • 22%
    Start the veterans
    (600 votes)
2677 votes total Vote Now

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