As a zero star recruit, Western Kentucky WR Taywan Taylor is accustomed to “being slept on”. Over the last four years he has delivered a strong message to his doubters, producing a gaudy career stat line (253-4,234-41) while stepping up against tough competition when given the chance.
In 2015 he hit up LSU for 10 catches, 103 yard and a touchdown. In 2016 he doubled down on that performance by hauling in 9 catches for 121 yards against Alabama. His career production and big game performances check all the pre-requisite “level of competition” boxes in bold marker.
Taylor has even more questions and even more doubters to prove wrong soon, this time with big time expectations, as he may here his name called as early as Day 2 in Philadelphia.
Name: Taywan Taylor
Size: 5’11” / 203
School: Western Kentucky
Comparison: Stefon Diggs (Minnesota Vikings)
Draft Grade: Early 3rd Round
Combine Results: 40 Time – 4.50, Bench – 13, Vertical – 33.5″, Broad – 132″, 3 Cone – 6.57, 20 Shuttle – 4.21, 60 Shuttle – 11.23
Positives: Excellent flexibility and control to contort body paired with very good tracking ability. Manipulates his stride throughout his route stem; dead legs, slow plays, stutter steps and changes speeds seamlessly to create deception. Sinks hips and is explosive off his plant. Utilizes head nods effectively. Has a knack for making defenders commit and understands how to get a defender to open his hips in the wrong direction. Smooth stride and smooth hips. Aware of the sidelines and consistently taps toes. Good at finding and gearing down into soft spots in zones and turning up field for yards after catch.
Negatives: Will suffer from the occasional concentration drop when looking to turn upfield quickly. Can let the ball into his frame at times. Lack of functional strength will cause problems for him vs. press and on contested catches. Makes some business decisions when faced with incoming contact. Merely a nuisance as a blocker. Could be more consistent hitting his landmarks on time. Production padded by level of competition (despite playing well vs. better competition) and manufactured touches.
Outlook: Taylor will contribute as a slot receiver with the savvy to earn some work on the outside as he develops. Has enough in his toolbox to start immediately and could ultimately become the best route runner from this class.