Tank Rolls Into KC

Before the NFL Draft began Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards talked about adding beef on both lines. They did that late Saturday evening when they added former North Carolina State defensive tackle Tank Tyler.

The Chiefs wasted little time when they were on the clock in the third round. Once again they went for defense, the second such choice of the day, adding one of the better interior linemen in the draft. Tyler would have been a sure-fire first-round pick if not for some off-the-field issues that forced him to re-evaluate his life.

The Chiefs' brass are convinced Tyler has learned his lesson from an assault charge filed against him due to a 2005 incident with a Raleigh, North Carolina Police officer. He was also suspended for a game last season after spitting on a referee against Southern Mississippi.

In the end, those issues benefited the Chiefs, as Tyler's draft stock fell. He's a massive, quick, potentially dominating interior defensive lineman. He was part of one of college football's most dominating defensive lines in the last decade at North Carolina State.

In 2005, he lined up with three future 2006 first-round draft picks - Mario Williams, Manny Lawson and John McCargo. That's some pretty good company, and while he excelled as a member of that unit, he was just as dominant without them in 2006.

Character is still an issue, but Tyler was the first to talk about his past transgressions and vowed to the media he'd learned his lesson.

"I think I was mature before [the incident], but a couple of days after that I really took a turn in my life," said Tyler. "As far as the people I hang around with, how I view things changed. My life could have ended that night, which people don't understand. I look at a lot of things different and I don't take things for granted. I thank God for every second I am breathing and I thank Him for my opportunity to be part of the NFL. I am ready to move on to the next stage. I am as mature as I can be. I have a long ways to go, but I am a grown man."

That attitude is the one the Chiefs are convinced represents the real Tank Tyler. Sometimes emotions get the best of athletes. Tyler's incident was a life changer off-the-field, and the second was a reminder that he needs to remain composed on the field.

""We talked with his former head coach who is a 25-year friend of mine," said Chiefs President Carl Peterson. "We discussed all of that. I think the explanation was understandable and he suffered a suspension. But the legal aspect has been cleared up. He lost his composure. It was a learning experience and I think he answered that for us very well. We heard the coach's explanation as well. We needed to look at and we did."

The Chiefs clearly did their homework on Tyler because he has amazing upside. If the team can assemble a good cast around him, he's someone who will eventually start.

The pick of Tyler in the third round, along with second-round pick Turk McBride, gives Herm Edwards more bodies to plug into a defensive line that has been a key focus of the offseason.

With Tyler in the fold, the Chiefs will move McBride to defensive end, and that might be the best spot for him. But the drafting of these two players in the latter first-day rounds was all by design.

"This all of a sudden allows us to get our tackles in order with a good steady mix of who's going to play tackle and who's going to play end," said Edwards. "We have the luxury at the end of the day to dress eight defensive linemen and have a great rotation."

Positives - Explosive, dominating who takes over games when focused. Solid athlete who displays lateral movement skills, keeps his feet moving on contact and keeps his feet moving on contact and drives blockers toward the ball. Plays good lean and possesses overall body strength.

Negatives - Must develop more moves as he tends to solely lower his head and bull-rush opponents off the ball. Does not chase hard to get involved in action.

Analysis - A lineman who can be a dominate force on the inside. Tyler is known as a player who turns it on and off. Does not give consistent effort on the field, nor does he properly condition himself off it. However, offers a great upside. If he has learned from his mistakes, could eventually become a dominating interior defensive lineman.

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