NFL free agency has essentially been underway for a week, which means the first wave has passed and teams like the Kansas City Chiefs can start getting a better sense of their 2023 NFL Draft strategy.
The Chiefs lost their starting left tackle during the first week of free agency as Orlando Brown Jr signed a four-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Losing Brown obviously creates a big need at left tackle for the Chiefs.
Kansas City signed offensive tackle Juwaan Taylor to a four-year deal last week.
Taylor, however, isn’t necessarily a suitable replacement for Brown. That’s because most of Taylor’s experience is at right tackle (Taylor played just 18 snaps at left tackle last season).
With Andrew Wylie also departing in free agency, the Chiefs could absolutely use more offensive tackle help.
With that in mind, CBS Sports’ latest post-free agency mock draft has Kansas City trading up from No. 31 to No. 25 to select Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
From CBS Sports: The Chiefs lost left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency and signed Jawaan Taylor, the former Jaguars right tackle. The plan is to move Taylor to the left side, which means there’s a need on the right, even if Lucas Niang is currently penciled in there on the depth chart. Dawand Jones had a great season, and it was hard to overlook just how dominant he was in one day of practice at the Senior Bowl. Yes, his footwork needs some fine-tuning, but his huge frame, long arms and enormous wingspan more than make up for what he lacks in quickness. He’s block-out-the-sun big, even when standing next to his offensive linemates. (Kansas City gets pick No. 25; New York gets picks No. 31, 122, 217.)
I understand the logic behind trading up, but it wouldn’t make much sense for the Chiefs to trade up for another right tackle.
Kansas City has no idea how moving Taylor to the left side will work out. They’d be much better off targeting a true left tackle in the draft.
That can be easier said than done. But the Chiefs don’t need to force what isn’t there. If a left tackle isn’t available early that makes sense (or that they feel comfortable trading up for), then they can take a flier on someone later in the draft.
Trading up for another right tackle just doesn’t seem like a wise move for the defending Super Bowl champs.