Tyrod Taylor didn’t lead a touchdown drive against the Cleveland Browns in his preseason start on Thursday night. He should be the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback, anyway. Taylor, to me, showed us he’s plenty capable of being an NFL starter, as he read the defense, made changes at the line, made some fantastic throws and even showed off his athleticism.
There’s no doubt Taylor has the potential to go down in flames if/when the Bills name him the starter. But I doubt he will. Either way, the Bills have to take that chance. Matt Cassel is as pedestrian as it gets, E.J. Manuel lacks the awareness or accuracy to get it done, and this is a Super Bowl-winning defense just waiting for the offense to keep up.
With Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Percy Harvin and Charles Clay at his disposal for the regular season and LeSean McCoy running behind him, I can’t see how Tyrod Taylor can fail. He hasn’t done anything in the league to get me excited up until this point, but it’s quite obvious he used his time behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore wisely.
Tyrod Taylor doesn’t look like a guy competing for a job or someone who doesn’t normally start games. He looked calm, poised and very much in command. While obviously not as explosive as Michael Vick, he very much resembles the veteran quarterback in his stature and how he plays. He doesn’t just take off running for the sake of running like Vick may have in his early years. Taylor picks his spots and knows when to run to maximize a play. But he also does something Vick never did particularly well – he puts touch on his balls and does so accurately.
This particular throw is a great example of Tyrod Taylor’s ability, as he responds well to the defense, is calm and poised, steps up into the pocket and throws a nice ball to his receiver:
It’s only preseason, but Tyrod Taylor looks like he’s an NFL starting quarterback. He’s on time with his throws, he doesn’t look nervous, his movements are fluid and he has clear control of the offense. Taylor took a bad sack and wasn’t perfect in his second preseason game, but that’s two games in a row in August that he’s put up decent numbers and looked quite good doing it.
There’s no guarantee Tyrod Taylor gets the starting job (although he should and I think he will). There’s even less of a guarantee he actually kills it.
But he might.
The skill-set is there. The weapons are there. Buffalo has a strong stable of running backs to lean on and a nasty defense that will keep them in games. Taylor is better than anything Cassel can give the Bills and he’s more reliable and confined (in a good way) than Manuel.
Okay, so I like how Taylor looks on the field, at the line, his fluidity, blah blah blah. What makes him attractive in fantasy football?
A lot of things. For one, his days at Virginia Tech show us in numbers what we already know: dude can run a bit. He’s twice put up 40+ rushing yards this preseason already, and he hasn’t even played a full game yet. In college, Taylor regularly dazzled with his legs, as he racked up 2,196 yards and 23 scores on the ground in four years. He was pretty nifty as a passer, too, as he put up 37 touchdowns to just 10 picks in his final two seasons.
Taylor can run, he doesn’t make huge mistakes, and he has weapons. Buffalo figures to run more than they pass, so the pressure won’t be all on Taylor right away to crush it. But that doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t.
There is a certain stability with Taylor when you watch him, like he’s been here before, even though he really hasn’t. It’s only preseason and nothing is guaranteed. I might be getting amped up over nothing. But if Tyrod Taylor ends up starting for the Bills, he’s going to be a name to watch. Check that, he’s going to be a guy you want to own in fantasy football leagues.