Peter King predicts Chiefs’ starting offensive line in his offseason power rankings

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It’s not a big shock when the Kansas City Chiefs are listed atop an NFL power ranking, but the reason behind Peter King’s decision to do so is rather unique.

In Monday’s Football Morning In America (FMIA) column, King sought to do offseason power rankings for all 32 NFL teams. He chose the Chiefs as his No. 1 team and expects them to “keep rolling.” But it wasn’t because the team has reached back-to-back Super Bowls and has the best quarterback in the league. Instead, King seems to have a great deal of optimism about the rebuilt offensive line in Kansas City. In fact, his version of that offensive line has some starters listed that you’re not expecting to see.

Here’s what King wrote about the Chiefs landing in his No. 1 spot:

“This is such a well-coached, well-run team. I remember doing this list last year and trying to force myself to find any reason to pick another team number one after the Super Bowl win, and I couldn’t. Same after the Super Bowl loss now. KC lost to Tampa because the Bucs got on one of those can’t-stop-‘em rolls, but also because Andy Reid’s offensive line was tattered due to injury and opt-outs; Patrick Mahomes got sacked or pressured 29 times that day. So GM Brett Veach maneuvered the cap and signed/drafted/traded for a new offensive line (with the exception of returning tackle Mike Remmers). In Week 1, Orlando Brown/Joe Thuney/Austin Blythe/Kyle Long/Remmers should be a top 10 NFL offensive line—a vast improvement from number 32 at season’s end. Veach helped in another way: making Mahomes’ contract palatable. His cap number this year is only $7.4 million and I would expect the Chiefs to convert compensation in 2022 and maybe 2023 into a signing bonus so it can be prorated and keep cap numbers in those years low as well. By the time the huge Mahomes chunks start coming two or three years from now, Veach is gambling that the cap will be back to its pre-pandemic annual increases. And Kansas City (31-7 over the last two years) should keep rolling.”

The left side of the Chiefs’ offensive line is basically written in stone with Orlando Brown Jr. and Joe Thuney. After that, everyone’s predictions seem to vary. King actually seems to favor veteran players over rookies here and I’m not sure if that’s by design or if he has some insider information. He’s well-connected, so this is probably something more than an educated guess.

King has Austin Blythe winning the center job and Mike Remmers winning the right tackle job. Blythe at starting center would be a pretty big shock, given the Chiefs landed a blue-chip player at the position like in Creed Humphrey during the draft. King also has Kyle Long winning out the right guard position over players like Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Trey Smith.

At the end of the day, I think it’s a little brazen of King to believe that the Chiefs should be able to field a Top-10 offensive line right off the bat. I’d also be pretty shocked if that unit included players like Blythe and Remmers as starters. They’re both proven veterans, but the offensive line would be in a better situation if those players were depth.

The bottom line is that this offensive line is loaded with potential throughout the roster. Until we see the starting unit hit the field for the first time, it might be wise to temper expectations. They’re going to need time to gel together and hit their stride.

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