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Chiefs preparing for next week’s NFL draft, seek protection for Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is pressured by Tampa Bay Buccaneers'...
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is pressured by Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Shaquil Barrett (58) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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(AP) - After the Kansas City Chiefs were routed by Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl they began rebuilding a porous offensive line in free agency and now will try to finish off the work in the NFL draft.

They still have a glaring need for help at left tackle to protect their half-billion dollar investment in quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Later in the draft the Chiefs could try to add a playmaking wide receiver, a pass rusher, help in the secondary and more speed and athleticism at middle linebacker.

LAST SEASON: The Chiefs rolled to second straight AFC championship but were unable to defend Super Bowl title. Tampa Bay wreaked havoc on their injured offensive line and shut down a potent Kansas City offense in a 31-9 victory in February. That loss to Tom Brady and Co. showed glaring deficiencies on offensive and defensive lines and in the secondary.

FREE AGENCY: Lost WR Sammy Watkins, RB Damien Williams, OLs Eric Fisher, Mitchell Schwartz, Austin Reiter and Kelechi Osemele, DEs Tanoh Kpassagnon and Alex Okafor, TE Deon Yelder, LB Damien Wilson, DT Mike Pennel, CBs Bashaud Breeland, Antonio Hamilton and Alex Brown. Re-signed FS Daniel Sorensen, RBs Darrel Williams and Elijah McGuire, WR Demarcus Robinson, TE Nick Keizer, DE Taco Charlton, OLs Andrew Wylie and Mike Remmers. Signed OLs Austin Blythe, Joe Thuney and Kyle Long, DT Jarran Reed, FB Michael Burton, TE Blake Bell.

THEY NEED: OT, WR, CB, MLB, TE.

THEY DON’T NEED: QB, RB, DT, FS.

POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Michigan OT Jalen Mayfield, Texas OT Samuel Cosmi, Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins, Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood, Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg, Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw, Georgia DE Azeez Ojulari, Penn State DE Jayson Oweh, Missouri MLB Nick Bolton.

OUTLOOK: The Chiefs are rebuilding entire offensive line through free agency and draft, and tackle may be the single biggest need of any team on April 29. They also need a No. 2 wide receiver to play opposite Tyreek Hill, a pass rusher opposite Frank Clark, and more speed and athleticism at middle linebacker. Those are areas GM Brett Veach can address on Day 2 and Day 3.

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