The Kansas City Chiefs' 2020 season ended in disappointing fashion with a Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Patrick Mahomes under center, it's clear the Chiefs will remain among the inner-circle contenders in 2021, but they still came into the 2021 NFL Draft with some clear needs.
How did they do in their attempt to fill those roster holes? As part of our ongoing series here at CBSSports.com, in the space below, we are going to discuss one thing the Chiefs didn't do in the 2021 NFL Draft, and also break down one thing they definitely got right.
Help wanted on the perimeter
The Chiefs had only six picks (one less than the allotted seven per team) in the draft, so there was always going to be something that went relatively unaddressed. In this case, I think it was a couple of perimeter positions on the field: wide receiver and edge rusher.
Yes, the Chiefs drafted former Florida State defensive end Joshua Kaindoh in the fourth round and former Clemson wideout Cornell Powell in the sixth. But the depth chart still looks a bit thin at those positions.
Frank Clark has not been what Kansas City expected him to be as a pass-rusher and play-disruptor, and there's not much in the way of quality depth behind him. Coming into a season with Taco Charlton as possibly the second-most dependable edge rusher on the roster is not a great situation to be in. Perhaps Kaindoh can be a major contributor right away; but if not, they'll be left depending largely on their interior players to provide the lion's share of the pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
After Sammy Watkins left in free agency, it was somewhat surprising that the Chiefs didn't use an earlier pick on a receiver. Demarcus Robinson is a solid -- if unspectacular -- No. 3 wideout, but he's also returning on just a one-year deal. Mecole Hardman has tantalized with his speed, but he has also operated almost exclusively as Tyreek Hill's direct backup in his two NFL seasons and even when Watkins or Robinson was out with an injury, he was rarely given a larger role in the offense. Maybe that changes this year, but it was interesting that the Chiefs didn't add a wideout until very late in the weekend.
Continued solidifying offensive line
Kansas City apparently entered this offseason with a single goal in mind: Never let what happened in the Super Bowl happen again.
The Chiefs splashed the pot for offensive linemen in free agency, handing former New England Patriots lineman Joe Thuney the largest contract ever for a guard, bringing former Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long out of retirement, and signing center Austin Blythe away from the Los Angeles Rams. A few days before the draft, they traded their first-round pick in a deal for former Baltimore Ravens tackle Orlando Brown, who will protect Mahomes' blind side for the foreseeable future, assuming they get him signed to an extension at some point. They also have Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, M.D. returning, after he opted out of the 2020 season to treat COVID-19 patients.
Still, they used a good amount of draft capital on the offensive line. They used their second pick of the draft (No. 63) on former Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey, who can presumably develop behind Blythe before he's ready to step into the lineup. He also has the flexibility to fill in at guard, if needed. It's notable that Humphrey is an excellent pass protector, which makes him a good fit for the pass-heavy Kansas City offense.
Later in the draft, the Chiefs added another guard in Tennessee's Trey Smith. Smith played tackle early in his college career, so he's got some position flexibility as well. Smith is huge at 6-foot-5 and 331 pounds, and he's a mauler in the run game. He's somewhat limited athletically, but if he can provide depth while working on his pass-blocking, perhaps he can develop into a contributor down the line.