OL Rumors: Taylor, Jags, 49ers, Cardinals

The Chiefs‘ previous left tackle blueprint centered around giving up significant assets to move a right tackle to the left side. Andy Reid has confirmed the team’s plans to complete a similar project. After a March report indicated the Chiefs were planning to move Jawaan Taylor to left tackle to replace Orlando Brown Jr., the 11th-year Chiefs HC said the ex-Jaguars blocker will indeed begin his Kansas City run as Patrick Mahomes‘ blindside protector.

Even though he was on the right side I think he can transfer over to the left side. He’s really a good athlete and I think he’s excited about that,” Reid said (h/t Chiefs Wire’s Charles Goldman) of Taylor. “Now, that doesn’t mean he can’t play the right side. If we got another left tackle, he could play the right side. He gives you flexibility. He could probably jump in at guard. He’s smart. He could probably play center.”

Taylor signed a monster contract — four years, $80MM, with $60MM guaranteed by March 2024 — to join the Super Bowl champions. If the four-year Jaguars right tackle starter stayed at that position, he would be the NFL’s second-highest-paid right-sider. Taylor primarily played right tackle at Florida as well. The Chiefs following through with their Taylor position switch gives them a need at Andrew Wylie‘s former spot; Kansas City’s 2022 right tackle is now in Washington.

Here is the latest O-line news from around the league:

  • Taylor’s former team has its top tackle coming off a season-ending injury. The Jaguars faced the Chiefs in January without left tackle Cam Robinson, who suffered a meniscus tear in December. As expected, the Jags have Robinson on track to be ready by training camp, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets. Robinson will be readying for his seventh season as the Jags’ primary right tackle.
  • Rather than move Taylor to left tackle last year, the Jags plugged in 2021 second-rounder Walker Little to replace Robinson. While Little would be poised to start opposite Robinson, seeing as he picked up some starts after losing a training camp battle to Taylor last year, Adam Caplan of ProFootballNetwork.com pegs the Jags as being most likely to pick an O-lineman or cornerback in Round 1. Caplan mocks Tennessee tackle Darnell Wright to Jacksonville.
  • Colton McKivitz is the not only the clubhouse leader to replace Mike McGlinchey as the 49ers‘ starting right tackle, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes the team views the career backup as having a chance to provide a pass-blocking upgrade (subscription required). McGlinchey steadily received more praise for his run-blocking chops compared to his pass-pro work, though McKivitz has made five career starts. Then again, the 49ers got by with three interior O-linemen — Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Spencer Burford — that brought little experience to the mix. Second-year blocker Jaylon Moore should not be considered out of the mix, per Barrows, who ranks right tackle as the 49ers’ top position of need. But the recently re-signed McKivitz is the favorite. McGlinchey signed a five-year deal with the Broncos during the legal tampering period’s early hours.
  • While Jonathan Gannon did not seem to view center as a must-augment position, via ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss (on Twitter), the Cardinals seem likely to add an outside snapper after releasing Rodney Hudson. Arizona will add a center to the mix, Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writes. Billy Price started 11 games for the Cardinals last season; the ex-first-rounder-turned-journeyman is no longer on the roster. The Cardinals do feature some continuity up front; they re-signed Will Hernandez and have starters D.J. Humphries, Kelvin Beachum and Josh Jones back ahead of OC Drew Petzing‘s first season at the helm.
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