Scouting Profile: Wide Receiver Taywan Taylor
Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky
Weight: 203 lbs.
Arms: 32 5/8”
Hands: 8 1/4”
40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds
When going through my process of watching rookie tape, I tend to watch in the consensus order they’re being ranked. After that, I’ll go back and watch it in the order that I believe to be their talent level. Taylor was a player who moved way up my list upon watching the first time and continues to impress the more I watch. Some say his performance in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine has brought down expectations, but should they affect where you take him in dynasty rookie drafts?
I’ll answer that question with an emphatic no, it shouldn’t. Taylor is a versatile player who can fit into many different schemes because he’s able to play both inside and outside. There are plenty of slot receivers who’ve been successful without running a blazing fast forty-yard dash. Most recently, it was Jarvis Landry ran a 4.65 second forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2014. Before that, Wes Welker timed in at 4.65 seconds. As you know, both of them turned out fine despite a lackluster forty-yard dash.
Taylor more than makes up for what he lacks in speed, with quickness. His route running is among the best in the draft class, as he gets multiple yards of separation despite his perceived ‘lack’ of speed. He’s able to do that because he makes subtle moves in his routes without dropping speed, causing defenders to get turned around, depending on the route. He also has a second-gear that he hits when going deep, which shows up on tape.
When watching his tape, Taylor seemed to be the focus of opposing defenses, though it didn’t matter much. Even against a top-tier opponent like Alabama, Taylor showed the ability to create something after the catch with his vision. He uses his quick feet to stutter-step press coverage, which is great for the bigger cornerbacks he’ll see at the next level.
Some of his negatives are that he will sometimes get caught from behind and that he’s an awful blocker. There are also times where he allows the ball to get to his body, which will lead to drops, though he is a natural when it comes to catching the ball. His ability to get open should make up for a majority of his shortcomings. The poor blocking may cause him to be eased into action right away, especially if he lands on a run-heavy team.
Potential landing spot
I’d expect him to slide into the slot at the pro-level, which helps narrow down potential landing spots. He’s also going to last outside of the first round and potentially the second round, which gives every team the opportunity to draft him. While the Broncos would make sense, I think the Raiders make even more sense, considering they went out of their way to meet with him at the Senior Bowl, and Seth Roberts has been dreadful out of the slot for them. It would also give them flexibility with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree into the slot, because Taylor has the ability to play outside. Other notable teams should be the Panthers, Bills, Ravens, and Broncos.
Taylor compares a lot to a player like Kendall Wright, who was also fantastic at creating space with superior route running. Both can play outside if needed, and they’re quicker than they are fast. One of the underrated parts of Taylor’s game is his effort, as you’ll never see a ball within reach that he won’t dive for. Unlike Wright, Taylor isn’t known to have any injuries that will hamper his NFL career. Some have thrown out the name Stefon Diggs when talking about Taylor, which is just another reason why you’ll want to target him in rookie drafts.