Taylor To Guard In KC?

It was inevitable at some point during the draft that Kansas City would select an offensive lineman. After passing up Auburn Guard Ben Grubbs in the first round for wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs might have found a hidden gem in TCU guard Herb Taylor.

At the college level, even when you are perceived as a top NFL project, when you play and start at one position throughout your entire college career you've accomplished something.

Taylor played both right and left tackle at TCU, but he's been projected as a guard at the NFL level. Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards said he would begin his NFL career at right tackle before a possible move inside.

He has several attractive attributes - he's a vocal leader who started 48 consecutive games at TCU. That means he's durable and in solid condition.

As part of The All-American Conference, TCU might not be on par with some of the higher-profile Big 12 schools in the area, but they still have some good football players. Taylor was one of the best.

He's been a first team All-Mountain West Conference performer for the last two seasons. Last year he allowed just one sack in 12 games. Should Taylor move inside and add some bulk, the team might have found a solid candidate to battle for the right guard spot.

If the season began today, John Welbourn would be the starter, with last year's sixth-round pick Tre Stallings (currently in NFL Europe) also competing. This pick screams that the Chiefs want to hedge their bets in the event Stallings can't make the jump to NFL starter.

Taylor reminds me of 1990 seventh-round pick Dave Szott from Penn State. He'll get every opportunity to compete for a job this year as Herm Edwards has made it clear that all positions on his football team are open to the best man.

PRE-DRAFT EVALUATIONS
Positives - Athletic and durable college tackle who may be best on the inside. Blocks with good leverage, keeps his feet moving and can slide out in pass protection. Makes good use of angles, is patient and shows the ability to adjust. Stays square getting his hands into defenders, and works hard throughout the action.

Negatives - Not as strong as you'd like at the point of attack. Gets pushed aside by large defenders and rarely gets movement from run blocks.

Analysis - A competitive blocker who's been very productive at the college level. Taylor has definite possibilities in a zone blocking scheme. Needs to add bulk to his frame and significantly improve his playing strength.

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