Pre-Camp Reads: Looking at OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
By: Pete Sweeney, Chiefs
Upon arriving to Kansas City and the United States, the Canadian-born Laurent Duvernay-Tardifwas quickly and playfully nicknamed “Larry” by his fellow Chiefs. Duvernay-Tardif won the J.P. Metras Trophy, which recognizes the most outstanding offensive lineman in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), in 2013.
The Chiefs drafted Duvernay-Tardif, who still studies medicine at McGill University with plans to become a medical doctor, in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 200th overall selection.
After a 2014 rookie season during which Duvernay-Tardif was inactive every game, he received a starting role in 2015. Duvernay-Tardif started at right guard for the Chiefs 13 times during the regular season, and he also started in the Wild Card game against the Houston Texans as well.
When Jamaal Charles’ season ended in Week 5, it not only opened the door for Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware, but also the entire offensive line. Duvernay-Tardif and his fellow linemen’s contributions led to West and Ware having breakout seasons, as they combined for more than 1,000 yards on the ground.
Duvernay-Tardif started at right guard for the Chiefs from Week 1 to Week 3, but he was replaced by Zach Fulton for Week 4, Week 5 and Week 6. Duvernay-Tardif was reinserted into his starting right guard role in Week 7, and he remained there for the rest of the season.
Duvernay-Tardif’s season ended when he suffered a concussion in the playoff game against the Houston Texans, and he was ruled out for the Divisional Round game against the New England Patriots and did not travel to Foxboro.
HOW HE FITS
The 25-year-old Duvernay-Tardif could be the team’s right guard once again in 2016. If he starts at that position, he’ll be working with a new right tackle in Mitch Schwartz, who came to the Chiefs this offseason from the Cleveland Browns.
Mitch Morse, a center in his second season, would work to the left of Duvernay-Tardif.
How Duvernay-Tardif and rest of the line handle the departure of Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson will be a point to watch in 2016.
In 2016, Duvernay-Tardif will look to take the next step in becoming a formidable offensive lineman in the NFL.
Jamaal Charles returns to the Chiefs rushing game in 2016, and Duvernay-Tardif and the offensive line will look to facilitate a successful comeback.
When Charles suffered a similar injury in 2011, he returned in 2012 to rush for 1,509 yards on the ground. Duvernay-Tardif and the rest of the line can only hope for a similar output as they block for him, West and Ware once again in 2016.