Cooper Taylor: Video Highlights for Former Richmond SS
At 6'4" and 228 pounds, Richmond strong safety Cooper Taylor is about as big as defensive backs get.
Taylor originally began his career at Georgia Tech, earning second-team All-ACC honors as a freshman. However, medical issues and injuries eventually paved the way for a transfer to Richmond, where Taylor had 78 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and 1.5 sacks en route to being named an All-American in 2012.
That performance was enough to earn Taylor a trip to the East-West Shrine Game, and his performance there only served to buoy his draft stock.
Let's take a look at what the thumper might bring to the table in the NFL.
Wrapping Up the Receiver
Given Taylor's size, he's a safety very much cut in the mold of Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks, who almost functions as an added linebacker.
That size also makes it nearly impossible for receivers to run through Taylor, but he's also a smart player who is more concerned with wrapping up and making the stop than laying a huge hit.
Those smarts are on display in this highlight, where Taylor does an excellent job of limiting yardage after the catch.
Taylor's biggest asset at the professional level may be his ability as an "in the box" safety, but that isn't to say the youngster is completely lost in coverage.
In this highlight from Taylor's freshman year at Georgia Tech, he does a fine job of keeping his eyes on the football, which leaves him in position to make a play when the ball is tipped.
Taylor seals the deal, and the result was his first career interception.
As a prototypical "in the box" safety, it should surprise no one that Taylor is very strong in run support.
The (relatively) big man doesn't disappoint, as evidenced by this play against the University of Virginia.
Granted, the Cavaliers' ballcarrier gains a decent chunk of yardage, but that's through no fault of Taylor, who drifts all the way across the formation before coming up and making the stop.
Open Field Tackling
Not only is Cooper Taylor adept at hauling down running backs and stopping receivers from picking up yards after the catch, but he's also more than capable of holding his own in the open field.
On this play, Taylor originally drops into a deep coverage role, but after the opposing tight end makes the catch underneath, Taylor quickly moves up and limits the damage with another solid tackle.
Shining at the Shrine Game
As I said earlier in this article, Taylor's performance as a senior for the Spiders was enough to get him an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, and he made the most of that opportunity.
As Russ Lande of the National Football Post reported at the time, Taylor was one of the stars of the practices for the East squad, holding well both against the run and in coverage.
[Taylor] looked instinctive versus the run, in coverage and displayed impressive closing speed. On the first play of team drills he cut off his receiver’s out route and intercepted Collin Klein, and followed it up the very next play with a big hit over the middle causing the WR to drop the ball. He also flashed very good recovery speed throughout the day and was a pleasant surprise athletically considering his size.