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Pre-Camp Breakdown: Looking at the Chiefs' Offensive Line

The Chiefs currently feature 16 offensive linemen on the roster heading into training camp

The Kansas City Chiefs are set to kick off training camp in about a week, and with the annual pilgrimage to St. Joseph nearly here, we're examining every position group on the roster heading into camp.

Here's a look at what we've covered so far: QB | RB | TE | WR

We'll continue with the offensive line, where the Chiefs currently employ 16 players. This group is interesting due to the new faces at offensive tackle, as veterans Jawaan Taylor and Donovan Smith are set to man the bookends of the Chiefs' offensive line in 2023.

Here's a closer look at each offensive lineman on the roster, sorted by offensive tackles and interior linemen. Some of these players have experience at multiple spots, but for the purpose of this breakdown, each member of the offensive line is categorized by his primary role last season (or in college).

Offensive Tackle (beginning with the projected starters, then sorted alphabetically)

Donovan Smith

A free agent addition in early May, Smith is an eight-year veteran who previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 6-foot-6, 338-pound Smith was an ironman during his tenure in Tampa Bay, starting 131 of 137 possible contests (including the playoffs). He didn't miss a single start through his first four seasons in the league, and although Smith suffered an elbow injury early in the 2022 campaign, he still managed to come back and start 13 games for the Buccaneers last season.

Smith was exclusively a left tackle for the Buccaneers, as he earned the job as a rookie in 2015 and never relinquished it. He has recorded at least 1,000 snaps at left tackle in all but two of his eight seasons as a professional, and in the two campaigns that he didn't hit that mark, he still topped 900 snaps at the position. Looking at last season specifically, Smith logged 908 total snaps at left tackle in 13 games.

The 29-year-old Smith is also only two years removed from a dominant season in which he compiled the sixth-best Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade in the NFL (among tackles). Smith – who tallied 1,147 snaps at left tackle that season – surrendered just one sack on 784 pass-blocking snaps. In fact, Smith's impressive grade was despite playing the most pass-blocking snaps of any left tackle in the NFL.

Additionally, among tackles to record at least 900 total snaps in 2021, Smith's pass-blocking grade trailed only Andrew Whitworth, Charles Leno Jr. and Trent Williams.

Barring an unforeseen development, Head Coach Andy Reid confirmed earlier this summer that Smith will enter this upcoming season as the Chiefs' starting left tackle, replacing former starter Orlando Brown Jr.

Jawaan Taylor

One of the Chiefs' marquee free agent additions of the offseason, Taylor was one of the top players available on the open market according to multiple outlets. For example, he was the No. 16 overall player in Pro Football Focus' free agency rankings entering the offseason. Here's a portion of what they had to say about Taylor:

"Taylor had a career year as a pass protector, earning his highest pass-blocking grade with a 76.4 mark that landed him in the top 25 among tackles on the year. Taylor allowed pressure on just 2.5% of dropbacks, the third-lowest mark among tackles in the NFL."

Indeed, Taylor was among the best in the business at protecting his quarterback last season, surrendering just 16 pressures in 17 regular-season games. For context, Taylor yielded the fewest pressures among all tackles to tally at least 1,000 snaps (a pool of 28 players). It was the best statistical season of Taylor's career, but it continued what has been an upward trend. He surrendered just 34 total pressures in 17 games two seasons ago, which ranked ninth among tackles with 1,000+ snaps (a pool of 22 players).

The four-year veteran is also durable, as he never missed a start during his tenure in Jacksonville. He suited up for 66 consecutive games and he logged at least 1,000 snaps in each of the last four seasons, making him one of only seven offensive linemen (regardless of position) to start all 66 possible games since 2019.

Head Coach Andy Reid has indicated that Taylor will likely be the Chiefs' starting right tackle this season, replacing former starter Andrew Wylie.

Chukwuebuka Jason Godrick

While not an undrafted free agent in the traditional sense, the Chiefs signed Godrick – a 22-year-old from Nigeria – through the NFL International Player Pathway Program during the offseason. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound lineman is a former basketball player who impressed at the inaugural NFL Africa camp in Ghana last year before earning an invitation to the International Combine in London.

Since 2017, the NFL IPP has sought to provide elite athletes from around the world with the opportunity to earn a spot on an NFL roster and increase the number of international players in the league. The IPP rules permit the Chiefs to carry 91 players on the offseason roster (as opposed to 90) in order to provide Godrick with the best chance to succeed.

Sebastian Gutierrez

The Chiefs signed Gutierrez following a successful tryout at rookie minicamp in early May. The 25-year-old Gutierrez was one of 51 tryout players who took part in the camp, which featured nearly 80 players overall and included the Chiefs' seven draft picks. Despite the abundance of bodies on the field, Gutierrez stood out.

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Gutierrez originally signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft. He was later cut by the Broncos prior to the campaign, but Gutierrez went on to appear in one contest (Week 16) for the Las Vegas Raiders as the season progressed.

Now in Kansas City, he'll have an opportunity to show what he can do during training camp.

Darian Kinnard

Kinnard is entering his second season with the Chiefs after appearing in one game last season with six snaps on special teams. A fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Kinnard is a large human at 6-foot-5 and 345 pounds who had the biggest hands (11 ¼ inches) of any player at the NFL Scouting Combine last year. He utilized those physical gifts to earn the Jacobs Blocking Trophy while at Kentucky in 2021, which is annually awarded to the top offensive lineman in the SEC.

General Manager Brett Veach indicated earlier this offseason that Kinnard will likely work at both tackle and guard during training camp.

Wanya Morris

The No. 92 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Morris is a big, long and athletic tackle prospect who will likely have an opportunity to earn a role as a "swing tackle" during training camp. The 22-year-old Morris – who checks in at 6-foot-6 and 307 pounds with 35-inch arms – possesses tremendous physical traits for the position. The Athletic's Dane Brugler wrote the following in his draft guide:

"Morris has exceptional size and athleticism. He has above-average arm length and one of the longest wingspans of any prospect in the class. An above average athlete for his size, Morris displays outstanding body control and weight distribution in his movements (both pass sets and run blocking)."

Additionally, here's what Chiefs' Assistant General Manager Mike Borgonzi had to say about Morris after Day 2:

"He's a big, long and athletic tackle…He has a ton of tools, and now he just has to put everything together. We feel comfortable with our [offensive line] room here that he'll learn from some of these guys."

It's also worth noting that Morris is an experienced player who has logged significant snaps on both sides of the offensive line. He started 19 games at left tackle for Tennessee from 2019-20 before transferring to Oklahoma in 2021, where he went on to start eight games at right tackle the following season.

Overall, Morris recorded 27 starts (and 37 total appearances) at the college level, tallying 19 starts at left tackle and eight at right tackle.

Lucas Niang

The 24-year-old Niang appeared in 10 games last season (including the playoffs), serving primarily as a blocker on special teams. It was a bit of a transitionary season for the former third-round pick, as Niang tore his patellar tendon late in the 2021 season and missed the first half of last year due to the injury.

Prior to getting hurt, Niang started nine games at right tackle for the Chiefs in 2021 after winning the job out of training camp. The injury ultimately ended his season early and delayed his debut in 2022, but now healthy, the 6-foot-6, 315-pound Niang provides intriguing depth at both tackle spots.

Prince Tega Wanogho

Tega Wanogho is entering his third season with the Chiefs after appearing in all 17 regular-season games in 2022. The 25-year-old Tega Wanogho was almost exclusively utilized on special teams last season, but it's worth mentioning that he logged 38 snaps at right tackle against Jacksonville in Week 10.

The 6-foot-5, 308-pound Tega Wanogho is a fascinating story, too. A sixth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020, Tega Wanogho grew up in Nigeria and was a standout basketball player in high school after coming to the United States. According to draft analyst Lance Zierlein, Tega Wanogho only started playing football to remain in shape. Remarkably, he showed a real knack for the game despite his limited experience and caught the attention of Auburn, where Tega Wanogho went on to start 32 games and earn multiple all-conference selections.

Zierlein projected Tega Wanogho as a potential third or fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but he ultimately fell to the sixth round. He spent the majority of his rookie season on the Eagles' practice squad – appearing in one game (Week 17) – before signing with the Chiefs in 2021. He certainly demonstrated his worth as a versatile special teamer and swing tackle this past season, which is a role he'll aim to earn once again during training camp.

Interior Linemen (beginning with the projected starters, then sorted alphabetically)

Joe Thuney

The 30-year-old Thuney is quite simply one of the very best offensive guards in the NFL, earning the top Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade of any guard last season. Thuney appeared in 15 games for Kansas City last year, allowing just 15 pressures across 675 pass-blocking snaps.

It marked another stellar season for Thuney, who joined the Chiefs as a free agent last offseason. He has finished each of his two campaigns with Kansas City as PFF's top-rated guard in terms of pass-blocking, and there's no reason to expect anything less once again this upcoming season.

Trey Smith

Smith is set to take the field for his third season with the Chiefs after earning the ninth-best Pro Football Focus grade among all offensive guards last season (min. 1,000 total snaps). The former sixth-round pick logged 1,039 total snaps in 16 games, earning a spot on's annual "All-Under-25 Team" following the season. Here's more on Smith from Around the NFL writer Nick Shook:

"No surprise here. Smith has been excellent since he arrived in the NFL two years ago. The Chiefs have remained elite thanks, in part, to the pivotal draft picks that helped them rebuild their offensive line prior to the 2021 season. Of course, having Patrick Mahomes at quarterback helps, too. Smith was one of those picks in 2021 and, as a sixth-round selection (226th overall), he's already exceeded expectations."

Creed Humphrey

The 24-year-old Humphrey is entering his third season with the Chiefs after compiling a Pro Bowl campaign in 2022. In fact, Humphrey earned Pro Football Focus' top overall and run-blocking grades among all centers last season. The 6-foot-4, 302-pound Humphrey was an excellent pass-blocker as well, surrendering just two quarterback hits (and zero sacks) across 769 pass-blocking snaps.

The performance also landed Humphrey on's annual "All-Under-25 Team" earlier this summer. Here's what Around the NFL writer Nick Shook had to say about the Chiefs' star center:

"There are two elite centers in the NFL right now. One (Jason Kelce) is returning for what might be his final season, and the other (Humphrey) is just getting started. Humphrey earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl last season, and I'm willing to guarantee it won't be his last."

Nick Allegretti

One of the Chiefs' most versatile players up front, Allegretti appeared in all 17 games last season while logging snaps at center, right guard, left guard and as an extra tackle in "heavy formations" in addition to various special teams' duties.

He saw significant action in Week 1 (39 snaps at right guard), Week 5 (72 snaps at right guard), Week 12 (76 snaps at left guard), Week 13 (55 snaps at left guard) and Week 17 (19 snaps at left guard), demonstrating his immense value as a capable contributor at various positions.

Now entering his fifth season with Kansas City after re-signing with the Chiefs during the offseason, he'll look to earn a similar role in 2023.

Mike Caliendo

The 6-foot-4, 301-pound Caliendo is entering his second season with the Chiefs after spending the 2022 campaign on the practice squad. An undrafted free agent signee last offseason, Caliendo appeared in 54 career games during his career at Western Michigan, logging experience at all three positions along the interior offensive line.

Jerome Carvin

An undrafted free agent signee, Carvin is a versatile player who possesses significant experience at all three spots along the interior of the offensive line. A five-year contributor at Tennessee, Carvin logged 21 starts at left guard, 17 starts at right guard and five starts at center during his time in Knoxville.

Additionally, the 6-foot-4, 307-pound Carvin played alongside Chiefs' right guard Trey Smith and rookie offensive tackle (and third-round pick) Wanya Morris at Tennessee during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Carvin and Smith were also teammates during the 2018 campaign prior to Morris' arrival.

Anderson Hardy

An undrafted free agent signee, the 6-foot-6, 301-pound Hardy appeared in 44 games (with 29 starts) during his collegiate career, including a stretch of 28 consecutive starts at left tackle to close out his time at Appalachian State. He logged at least 800 snaps at left tackle in each of the last two seasons and surrendered just two sacks last year. Hardy is currently listed as a center on the Chiefs' roster.

Austin Reiter

A familiar name on this list, Reiter spent the 2022 season on the Chiefs' practice squad. The 31-year-old certainly possesses plenty of experience, however, as Reiter was Kansas City's starting center in both 2019 and 2020.

He spent the 2021 campaign with Miami, starting six games, but re-joined the Chiefs ahead of last season. He didn't appear in any games last year, but he remains an experienced veteran who's already familiar with Patrick Mahomes should Creed Humphrey ever be unavailable.

The Bottom Line

It's no exaggeration to say that the Chiefs feature one of the best offensive lines in all football entering this upcoming season. The trio of Thuney, Humphrey and Smith is widely considered the best group of interior linemen in the game, and while the Chiefs lost both of their starting tackles to free agency during the offseason, both Taylor and Smith are more than capable replacements. The Chiefs also possess solid depth up front, as Allegretti, Niang and Morris – among others – would likely be starters elsewhere.

In terms of roster construction, the Chiefs have kept nine offensive linemen for the Week 1 roster in two of the last three seasons, including last year. Kansas City kept 10 in 2021, nine in 2020 and 10 in 2019, providing a consistent historical precedent in terms of how many the Chiefs may keep following this year's training camp.

The starting five is likely set with Smith (left tackle), Thuney (left guard), Humphrey (center), Smith (right guard) and Taylor (right tackle), but history tells us that there will be four to five additional spots available between the other 11 players on the roster. That should provide for excellent competition throughout camp, which is a great situation to have at arguably the most important position group (outside of quarterback) on the field.

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