How Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Fits with the Kansas City Chiefs

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How Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Fits with the Kansas City Chiefs
USA TODAY Sports

If you walk up to Canadian offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and end your introduction with a mocking, "Eh?", your life's list of regrets will need another page. 

There's no doubt that the Kansas City Chiefs' final selection of the 2014 draft puzzled nearly every season-ticket holder. 

If you consider yourself among that crowd of skeptics, count on that changing before the final period of this article. 

Firstly, Duvernay-Tardif measures at 6'5", 321 pounds, but his athleticism is reminiscent of someone 20 to 30 pounds lighter. He pulls around tackle like a red-eyed madman and steamrolls defenders if they don't prepare for impact. 

He exhibits an aggressive, contact-craving mentality that lays the foundation for his dominating run blocking. 

As for toughness? Throughout his senior year, he suffered a torn labrum and never even went as far as to walk to the sideline.

And for the sake of destroying another stereotype, the incoming lineman is also a med student.

Now, is the sixth-rounder going to strut into training camp and skyrocket up the depth chart? Not quite. His skill set isn't without its flaws, and the lion's share of them are rooted in pass protection. 

Duvernay-Tardif needs to increase his hand quickness and devote a considerable amount of time to fine-tuning his footwork. His aggressive mindset comes back to bite him every once in a while, as pass-rushers will rip inside of him while he's sliding outside. 

The rookie will require a healthy dose of coaching before he can begin to realize his potential as a professional. 

But as NFL.com's Gil Brandt details, if Duvernay-Tardif's transition is successful, the tackle's upside is eye-opening:

(At McGill's pro day) Duvernay-Tardif measured 6-foot-5, 298 pounds, which was 23 pounds less than his weight at the East-West Shrine Game. He's a medical student, and he said he thought he lost the weight because he was so busy studying for his classes. At his pro day, Duvernay-Tardif ran the 40 in 4.94 and 5.08 seconds. He had a 31 1/2-inch vertical and a 9-6 broad jump. He ran the three-cone drill in 7.30 seconds and had 33 bench-press reps. Duvernay-Tardif was not at the combine, but those numbers were as good as any offensive linemen there, including Taylor Lewan.

That caliber of athleticism isn't supposed to leave the first round, let alone breach the sixth. 

If Andy Reid and Co. buff the rookie's rough edges, Duvernay-Tardif will be storming out of Arrowhead's tunnel for years to come. 

 

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