Wanya Morris, Kingsley Suamataia To Compete For Chiefs’ Starting LT Role

When healthy, Donovan Smith handled left tackle duties last season for the Chiefs. The longtime Buccaneers blindside protector was not re-signed this offseason, though, setting the stage for a training camp competition to replace him.

Wanya Morris logged four starts during his rookie season when Smith was sidelined through injury. The third-rounder surrendered a pair of sacks and 27 pressures when on the field, per PFF, resulting in a 55.6 overall grade. Morris is the top option amongst returnees to take on a starting role, but Kansas City’s second player selected in last month’s draft will also have the opportunity to win the job.

The Chiefs traded up one spot late in the second round to draft Kingsley SuamataiaOne of a comparatively small number of true juniors in the 2024 class, Suamataia transferred from Oregon to BYU in 2022 and he took on first-team duties with the Cougars during both of his seasons with the team. The 6-4, 326-pounder played at right tackle in 2022 before switching to the blindside last season. His level of play will provide Morris with an intriguing competitor for a first-team role.

“In the middle of the season he got an opportunity there [with] some good, some bad,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said when speaking about the latter (via ESPN’s Adam Teicher). “If you look at his body of work last year, I think on one end you’re happy that he was able to come in at the pro level and be competitive. It wasn’t perfect but it also was solid play that I think is a good foundation to build and grow on.

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

Kansas City signed Jawaan Taylor in free agency last offseason. His four-year, $80MM deal seemed to position him for left tackle duties, but Smith’s arrival left him at his familiar right tackle spot. The fact that Morris and Suamataia will be battling for the first-team blindside role confirms Taylor will remain on the right side for 2024 and beyond, if things go according to plan for the two-time defending champions up front.

Kansas City is already set at left guard (Joe Thuney), center (Creed Humphrey) and right guard (Trey Smith) along the interior in addition to Taylor remaining the right tackle starter. The competition between Morris and Suamataia – which, of course, will not truly begin until padded practices take place in training camp – to complete the unit will be a notable storyline for the team this summer.

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