With the 145th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Darian Kinnard. Kinard is an offensive lineman out of Kentucky. He is listed as a guard, but the Chiefs may try him out as a tackle, according to Adam Teicher on Twitter.
The Chiefs traded up in the fifth round to take Kinnard, and it only cost them one of their four 7th round picks. According to NFL.com, Kinnard was a third-round prospect at guard and will likely be an average overall starter in the NFL. So, how does Kinnard fit in with the Chiefs?
Darian Kinnard is very similar to the Chiefs drafting Trey Smith just one year ago. He is a massive, physically imposing player who isn’t afraid to get dirty in the trenches. Kinnard has long arms and massive hands, which give him great flexibility when it comes to the offensive line. He is a mauler in the run game but still needs some time to refine his pass protection. He also needs to work on his footwork, but Darian Kinnard has a lot of potential.
Is Darian Kinnard The New Andrew Wylie?
The Chiefs have every position of their offensive line set except for one right tackle. There is much speculation as to what will be done at the position. In 2021 Lucas Niang began the year as the Chiefs’ starter at right tackle, but after some struggles, Mike Remmers took the job back for some time. Niang took back over after Remmers began to suffer from back issues, and then in Week 17, Niang tore his patellar tendon. Thus Andrew Wylie took over the position for the final week of the regular season and the entire playoff run.
The Chiefs love to have depth along the offensive line as you never know what may happen. Brett Veach never wants to see another game like the 2020 Super Bowl. Andrew Wylie has been a very flexible player for the Chiefs, playing every spot on the offensive line outside of center. So, it is highly likely that the Chiefs may see Darian Kinnard as a logical solution moving forward, as Wylie only signed a one-year extension this offseason.
Darian Kinnard is likely best suited to play guard in the NFL as he has slow feet, but with enough time and practice, he may be able to become an average starter at tackle as well. Overall, he is great value for the 5th round and won’t need to start day one.
What Will The Chiefs Do At Right Tackle?
As mentioned, there is only one true hole left on the Chiefs’ offensive depth chart, and that is the right tackle. Lucas Niang seems to be on schedule to return from injury by the start of the regular season, but do the Chiefs truly believe in him as their long-term solution? Training camps this year may be dedicated to seeing who the best option at right tackle is for the Chiefs.
Darian Kinnard is best suited to playing guard, and he could immediately impact the position. However, the Chiefs have both of those spots filled. Kinnard will likely compete for a spot at right tackle alongside Niang, but we may even see Trey Smith shift over to tackle. If Trey Smith proves he can play outside of the offensive line, then Darian Kinnard can plug right in, and the Chiefs potentially have the best offensive line in football.
Of course, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered for that to happen, but Darian Kinnard is a great choice in the fifth round, even if he is just depth. The Chiefs continue to have a phenomenal draft in 2022.
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