Kansas City Chiefs: Position needs in 2021 NFL Draft, free agency

Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kansas City Chiefs, 2021 NFL Draft
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) /

Despite losing Super Bowl LV a little more than a month ago, the Kansas City Chiefs are still one of the most exciting teams in the NFL. They’ve won the AFC West five years in a row, overtaking the Denver Broncos as the divisional gold-standard. They won a franchise-record 14 regular-season games and the most wins of any team in the NFL last season, in a year where COVID-19 severely limited team activities and practices.

They’ve hosted the AFC Championship game three years in a row and look to have supplanted the New England Patriots as Kings of the AFC. Any player drafted by the Chiefs in the 2021 NFL Draft should automatically be preparing to play football well past December. The future looks bright for the franchise.

But despite all the records and success of the 2020 season, the team still fell short in the Super Bowl. A combination of injuries and bad luck on both the offense and defense kneecapped the team heading into the big game. Now with free agency just a few weeks away and the 2021 NFL Draft on the horizon, the front office must look to build off the success from last year while learning from their mistakes.

General manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid have a difficult job ahead of them this offseason. As things stand today, even after several restructurings and releases, the team is projected to have around $31.3 million in cap space (Spotrac), which is falling for the first time since it was instituted in 1994.

The Chiefs have 24 free-agents this offseason, many of whom were critical contributors to the team’s recent run of success and are unlikely to return. And with just eight draft picks this year, the margin for error will be incredibly tight if they hope to make a deep playoff run in 2021.

Fortunately for Chiefs Kingdom, there will be a plethora of talented players available in both free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft that could bolster the roster and keep it competitive for years to come. In this article, we’ll explore three position groups the Chiefs need to address this offseason, either during free agency or the draft this April.

We’ll explore which free agents on the roster are likely to move on and which players they could pick up during free agency at a bargain. And finally, we’ll explore which players make the most sense for the Chiefs in the 2021 NFL Draft and what round they are likely available to Veach this April. Click below to start with the offensive line group.