Center of Attention

As an old offensive line coach, Head Coach Andy Reid, knows something about versatile offensive lineman. In round two with needs at inside linebacker and wide receiver, he drafted Missouri Tiger Center, Mitch Morse to become the middle anchor for his revamped offensive line.

When the Kansas City Chiefs were set to make their 2015 second round pick, everyone assumed they’d take a local product. However, when KC was up to bat most felt it would be Kansas State Wide Receiver, Tyler Lockett.

Instead Reid stayed in the Show-Me State and took versatile offensive lineman, Mitch Morse, from the University of Missouri. Though he’s played all three positions in college, he’ll line up at center for the Chiefs at the NFL level.

By drafting Morse, the Chiefs have nearly completed their primary goal this off-season, rebuilding their offensive line in the image of their head coach.

Two years ago, the Chiefs began the overhaul, by drafting Eric Fisher. In the off-season KC added veteran Guards, Ben Grubbs and Paul Fanaika. Combining those moves suddenly the Chiefs have three right tackle candidates to choose from heading into training camp this summer.

Though some were shocked by the selection of Morse, those that know Reid, understand he likes mammoth, versatile and nimble offensive lineman that can plow the road in the run game and stop the gaps in passing situations.

Morse might have been a reach at this spot in the draft but the Chiefs obviously felt he would not be on the board in the third round.

The fact the Chiefs thought they could snag Morse in the second round probably defines why they passed on Cameron Erving in the first round on Thursday. I never really liked the Florida State product and always felt he couldn’t master the center position in Kansas City.

That same case could be said for Morse but I suspect he’ll be atop the depth chart when the season begins. I feel strongly about that statement because what I like about his game is ability to pass protect at the NFL level.

We all know Reid loves to throw the rock around the field and Kansas City struggled mightily last season in passing the ball with consistency – especially in the red zone.

Too many times a year ago, Rodney Hudson, was beaten up front and Quarterback, Alex Smith had to run for his life.

It’s true Morse will have a learning curve in Kansas City, but I like his pass protection abilities better at this stage of his career, than those of Hudson as a rookie.

The decision to draft Morse also means that Eric Kush won’t be handed the starting assignment at center after Hudson departed in free agency to the Oakland Raiders in March. The good news with the addition of Morse (starter or back-up), Kush has been in the system a few years and that certainly gives the Chiefs a solid one-two option at center.

If KC’s offense is going to take the next step in 2015, they had to rebuild their offensive line, to not only protect their offense, but also utilize the entire Reid playbook. In just a few months from the end of January to the first of May, the overhaul on this offensive line has been quite remarkable.

In drafting heavily in the offensive line in each of his seasons in Kansas City, Reid has a trio of new starters up the middle, seasoned veterans on the outside and depth at all three positions along the offensive line.

That’s reason to be excited about this draft pick.


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