Jawaan Taylor And The Possible Ideal13 replies
Not even one week ago I wrote about how the Chiefs should ideally go into the drafts without a need at tackle, so that they could pick the best player available no matter what position they played. And I lamented that sometimes this ideal can’t be reached, and we’ll likely be drafting for need at the tackle position.
Naturally the free agency tampering period had barely begun when Veach proved me wrong by signing former Jaguars tackle Jawaan Taylor to a $20 million per year contract to play left tackle. But Jawaan Taylor in particular is an interesting signing given the perspective of that post.
He’s Not A Left Tackle Though?
When the signing was initially announced everybody thought we had signed him to play right tackle. That was the position he played in Jacksonville afterall. And it was the position he played in college. So to take a right tackle, sign him to a big deal, and expect him to play on the other side of the line is an interesting strategy to say the least.
But it’s not that crazy. Offensive line guru Brandon Thorn had an interesting perspective on the deal.
Also, making the switch to LT with Thuney at LG is another favorable layer here. Playing OL in KC >>
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) March 13, 2023
It's a bold move, but yeah I mean that is the spot you'd want to see it happen. And people comparing this to Orlando Brown need to realize they are very different players.
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) March 13, 2023
His argument that Reid and Heck are great at developing offensive linemen is noteworthy, especially with the comparison to Orlando Brown since Brown was also primarily a right tackle before coming to Kansas City and playing on the left side. Clearly Veach is trying a particular strategy of getting a bit of a discount on a veteran left tackle by going after right tackles who he thinks could switch.
As for who will play right tackle, barring another signing it seems like the coaching staff has faith in Lucas Niang to get the job done there. He has been effective when on the field, but so far in his short career he’s been extremely injury prone.
So About The Draft
And that brings us to the post from a couple days ago. While our question at tackle is seemingly answered (with presumably a depth tackle still to come), it is not so answered that we couldn’t still go tackle in the draft. Niang still has a lot of questions around him so a quality replacement would still be nice.
But given Taylor’s history at right tackle, are we really so sure that he might not end up playing there by the time the season comes around? While the team could find the situation acceptable, if they have the opportunity to get a left tackle prospect they really like in the draft, it would be perfectly reasonable to get him and either play him at right tackle or have Taylor play his “natural position” at right tackle and have the rookie on the left. In either case Niang would then become depth.
That’s what’s so interesting about signing Taylor in particular. Veach clearly views him as a long term answer, you don’t pay somebody $20 million a year to sit on the bench. But maybe, just maybe, the team hasn’t decided whether the question he’s answering is left or right.
As a post script, after I wrote this I found this Sports Illustrated article that confirmed the Chiefs are thinking about what I just described. If they draft a guy they like at LT, they might switch Taylor to the right.
My understanding is that Taylor is not a run-blocking mauler type of tackle that you might normally prefer at RT. It actually sounds like he could be better as a pass blocking LT that’s just OK in run blocking. I’d like to see a RT that is good run blocker and is decent, perhaps with help against top DEs, in pass blocking.
Based on Seth Keysor’s review, he makes Taylor sound like Eric Fisher, if you deduct a little from his run blocking and add it to his pass blocking.
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Interesting situation. Taylor, of course, is a GREAT RT. If we could plug in a draft pick at left, we could have a beautiful o line for years to come
Sounds like a BVeach move
And I like it better than OBjr still on the roster. I didn’t like that guys position on a new contract. He was going to hold us hostage to his unrealistic demands.
Way to go, BVeach!
I hadn’t heard or seen what his “contract demands” were … Taylor’s not exactly “cheap”here and he MAY still end up playing RT (who knows!)
still wish they’d kept Wylie for a lot less than “Taylor Money” but that’s spilled milk in one basket under the kitchen floor so “no crying over broken eggs” (unless you make omelettes)
No comparison between Taylor and Wylie. Taylor is far superior
Taylor 19 QB hurries in 2022
true, although most of those came in the first few weeks IIRC (and often I don’t) … then too, Wylie would have been less than half the price of Taylor (and remember that J-Ville didn’t play nearly as tough a schedule as KC did last season)
They did play some tough DEs though. Seth Keysor’s review of him charted games against Haason Riddick, Maxx Crosby, Micah Parsons, and Demarcus Lawrence. His take was, “Taylor’s pass protection was significantly better than Brown’s last year. And what’s more, he did it with less help.”
good point, except that if he was “the best” on a crappy O-Line, it would make sense that the other teams would target other guys on the Jags’ offense (and I have no idea how many pressure and/or sacks they gave up, etc … just thinking out loud)
Last years “,demands” were for $23+ million per year
Probably higher this year