Chiefs have found stability on the offensive line

Kansas City's offensive line made a big step forward in 2016. PFF premium stats help to show why that means the team can mainly look elsewhere come the draft.

| 1 month ago
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

Chiefs have found stability on the offensive line


Since the Chiefs selected Eric Fisher with the first pick of both the 2013 draft and the Andy Reid era, the offensive line has been a known area of suspect play for the club. But, after selecting starters in the draft each of the next three seasons, and spending $15 million in guarantees on underrated right tackle Mitchell Schwartz last offseason, Kansas City now finds itself with one of the more stable offensive line situations in the league, allowing them to address other needs (quarterback, cornerback, running back, inside linebacker) in this week’s draft.

  • After finishing 25th in pass-blocking efficiency in 2015, the Chiefs finished third in that metric in 2016. The 22-spot hike was the largest among all offensive lines during that stretch, which can be partially explained by Alex Smith getting rid of the ball far more quickly in 2016 in addition to improved play.
  • Despite seeing only 27 snaps from long-time (and now departed) starting running back Jamaal Charles in 2016, the Chiefs were able to finish in the middle of the pack in rushing yards per game (109.3) and yards per carry 4.2, while mostly featuring former ex-Seahawks’ sixth-rounder Spencer Ware and the undrafted Charcandrick West.
  • 2016 fourth-rounder Parker Ehinger is returning from a season-ending injury in 2017. Prior to going down after 229 snaps a season ago, he was grading well in the run game (77.1 PFF run-blocking grade). In our two seasons of grading Ehinger at the University of Cincinnati, he allowed just four sacks and 10 quarterback hits while playing left tackle, suggesting he has substantial potential as a pass protector moving forward for the Chiefs as well.

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