There are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the 2017 NFL Draft. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for senior wideout Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
WR-Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky 5’11” 198 lbs.
The high-flying Hilltopper receiver really took off his junior year and did not slow down with back to back 1400+ receiving yards and 17 touchdowns seasons his last two years. In his senior year, the wideout was very consistent by either reaching paydirt or having over 100 yards in every game. That was quite impressive and he continued that work in Mobile, Alabama this past week during the practices and game. Because I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, let’s break down what I saw in the seven games I reviewed of the senior playmaker: 2016 contests versus Memphis, Rice, Alabama, Vanderbilt, LA Tech, and Middle Tennessee along with the 2017 Senior Bowl. Most of these videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. Here are my thoughts:
Cons: The senior wideout did not play a high level of competition which helped inflate his college stats. I know some will mention his 2016 game against Alabama where he had nine catches for 121 yards; the game was inflated with a 59-yard catch when the defensive back fell down. Without the DB falling down, his stat line of eight catches for 62 yards would not be as impressive. Taylor got knocked around in that game and had the pigskin stripped out of his hands too. He tends to come down with fewer 50/50 balls than most NFL-bound wideouts do and had some concentration issues. The receiver gets lazy run blocking when the ball is going to the opposite side and did not break many tackles once a defender got ahold of him.
Pros: He is a very physical athletic receiver with strong legs that explodes off the line of scrimmage, even when faced with press coverage. Taylor has a huge catch radius that allows him to adjust to poorly thrown passes while maintaining stride and will surprise with a one-handed grab every once and awhile. His smooth route running along with double moves help him get open, although he is more quick than fast. The wideout tracks the ball well in the air and usually snares it at its highest point with good leaping ability over the defensive backs. It doesn’t matter if he lines up in the slot or out wide, and the playmaker runs well with the ball on jet sweeps. His quick feet allow him to make razor sharp cuts which helps make him a great target for screens often making the first man miss in space. Once Taylor is out in the open he will use spins, stiff-arms, hurdles, shoulder shakes, and his second/third gears to get behind the defense. In the run game, he is a good blocker when motivated and does a great job on crack blocks which should keep him on the field on all three downs. Let’s look at some Taylor highlights.
Overall impressions: The senior playmaker is just inside my top ten rookie wideouts. Getting re-routed against Alabama is not a capital sin, but it does show he needs to work on his game. I see a similar skill set to that of Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin, who also is not the flashiest receiver. Much like Baldwin, Taylor is a smooth route runner who has excellent hands and can do damage in the open field.
Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next several months, so keep checking the site for more content. Please check out my other content as well. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.