The Doctor Is In

The Doctor Is In

When the Kansas City Chiefs selected Canadian offensive lineman, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, most diehard fans had never heard of him. But don't let his North of the Border residency fool you because he can play NFL football.

Even though only a few draft experts had new Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle, Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff, on their late round radar, most felt he was a seventh round pick or a potential undrafted free agent pick-up.

But Kansas City, blessed with a pair of six round picks, didn't take any chances on the massive tackle prospect. In drafting the McGill University standout, the Chiefs new after scouting him he was something special.

The third year medical school resident was the best football player in Canada last season. In fact, had an NFL team not drafted him, he quite likely would have been the number one overall pick in the CFL draft a week later.

For the Chiefs, they have a young, smart and highly talented late round gem that could some day mold into a starting left or right tackle. He has the kind of size, agility and attitude that Head Coach, Andy Reid, loves in his offensive lineman.

Still he's only played a few years at the college level and the jump to the NFL won't be easy for the Canadian.

"I think I'm starting to get a good grasp on all the material. For sure it's quite different than what I'm used to. But I'm smart enough, I think I'm going to be able to learn that," he said after his second day of mini camp with the Chiefs.

In the NFL should he play tackle, he's going to face some of the games best edge rushers. In Canada, they were few and far between in regards to the talent pool Duverney-Tardiff will play against at this level. He already knows he needs to get stronger but adjusting to the speed of the game will clearly define how quickly he gets on the field.

Yet in two days of practices in Kansas City his offensive coaches have rotated him at tackle and guard. In fact, with question marks at Guard this year for the Chiefs in abundance, it's possible he could move positions at the NFL level before training camp.

He told reporters he was more comfortable playing left tackle or left guard. However, with Eric Fisher, taking over the reins at left tackle, there might be a chance Duverney-Tardiff could fight veteran Jeff Allen for his spot or become a candidate for right guard.

But can he move that quickly up the depth chart? That may depend on how fast he masters his skill set.

"I think I'm a bit behind in term of technique, but I think I'm athletic and I go after it when I play. Those two aspects of the game are harder to coach and the technique aspect is maybe a bit easier," he stated.

There is no question that Duverney-Tardiff has a fierce demeanor on the field. Off the field, he's already stated his dreams of becoming a doctor are on permanent hold while he chases his NFL dream.

Should he progress to the level the Chiefs believe he can someday then perhaps earning his medical degree might have to wait another decade or more.

Photo courtesy of http://www.laurentduvernaytardif.com.




WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will this Canadian standout make a quick transition to the NFL?


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