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Wanya Morris film review: Improved consistency may translate to viable starter

The third round pick has incredible potential, but first must improve his consistency.

Kansas v Oklahoma Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Wanya Morris with the 92nd pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft — and he brings familiarity and physicality to the team.

Drafted out of Oklahoma University, Morris was an eight-game starter, playing under offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, who coached current Chiefs center Creed Humphrey and former Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

Before transferring and becoming a Sooner, Morris started 19 games for the Tennessee Volunteers, playing next to current Kansas City right guard Trey Smith.

With his familiarity a clear bonus, the Chiefs took a player who fit several boxes for what they look for in a tackle.

At 6'5" and 307 lbs. (and with 35 1/8" long arms), Morris looks the part and also plays it. Blending physicality and good athletic ability, he is a natural fit for the Chiefs' pass protection scheme. Morris could improve Kansas City's blocking in space at the tackle position.

Despite these advantages, his game can be up and down at times. Consistency issues with his technique display his weaknesses. Even considering those flaws, the strengths of his game outweigh the weaknesses.

Strength: Blocking in space

Morris is a fluid and excellent athlete in space as a pulling player. Oklahoma ran multiple plays with him leading the way in space, where he showcased his movement skills and finishing ability.

Running classic counter, Morris pulls and leads through while the right guard pulls ahead and kicks out the last man on the line of scrimmage. Morris gains depth off the snap while eyeing the second level. Leading through the hole, he contacts a defensive back who was looking to fill.

Dipping down some but running through the defensive back, Morris delivers a big hit and finishes the play with a pancake. His movement skills will give him an advantage in an offense that looks to utilize the mobility of the big men.

Strength: Length and hand usage

Arm length has been something the Chiefs have valued in the past, and Morris fits the bill. With over 35-inch arms, Morris used his length and hand deception to keep his quarterback clean.

With a wide rusher lined up on the outside of him, Morris gets out of his stance quickly. He shows a hand to the edge rusher, enticing the edge rusher to knock it down. As the edge goes to swat the hand away, Morris pulls the hand back and the edge swats air.

The "ghost hand" worked to his advantage, and he uses his long arms to close the distance on the edge rusher and work him around the arc, not allowing him to get into his body.

Morris has a great understanding of how to use his hands, and his knowledge of how to take away angles is top-notch.

Going for the chop causes the edge rusher to fall off balance, and Morris pounces on him quickly.

Inconsistency shows up taking inside pressure

While Morris is crafty with his hands, his strikes lack true power. These issues are put on further display when he oversets in pass protection.

The edge rusher lines up in a tight alignment on the outside shoulder of Morris. On the snap, Morris takes more of a flat set and looks to contact the edge rusher quickly. His hands don't bring enough power, and the edge knocks them down and penetrates the backfield to pressure the quarterback.

The inconsistencies in footwork to overset the edge are compounded by the lack of functional strength in his punch. Physical limitations are amplified when the technique is off by even an inch.

Inconsistent: First step

Despite being a good athlete at times, Morris can be inconsistent with his footwork in the run game.

With the edge lined up tight on his outside shoulder, Morris is anticipating protection from his inside gap on the backside of this zone run.

On the snap, Morris pivots off his inside foot and crosses over with his outside foot. This does not allow him to create any depth or width off the snap and allows the edge to shoot through the inside gap.

Morris is off-balance and lunges, but the edge blows by him to make the tackle on the opposite side of the field. This play is more about what he fails to do than what the edge does.

Strength: Effort

While he is far from a perfect player, Morris shows the effort and physicality that makes him a great fit for the Chiefs' offensive line.

Morris takes a poor first step while blocking down on the 4i-technique (inside of the tackle), who penetrates the backfield affecting the play. Morris knows he is beaten, and his man made a big impact on the play, but as long as the play is alive, he still has a chance to hit someone.

As the running back is taken down, a pile starts to form. Morris picks up speed and de-cleats the defensive back before he can jump on the pile, taking out some frustration at the echo of the whistle.

The bottom line

Morris is somewhere between a project and a starting-caliber player. He played enough snaps between two power five colleges to develop his understanding of the game and is physical and intelligent enough to win most plays.

His issues stem from the ground down. Although many will point to the lack of power in his punch as his major issue, this can be covered by improvements in footwork. Morris has the arm length to take any edge rusher he wants out of a game, and he should focus all his efforts on ensuring his feet put him in a position to do so.

These problems are fixable.

Under the tutelage of Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck, Morris will have a chance to hone his skills and potentially work his way into the starting lineup at some point during the 2023 season.

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