They don't often garner much time in the spotlight, but any successful offense begins with the big guys up front.
The Kansas City Chiefs will return the bulk of their starting offensive line from last season, which Pro Football Focus ranked as the ninth-best at pass protection in the NFL.
Two models of consistency are set to man the bookend tackle positions next season in Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, who combined to play every single offensive snap last year before several of the regulars outside of Schwartz took a rest in Week 17. In fact, Schwartz hasn't missed an offensive snap over the course of his six-year career – the longest active streak in the league.
On the interior of the line, guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has finished up his medical school studies and is ready to continue his ascension as one of the top young players at his position. According to PFF, Duvernay-Tardif has allowed just two sacks over the past two seasons (25 games).
At center, Mitch Morse looks to bounce back from an injury-shortened campaign in which he played in just seven games. Morse suffered a foot sprain in Week 2, causing him to miss five weeks of action, and once again hurt his foot in Week 13, ending his season.
A healthy Morse could pay dividends along the Chiefs' line, as PFF noted the fourth-year professional as a "secret superstar" prior to last season.
The lone piece not returning up front is guard Zach Fulton, who signed with the Houston Texans earlier this offseason. Bryan Witzmann, who started 13 games last season as injuries shuffled around some roles, will be a candidate to replace Fulton. Parker Ehinger, a fourth-round pick in 2016, is now a season removed from a knee injury that ended a promising rookie campaign and could also compete for a starting role, as could Cameron Erving, who the Chiefs traded for prior to last season. Jordan Devey, who played in nine games last season, is also an option at guard.
In addition to the guys that were around last year, the Chiefs brought in a handful of young players this offseason in order to add depth along the line. That includes sixth-round pick Kahlil McKenzie, who played defensive tackle in college but will make the transition to guard in Kansas City.
Here's a look at all of the offensive linemen set to compete for the Chiefs during OTAs this year: