Yes there are sexier options at WR and EDGE but the "sexiest" options at all these positions will be GONE early in the draft. This year's draft is rich in O-Line capital and average at best at receiving options with Quentin Johnson out of TCU being the only real stand-out option as a legit NFL Day 1 threat. The other WRs are either average height and average WR 40 time big school guys whose play at the next level is an unknown or undersized burners that that lack route, catch radius and concept abilities and would be long term projects. Known Defensive Line gems will be gone early with late 1st rounders being too unknown and therefore experimental for the Chiefs to consider and develop at risk to so many other immediate day 1 vital position needs. Anton Harrison is projected to fall 28th to the Bengals, but if he doesn't (thanks to RB Joe Mixon's legal issues and impending big contract departure), it appears the 49ers and Eagles look to be headed in a defensive direction which puts him there nicely at 31 for the Chiefs. The other premier LTs in the 1st Rd are Peter Skoronski, Paris Campbell Jr and Darnell Williams whom will all be off the board by the late 1st round.
Here's Why Anton Harrison Even With Jawaan Taylor's Signing Is The Absolute Best Fit For The Chiefs:
There's nothing more vital to continual KC dynastic success than elite pass tackles and guards protecting the Chiefs' Hope Diamond at QB. And yes this trumps defensive and wide-out positional needs. Secondly, there will be no true generational EDGE or DT talent left at 31 (that we can somehow approximate accurately given current information). The Chiefs don't need the best player on the draft board at 31 in a CB or S, we have all that covered to avoid a wasted pick. The Chiefs won't be able or willing to move up to get an elite EDGE or DT, additionally, the WR depth in quality is poor in 2023 (except for Quentin Johnson), take a flyer for 2024 and get another Free Agent ring chasing WR. Therefore, the obvious choice is to provide Mahomes with more time in the pocket. In any other draft, Anton Harrison would be a for sure top 10 pick.
Anton Harrison's draft "cons" are really only two things, his height ("only" 6,4 from the league average of 6,5/6,6) and that he lacks forward "abilities" in the run game sometimes. 1st thing, his height can't change and an inch in height is really an NFL draft nitpick of ridiculousness. Secondly, we won't really need him at as a "forward momentum" run-blocker in the league's most pass-heavy offense. Where Harrison is splendid as a phenomenal steal, is that he's probably this draft class, the best overall pass blocker. Some will say Skoronski, but where Harrison excels is that he also shares a high IQ for the position but has tremendously better athleticism with a 4.98 40 time for an O-Lineman and explosive shuttle combine metrics and where and why that matters, is lateral quickness and explosiveness to mirror and beat pass-rushers. During Harrison's time at Oklahoma since 2020, he's ONLY given up 4 sacks in three seasons of play and only surrendered 3 QB hits in that same time.
How He Fits With Jawaan Taylor:
This is the second reason I like him, is that he is tailor-made for an offense like this with tremendous explosive lateral quickness, great hands and leverage to mirror speedy edge-rushers but natural power to beat bull-rushers. I think Anton Harrison can be a day 1 starter at RIGHT-TACKLE (despite his upside, the prospect of having still having a rookie protect Mahomes' blindside is terrifying, talent be damned, it's still a rookie) as an immediate upgrade over Andrew Wylie. I think over time he can transition to our starting Left Tackle if need be with NFL Game experience and an experienced elite Chiefs O-Line and coaching staff developing him along the way. He's a tremendous second level blocker in the passing game which will do extraordinary things for Mahomes should he roll out to his left looking for one of his many signature and breathtaking Houdini antics or provide extra upfield blocking for the Chiefs screen or speed in space plays.
Third reason, is the Lucas Niang project is an unknown, whether he's a RT or LT or even elite. Even if he has that potential, his will to play is not becoming of a Chief (Covid year taken off) given that we have possibly the GOAT QB with a bum ankle willing his team against the league's top defense in the Super Bowl. And more vitally, injury history being so young which could stem from a very Zion Williams-esque sort of physique (being so top heavy with a lean base in his legs to support him). Nevertheless, the jury is out, but the Chiefs outside of having him for depth, need to think about retaining top-tier Mahomes Pass Protection on the "cheap" and especially when we get a normally top 10 LT falling within our grasp due to the depth in quality at the position in this year's draft and having the luxury of throwing him in there as a 1st day RT and eventual LT.
Last Reason, the Chiefs Ride and Die On The Hill Of Patrick Mahomes:
There has never been a force multiplier like him in the NFL at QB, actually at any position. His ability to overcome having bad defenses and substandard receivers to be able to be perennial championship contenders and title defenders is unheard of in 53 man roster professional football . He can carry the worst defense to practically almost a Super Bowl (2018), make mediocre defenses into champions (Mahomes has never had a top 15 defense) and carry average at best receivers to championships. To put it frankly, we don't need big names on defense or at wideout for Mahomes, BUT the common denominator in Mahomes biggest losses, notably in the Bucs Super Bowl loss is that he needs TIME to get things done. The critical first step in this dynastic process, is offensive line dominance and Mahomes takes care of the rest. If Anton Harrison is available at 31 or if we need to jump Cincinnati maybe three spots, I'd strongly consider trading Juan Thornhill (especially before the Chiefs have to pay him) if it made a Harrison trade stick. An extra 0.5-1 second for Mahomes is the death knell of NFL defenses, end of.
"The Chiefs Are Favorites To Make It To The Super Bowl Practically Every Year Because Of One Guy" - Cris Collinsworth