Despite having already added big names like Joe Thuney and Kyle Long to the offensive line this offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs are still searching for help at the tackle position — both for depth and a new starter on Patrick Mahomes‘ blindside following the release of Eric Fisher in March.
The team’s aggressive pursuit of Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams in free agency, though it came up just short, suggests that an upgrade is still top of mind for general manager Brett Veach and company. With the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft one week away, the Chiefs’ next best opportunity to land some fresh talent will come on April 29.
However, with Kansas City not slated to be on the clock until pick 31, a trade-up may be necessary to acquire one of this year’s top prospects. On Thursday, April 22, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell floated one possible proposal that could push the Chiefs into the top half of the draft order.
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Wild Proposal Sends Mecole Hardman & 3 Picks to Eagles
In a new mock draft exercise in which Barnwell proposed potential trades for all 32 picks, it was Andy Reid’s former club, the Philadelphia Eagles, who the ESPN analyst saw as the ideal partner for Kansas City to work with.
Barnwell’s hypothetical proposal came with a steep price tag for the Chiefs, but one that netted them the No. 12 overall pick nonetheless. In exchange for No. 12 and a 2022 fifth-round pick, Barnwell has Kansas City sending this year’s first-rounder (No. 31), second-rounder (No. 63), next year’s second-rounder and wide receiver Mecole Hardman to the Eagles.
Here was his explanation:
We know Andy Reid takes left tackle very seriously; he traded a first-round pick to the Bills for Jason Peters during his time with the Eagles and made Fisher his first draft pick after joining Kansas City.
This would be a lot to give up for one player, but the Chiefs might think left tackle is just that important. By getting ahead of the Chargers and Vikings, Kansas City could have its pick of the non-Penei Sewell left tackles in the class.
By making a deal with their old coach, the Eagles would get a first-round pick, two second-rounders and add a wide receiver with upside to their roster in Hardman, whose role with the Chiefs is capped by the presence of Tyreek Hill.
While anything is possible, picking outside of the top 10 still might not be enough to secure of the top two offensive tackle prizes this year: Oregon’s Penei Sewell and Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater. Both players have consistently been projected inside the top eight selections, including the latest ESPN joint mock draft from Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay.
As of writing, Veach and the Chiefs have eight picks in 2021, including additional fourth and fifth-round compensatory selections to offset the losses of Emmanuel Ogbah and Kendall Fuller last offseason.
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!