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Scouting The 2017 NFL Draft: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky

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One of my sleeper prospects who could excel at the next level.

NCAA Football: C-USA Championship-Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

I was introduced to the Hilltoppers wide receiver in 2015, an extremely talented receiver who was very impressive with the ball in his hands. Since that day, I always made an effort to check the stat sheet and catch as much film as I could, which isn't always easy when you're talking about Western Kentucky. Fortunately I managed to get my hands on 3-4 games worth of tape from 2016 to go with what I had already seen, more than enough to form an opinion.

Quite frankly, Taywan is one of my favourite sleeper prospects in this draft. Which is strange to say as he could go quite high. He has a solid week at the senior bowl, without standing out, and he didn't blow the doors off the combine either, and I think because of that, there are still many out there who've never heard of him. Well hopefully this will go a little way to rectifying that.

Here's the thing I like about Taylor, it's his ability to change his route speed. Sounds simple enough, but he has a deception which when paired with good speed makes it very hard to stick with him. He's a smart receiver, using his head fakes, eyes, a strong plant foot to create that separation. I was shocked that he ran a 4.50 at the combine as he plays with 4.3 speed.

Personal

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Height: 5'11

Weight: 203 lb’s

Hands: 9 1/4"

Arms: 32 5/8"

Combine Performance

Vertical: 33.5"

Broad: 132"

Bench: 13 reps

40 Yard: 4.50 seconds

3 Cone: 6.57 (Top Performer)

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.21

60 Yard Shuttle: 11.23

College Statistics

2013 - 24 REC, 270 Yards, 11.3 AVG

2014 - 45 REC, 767 Yards, 17.0 AVG, 7 TD

2015 - 86 REC, 1467 Yards, 17.1 AVG, 17 TD

2016 - 98 REC, 1730 Yards, 17.1 AVG, 17 TD

NFL Comparison

Stefon Diggs - Minnesota Vikings

Positive Attributes

  • Extremely productive college players.
  • Has good game tape against teams like Alabama (9 catches) & LSU (10 catches)
  • Quick-twitch athlete, good acceleration.
  • Good balance and body control as a receiver.
  • Smooth getting in and out of his breaks.
  • Big play receiver, a lot of 40+ yard completions.
  • Plays a lot quicker than his timed speed.
  • Good at creating yards with the ball in his hands.
  • Uses head fakes to sell double moves, create separation.
  • Knows when to sit down in zone coverage
  • Varies his route speeds to keep corners guessing.
  • Plays with a chip on his shoulder. Was a 0 star recruit!

Negative Attributes

  • Played in a receiver friendly system at Western Kentucky.
  • Never had to run an NFL route tree, will need work there.
  • Has some focus drops, when he's running before securing.
  • Level of competition will be questioned.
  • Can get distracted by trying to avoid hard contact over the middle.
  • Can let the ball get into his body at times.

Draft Grade

This is tough, I've seen him anywhere from the 2nd round all the way to the 5th. I see him sitting around the late 2nd, early 3rd round. His negative traits are intermittent and his positive traits are regular. If you're looking for a home run threat from the slot, then this is your guy.

Taylor on Taylor

“Being a small-school guy, coming from a small school, I’ve definitely got a chip on my shoulder. I definitely want to show the scouts what I’m capable of and showcase my abilities down here, be able to impress these scouts and coaches.” - Taylor at the Scouting Combine