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Friday, March 21, 2014
Should Chiefs go for O-line in draft again?

By Adam Teicher

Since 2010, the Kansas City Chiefs have spent significant resources to build their offensive line. In the last four drafts, they've had 15 picks in the first three rounds and used five of those choices on offensive linemen. They also in the previous four years signed as free agents three offensive linemen who would go on to become starters.

While you can argue with some of their decisions, their commitment has been clear. The Chiefs have made building their offensive line a priority.

For all that maneuvering, the Chiefs still have a hole in their offensive line, this time at right guard. Four of those five recent draft picks will start next season, but they have no can't-miss candidate for the vacant spot. They recently signed Jeff Linkenbach as a free agent but may prefer because of his ability to play guard and tackle to have him come off the bench. They also have three developmental prospects worth a look: Eric Kush, Rishaw Johnson and Rokevious Watkins.

While it seems unlikely the Chiefs would go for an offensive lineman in the first round as they did last year, the possibility can't be dismissed. If the Chiefs don't select a lineman in the first round, taking one in a subsequent round becomes a better possibility.

In addition to their immediate uncertainty at right guard, only Eric Fisher among their top five veteran linemen is signed beyond 2015. The contracts of Linkenbach and center Rodney Hudson expire at the end of the 2014 season.

So whether the Chiefs draft an offensive lineman or two this year might do more than fill an immediate need. It also might serve as a statement on exactly what the Chiefs think of Kush, Johnson and Watkins.