KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This is the first time that Jawaan Taylor will be living outside of Florida in his life.
The former Florida Gator, Jacksonville Jaguar and Cocoa, Florida, native managed to spend the first 25 years of his life in the Southern state — until now.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ newest left tackle can be seen wrestling fish in the waters in and around Florida.
With a new team centered in the Midwest, he’ll have to change a few things: a new state, a new position with a switch from right tackle to left tackle, and blocking for a new quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.
How does Taylor respond to it? By saying he won’t be changing much.
“I’m definitely able – athletic enough – to make the switch over and very, very versatile so I feel like I can go out and make the switch pretty seamless,” he said.
“But, you know, at the end of the day if they need me to switch over and play other positions, I’m open to doing it. I’m just here to try and help this team win championships.”
For defensive end Charles Omenihu, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid met with him at the 2019 NFL Combine when he was a prospect. He recalled it was the most positive experience of his time as a draft prospect.
“I remember that meeting very, very vividly,” Omenihu said. “It was good, almost to the point where I thought I was gonna be drafted by them. Now I circle back for years later and I’m here, so it all worked out.”
Both players are coming off of one of the best seasons of their young careers.
Taylor only allowed five sacks and 16 pressures while Omenihu recorded 54 pressures, 16 quarterback hits and 4.5 sacks last season.
Taylor spent four years at right tackle with the Jaguars while Omenihu showed off his versatility with the Houston Texans for two and a half seasons and with the San Francisco 49ers for the rest.
Like Taylor, Omenihu’s first time living outside of the state of Texas was when he was traded. The Rowlett, Texas, native also went to Texas before being drafted.
Both players also faced the Chiefs last year and, in the back of their minds, wanted to be a part of the organization.
Now they get their chance to help the Chiefs in their Super Bowl title defense.
“You always think about that stuff,” Taylor said. “Just seeing the great teams in the league, you see the system they run. You know what team you’ll be fitted in better, and I feel like with this team I definitely would fit in and this scheme I would fit in because it’s similar to what I already was running. “
“I had a good amount of teams interested, and I think it just was a process and it ended up turning out the right way,” Omenihu said. “You end up signing with the defending Super Bowl champions, can’t be too mad about that.”