Where There's A Will, There's A Way

Is Will Svitek the eventual successor to Willie Roaf at the left tackle position on the Chiefs' offensive line?

I say yes. Many Chiefs fans were confused when the Chiefs picked a defensive line prospect out of Stanford in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, later to find out he would be moved to offensive tackle in Kansas City. How does a college defensive lineman project to offensive tackle in the NFL?

Svitek may have had his doubters early on, but since then he has done nothing but prove them wrong with his play in NFL Europe.

At 6'6" and 300 pounds, Svitek is the same undersized offensive lineman that ran a 4.93 40-yard dash time and had 33 reps of 225 pounds at his pro day workout in 2005. But he also has the nasty streak that many Chiefs players and fans discovered from his constant fighting in training camp last season. When you take all that athleticism and combine it with his nasty attitude you have a heck of an offensive line prospect.

But maybe he's not just a prospect anymore. Svitek is currently starting at left tackle for NFL Europe's Frankfurt Galaxy. Svitek's team leads the league in first downs, rushing yards and total offense as well as boasting the best red zone offense in the league. He's the best lineman on a line that's blocked for Roger Robinson, NFL Europe's leading rusher with 954 yards (almost 400 yards more than the No. 2 rusher). Svitek has displayed great pass-protection and run-blocking skills in the NFL Europe games I have watched. He's clearly been a "man amongst boys".

One NFL Europe analyst said he's the best offensive lineman in the history of the league. That's high praise, even if it is NFL Europe instead of the NFL. The thing that separates Svitek from any other offensive lineman in NFL Europe is he is excelling while still learning his position.

He's been playing offensive tackle for a total of one year. Most of the offensive linemen in Europe have been playing on the offensive line their whole lives. With just one year under his belt, Svitek is head and shoulders above the rest. When you look at Willie Roaf's size and athletic ability, Svitek comes about as close as you can get, and Svitek is already on the Chiefs' roster and only 24 years old. If his development continues, Svitek could be the Chiefs starting left tackle as early as 2007 and on his way to a great NFL career.

Worried about Svitek's status as a low-round draft pick changing his position? There's no reason he can't become the next Brian Waters. The Chiefs pro-bowl left guard was an un-drafted fullback signed by Dallas and later picked up by the Chiefs and sent to NFL Europe. Waters shined overseas and eventually moved into the starting lineup in Kansas City. Now he is one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL.

The Chiefs' offensive line of the future will be set up perfectly if Svitek can fulfill his potential and line up next to Waters.

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