Positives: Taylor has impressive size at 6’3”, 330 pounds and has impressive athleticism for a man of his size. He gets off the ball well consistently and has a good burst for such a large guy. He has an effective bull rush as a pass rusher and when he plays with good leverage he can walk his man right back into the quarterback thanks to his strength. He also shows pretty good hand usage which I liked to see. He has very powerful arms and strong hands and he shows some violence when using swim or club moves and can shock blockers, especially smaller guys, with his hands. He handles double teams well and rarely gets pushed off the ball by one on one blocks or double teams which is very impressive. He occupies blocks well and helps take away the interior of the field because he can create piles and take away interior running lanes. He seems to have pretty good recognition skills and can react and get off a block to help stop a running back at the line of scrimmage effectively. He is a solid tackler but isn’t really anything special in this regard. His motor is solid but when his motor is running he is aggressive, his hands are violent and he is hard to block. He is able to collapse the pocket as a pass rusher also.
Negatives: Taylor’s motor is concerning to me because while it is usually solid he will throttle down at times and it is pretty obvious when he does because he will uncharacteristically get pushed off the ball, even by one on one blocks in rare cases, and his effectiveness will drop. I think he might be a 2-down NT in a 3-4 because he doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher. He can collapse the pocket or beat a one on one block with a swim move or something but aside from that he won’t be pressuring QB’s much at the next level. He also doesn’t get his hands in passing lanes when he is blocked or doubled and kept away from the QB which would really make him effective even when he doesn’t get to the QB. He is a solid tackler but he struggles to break down and make stops in the open field, but not a lot of players his size are able to do that. Because Taylor is such a large man there will be concerns about his weight but he carries his weight pretty well. He could obviously stand to get in better shape to help his stamina which can be a problem as the game goes later, especially against running teams that double him frequently.
Overall: In my opinion Taylor is an ideal 3-4 NT because of his size, strength, ability to occupy blockers and because of his instincts and hand usage. He won’t offer a lot as a pass rusher aside from a bull rush or the occasional swim move when he can get off the ball and is only facing one blocker, but that will be rare in the NFL. However he is so good at the point of attack and is so rarely pushed off the ball that if he can be rotated a bit as he hopefully improves his stamina he could contribute as a rookie. He plays with good enough leverage consistently, has pretty good hand usage and is strong enough to contribute to a 3-4 NT rotation as a rookie in my opinion, and that is fairly rare. I think his ceiling is being a very effective 3-4 NT, especially versus the run, while his floor is probably getting out of shape and perhaps eating himself out of the league. I don’t think that is entirely likely, but I think he will end up being a solid 3-4 NT at worst. If he works he could be a very good one though.
Projection: Early-mid 2nd: He could get consideration in the late 1st round but because he doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher he will probably be an early-mid 2nd round pick. If he has a good work ethic then it would be easier to spend an earlier pick on him, but I don’t know anything about that. But if that checks out and you have a DL coach that you think can motivate him, plus if you rotate him when he wears down a bit… he could be a very nice 3-4 NT in my opinion.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 4.0
Pass Rush: 2.0
Thanks for reading! I’m working on a Mikel LeShoure report, then I will probably get reports up on Randall Cobb, Ryan Williams, Anthony Castonzo, Jimmy Smith, Mike Pouncey and Muhammad Wilkerson in the next few days. Keep an eye out!