Locked on Chiefs – Are the KC offensive tackles a strength?
The Kansas City Chiefs have a solid pair of offensive tackles. Can that be enough to take the next step in 2017?
In Eric Fisher, the team has a left tackle with the potential to reach the Pro Bowl. The progress in that direction has been steady but slow since he was drafted #1 overall in 2013. In 2016, Fisher put in another season of steady play and modest Improvement. When the 2017 season begins, he’ll be 26 years old. At this point, he can be considered a solid but not elite tackle. Another solid off-season without injury coupled with a lot of hard work can take Fisher to the next level.
Mitchell Schwartz joined Kansas City in 2016 and performed well if not quite as well at the previous season in Cleveland. Schwartz battled a high ankle sprain for the majority of the 2016 season. It hampered his mobility and exposed him to the speed rush. Still, Schwartz put in the best season of any right tackle of the Reid/Dorsey regime or recent memory. Schwartz will be 27 years old in the 2017 season and is entering the prime of his career. If he can remain healthy, he too could reach the Pro Bowl.
The team has both starters under contract until they are 30 years old respectively. Tackles can play well into their thirties, so the team is in a good position with the starters.
Jah Reid is the backup swing tackle. Unfortunately, the team is not in a very good position with him. After playing well against Houston in 2015, Reid took a back seat and a huge step backward in 2016. With reduced to playing time, his play quality diminished as well. His poor play was highlighted at the end of the season when he was on the field as a sixth offensive lineman. He too will be 27 years old in 2017. For the franchise to guard itself against injury to the starters, they have to find a way to upgrade from Reid this offseason.
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