If you rewind the clocks back before the 2023 NFL Draft, most assumed that the Kansas City Chiefs would start 2020 third rounder Lucas Niang at right tackle — barring a first- or second-round rookie selection at the position.
In the draft, the Chiefs decided to pass on O-tackle until round three, where they drafted some competition for Niang in Oklahoma blocker Wanya Morris.
The reinforcements didn’t end there, however, as KC general manager Brett Veach eventually signed veteran left tackle Donovan Smith with a plan to move fellow newcomer Jawaan Taylor back to the righthand side. Just like that, Niang went from a potential starter to an afterthought with Smith and Taylor taking over as the full-time starters and Morris slotting in as the likely swing tackle behind them.
Because of all that, USA Today Chiefs Wire media member Charles Goldman labeled Niang as a “veteran who could lose [his] job to a rookie.”
After listing Niang during his article, Goldman explained the selection. “Ideally, third-round pick Wanya Morris will play his way into a starting role in 2023,” he wrote.
“Given what we’ve been told about Donovan Smith, I think it’s more likely that Morris will find himself competing with Lucas Niang for the role of swing tackle in Kansas City.” Goldman went on: “Niang and Morris are both third-round picks, but the former has been anything but reliable during his career.
The former 2020 draft pick has appeared in just 19 games with nine starts over three seasons with the team due to opt-out and injury.” Going one step further, with Prince Tega Wanogho, Darian Kinnard and recent pickup Sebastian Gutierrez also in the mix at offensive tackle, Niang could be fighting for a roster spot in 2023 — let alone a top-three role