Battle of the Young Left Tackles: Competing for the Starting Job to Protect Patrick Mahomes

May 17, 2024, 4:25 PM ET

Two young left tackles will compete for the starting job to protect Patrick Mahomes’ blind side.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Go Kansas City Chiefs coach Kingsley Suamataia when they recruited him that he would have the opportunity to be their starting left tackle. The idea, immediately, was too much for him.

“¿Block Patty Mahomes himself? Oh my God, it’s amazing,” Suamataia said shortly after being selected in the second round. “I’ll have to go in and let him trust me and say: ‘I got you. Nobody is going to touch you. Even in practice, no one is going to touch you.’

Kingsley Suamataia, nuevo tackle de los Chiefs. Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“If I have the opportunity to be his blindside (blocker), that would mean a lot to me… I can’t wait to be Patty Mahomes’ left hand or right hand. Whatever you need, I’m ready to go.”

The battle of position between Suamataia and Wanya Morris, the Chiefs’ third-round pick last year, It will be the last of the team for a starting position. The Chiefs will order playing time at other positions, but in terms of all-down players, Morris and Suamataia will be the focus of their attention.

Morris started four games at left tackle last season as rookie in place of injured Donovan Smith. The Chiefs did not re-sign Smith this year, leaving room for Morris or Suamataia.

“He had a chance in the middle of the season with some good and some bad,” general manager Brett Veach said of Morris. “If you look at his work last year, I think on the one hand you’re happy that he was able to get to the professional level and be competitive. It wasn’t perfect, but I think it was a solid game as well. It is a good foundation to build and grow.

Wanya Morris of the Kansas City Chiefs leaves the field during a game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 19, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. Ric Tapia/Getty Images

“He’s got to come here and earn that position (and) I think it’s our job to go out and find competition for that left tackle spot. I think there’s a lot of promise there and there’s a lot of skill, but I certainly think it’s our job to bring some competition.” there and make him earn it and work for it.

The Chiefs identified Suamataia as a good prospect to compete with Morris during the draft process. He played three college seasons. He was a backup in 2021 at Oregon, played in one game and then started for two years after transferring to Brigham Young.

The Chiefs traded a spot near the end of the second round to ensure they could pick him.

“I wish you were in the draft room with us,” Veach told Suamataia after being selected in a video taken by the Chiefs. “Coach (Andy) Reid was sweating over 10 picks because the two most important things to him are the offensive linemen and the BYU graduates.”

Suamataia played left tackle last season. He was on the right side in 2022. Jawaan Taylor is the Chiefs’ starter at right tackle.

“He really is a prototypical left tackle with his athleticism and length,” assistant general manager Mike Borgonzi said of Suamataia. “That’s how we see it. But he can play both, which is good, since he has the versatility to do both.

“A lot of these guys, sometimes you only see them on the right or the left and he really lined up and played both. Having those exposures from an evaluation standpoint, we’ve seen that.”

Chiefs begin offseason practices in late Maybut the real competition at left tackle won’t begin until training camp, when they are allowed to practice with pads.

“Obviously I have to come and learn the playbook, but I’m ready to do it,” Suamataia stressed. “Healthy. Strong… I have to do my best and beat the guy in front of me.”

2024-05-17 20:25:00
#Chiefs #battle #left #position


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *