One of most crucial decisions for Chiefs general manager John Dorsey this offseason is at left tackle, where Branden Albert is a free agent.

Dorsey faced a similar conundrum last year, when he explored trade options for Albert, 29, and signed him to a one-year franchise tender of nearly $10 million. Albert played pretty well, but with the cap numbers for several key players expected to increase significantly, Dorsey might understandably be hard-pressed to do the same this season.

That’s why conventional wisdom suggests right tackle Eric Fisher could get a shot at the position despite an underwhelming rookie season. Teams don’t take offensive tackles No. 1 overall to play on the less-demanding right side. But Dorsey, while high on Fisher’s talent, isn’t ready to make any public proclamations about his long-term position.

“Right now, he is the right tackle,” Dorsey said of Fisher. “I think he showed that (things) slowed down for him (during) the final third of the season. He began to get comfortable and realize there were different types of pass rushers in the National Football League.”

The numbers seem to bear that out, though Fisher’s overall body of work wasn’t stellar. According to Pro Football Focus, Fisher — who played on the left side at Central Michigan and was moved to the right side with the Chiefs to accommodate Albert — allowed seven sacks and 35 hurries this season, both team highs. Fisher’s run-blocking grade of negative-6.5 ranked 55th among the 76 NFL tackles who logged 25 percent of their team’s snaps, and his overall grade of negative-17.8 ranked 70th.

Fisher, however, seemed to improve as the season went on. Through his first seven games, he posted a brutal PFF grade of negative-17.9. His grade over his final seven games was 0.1, which is roughly the league average.

“When I saw him early in the year against Philadelphia, I thought he was really inconsistent,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “But when I saw his later season tape, he looked much more solid and consistent to me.”

It’s not as though Fisher’s overall struggles weren’t expected, said ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Philadelphia’s former director of pro personnel. The jump from the Mid-American Conference to the NFL is huge, and while Fisher’s raw talent was substantial, it was raw, nonetheless.

“With Eric, you knew he was going to need time to develop his strength (and) develop his technique, particularly his hand placement in pass protection because it was something that was an issue for him in college,” Riddick said. “You thought he was starting to get it corrected in college, but it reared its ugly head again in the pros.”

Riddick added that injuries — Fisher hurt his shoulder, groin and thumb and suffered a concussion this season — also didn’t help.