Prospect: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Weight: 275 lbs.
Grade: 6.1 (Grading Scale)
+ Terrific length and height.
- Bit of a stiff athlete.
- Does not show good change-of-direction.
+ Powerful, able to run through double teams.
+ Very quick off the line.
+ Has enough speed to run down plays from the opposite side of the field.
- Much more concerned with getting after quarterback, which may be a coaching issue too.
+ Struggles to locate the ball in the backfield, overruns a lot of plays.
+ Runs out every play, including receivers and runs to the opposite side of the field.
- Not able to show any scheme-diversity, lined up almost exclusively at LDE.
+ Very good off the ball, catches offensive lineman by surprise.
+ Solid hand use.
- Very stiff, limited in his flexibility to bend around lineman.
+ Rarely counters inside.
+ Uses length and power to push lineman into the backfield.
+ Long arms help him bring down quarterbacks while still being blocked.
- Does not produce enough or getting so much single-blocking.
- Out of position far too many times.
- Struggles to find the ball in the backfield.
- Comes off the ball too high.
- Struggles to “bench press” defenders.
- Tends to use his shoulder a lot to gain leverage.
+ Long arms help him make tackles, even out of position.
+ Has strength to push lineman into backfield.
+ Quickness allows him to occasionally make “splash” plays in the backfield.
- Much more concerned getting to the quarterback than staying in position, overrunning a lot of plays.
+ Uses length relatively well to move around lineman.
- Tends to stay high off the snap, allowing him to get pushed around in the run game.
- Never really moved from LDE position.
- Struggles to “stack and shed” with arm extension.
+ Uses long arms to make up for poor angles and positioning.
In a lot of ways, Taylor reminds me of Justin Houston as a college prospect in that he has great power and length to go along with his explosiveness, but he is such a stiff player that it greatly limits his potential as a pass rusher in the NFL.
His run defense is heavily reliant on using his length to grab any ball carriers that happen to come by, but he gets wrapped up far too often because he stays too high off the ball. He also tends to overrun a lot of plays, which is sometimes just him running too fast after the quarterback.
Still, Taylor is worth a fifth-round pick or so that has a chance to turn into an eventual starter if he can improve in his technique in the run game.
-Lined up at left defensive end.
-Looks very quick off the ball.
-Strings play out, good arm extension and speed down the line.
-Sets the edge, sheds the block and makes the tackle for a loss.
-Chases play down from the backside, good hustle.
-Follows RB into the flat in coverage.
-Pad level got a bit high, bull rush went nowhere – chases down RB from behind for the tackle.
-Shrugs off chip from RB, pressures QB into a sack – menacing long arms.
-Tries some counters, but can’t get the edge on the tackle.
-Steps inside of block, makes the RB cut into a defender.
-Drops on zone blitz, long arms influence the passing window.
-Decent push/pull move, but late getting there.
-Slow inside move, stoned by right tackle.