As the NFL Draft draws closer there will be more and more heated debates about the player best suited for the Chiefs at the #5 slot.
One of the debates currently taking place is the relevance or practicality of the Chiefs selecting an offensive left tackle in the first round. Many think the moves that Pioli has made in regards to the offensive line are sufficient and now the team needs to move to other positions.
Not wanting Pioli to select a left tackle in the first round is reasonable. There are many positions of need on the Chiefs team. However, some of the arguments on why Pioli should not take a left tackle are simply not sound.
One of those arguments is the assertion that offensive lineman in the NFL don't just move around from position to position. These people try to say things like "this is not Madden" or "you can't just move lineman around."
This post will attempt to shed light on the fact that NFL teams move offensive lineman all the time.
It is simply not true that it is not done in the NFL.
One of the most talked about issues regarding the offensive line this off-season is moving Brandon Albert from left tackle to...well...you insert the position.
Moving from one position on the line to another position takes a little work. But that doesn't mean it can't be done or is not ever done. A good start to debunking this assertion might be by looking at Wade Smith. In one season Wade Smith played left tackle, left guard, center, and right guard.
Wait a minute...you can't do that. Can you?
Wade do a decent job filling in for all those positions. Some positions he did a little better (like C,RG, LG) and in others he was just trying to hang on (like LT). But the point is that he did it. And it was only his talent that held him back.
You need not look any further than our own Kansas City Chiefs to find some clues as to how often offensive lineman are moved around in the NFL. Our own Brian Waters started as a center and then was moved to left guard. Albert played guard in college and has played two years of left tackle in the NFL. Niswangers was a guard and moved to center (and might be moved back to guard), Ndukwe was a guard that moved to right tackle,
Brandon Damion McIntosh was a left tackle that moved to right tackle...the list can go on and on.
It's just not true that the NFL does not move it's lineman around.
A couple of months ago I watched the movie Blind Side, great movie. Micheal Oher was selected in the first round of the NFL draft and started for the Ravens at right tackle. In the middle of the season Oher was moved to left tackle.
Wait a second, NFL teams don't just move offensive lineman like that. Or do they?
2005 Miami Starters
|Damion McIntosh||Jono James||Seth McKinney||Rex Hadnot||Vernon Carey|
2006 Miami Starters
||Jono James||Rex Hadnot
In 2006, Rex Hadnot moved from right guard to center. But people have been posting that you can't do that.
2007 Miami Starters
||Rex Hadnot||L.J. Shelton
In 2007, L.J. Shelton moved from right guard to right tackle. Shelton even played a little left tackle that year. In the same year Rex Hanot moved from center back to right guard.
Looks like we have guards moving to center, guards moving to tackle, and tackles moving to guards.
But fans are posting that you can't do that.
2008 Miami Starters
||Samson Satele||I. Ndukwe
In 2008, Jake Long was drafted and the Dolphins moved Vernon Carey from left tackle to right tackle. Ndukwe started at guard and then was moved to right tackle the next year before being traded to the Chiefs.
As you can see, offensive lineman get moved. Sometimes it is because of injury, sometimes it is because someone else is brought in, and sometimes it is in an attempt to upgrade. Whatever the reason...they get moved.
The debate on whether the Chiefs are done with the offensive line will rage on until draft day. But one thing is for certain. Offensive lineman in the NFL are moved all the time. So using that as evidence for the arguement to not take a left tackle in the first round is simply erroneous.
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