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5 things to know about new Chiefs offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor

A Jaguars’ perspective on Kansas City’s left tackle-to-be.

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs moved on from offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. this offseason when they opted to forego a second franchise tag and allow him to enter unrestricted free agency. General manager Brett Veach signed now-former Jacksonville Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor to a four-year deal, with the thought he would slide over to the left tackle position for Kansas City.

The 25-year-old addressed the transition during his first meeting with Kansas City media via Zoom.

“I was definitely told about the left tackle position,” he confirmed. “I feel like I’m definitely athletic enough to make the switchover. I’m very versatile, so I feel like I can go out and make the switch pretty seamless. But at the end of the day, if they need me to switch over and play other positions, I’m open to doing that. I’m just here to help this team win championships.”

It sounds like Taylor should fit right into the Chiefs’ current yearly championship-or-bust window, but let’s get to know him even a bit better. To do that, we sent some questions to SB Nation and Big Cat Country’s JP Acosta.

1 - How would you recap Taylor’s time with the Jaguars?

ACOSTA: Taylor’s time with the Jaguars was one of improvement each year, though none as big as the jump he took from 2021 to 2022. He struggled against power in the pass-blocking department early in his career and drew a lot of ire from Jaguars fans, including myself. However, Taylor was always loyal to Jacksonville (he has a Jaguars tattoo on his leg), and his improvement was really cool to see each year. He made a massive jump this previous year, becoming one of the Jaguars best offensive linemen, and he showed up in the biggest moments. His improvement is definitely something that was noticeable and helped the Jaguars get to where they are now.

2 - How do Jaguars fans feel about the team not retaining him?

ACOSTA: Despite all I said in the first question, I think Jaguars fans are OK with not retaining him. The main reason for that is the price tag. The Chiefs signed him to an $80 million deal, including $40 million guaranteed, way above what I thought he would get. With Evan Engram getting the franchise tag, it felt like Taylor was on the way out, and the team was ready to start Walker Little, whether that be at right tackle or inside. Taylor just got priced out of where they wanted him at, and I think Jaguars fans are OK with that.

3 - What are his strengths?

ACOSTA: Taylor is a very good pass blocker, who has a lot of athletic tools and additional room for growth. His patient hands and quick feet allow him to be at his best against speed rushers, and when he’s locked in, he can shut down an entire side of the offensive line. He’s also steadily improving in the run game. He’s got heavy hands and works best on the backside of zone runs or when he’s able to climb to the second level. Most of all, he’s only 25 years old and coming off his best season. The is a lot of runway for development, even still.

4 - What are his weaknesses?

ACOSTA: He struggles against power sometimes, that’s his biggest problem. When going up against guys who don’t want to bend the pocket but would rather go through a lineman to get to the quarterback, he struggles a bit. I also think he can improve at the point of attack in the run game, as he’s not the greatest blocker there.

5 - Anything to know about him off the field?

ACOSTA: Well, as I said…he has a tattoo of the Jaguars on his leg. Tells you a lot about how loyal he is — and how much he’s going to give to the team.

Pete’s take: As Acosta notes, the best part about the Taylor signing is its timeliness. At 25, he is coming off his best and most improved season. The Chiefs love his athleticism and willingness to work, and at this very moment, they see him as their starting left tackle. Of course, that could always change if, for instance, Kansas City is aggressive, trades up and lands a day-one starter at left tackle on the opening night of the NFL Draft. Regardless of which side he plays on opening night, the Chiefs believe position coach Andy Heck will continue Taylor’s development, which took a significant step last year. There does not seem to be a cap to his ceiling quite yet — a good thing for Kansas City. He may just need to find him a talented local tattoo artist.

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