Second Round, 54th Pick
Jamar Taylor hopes to follow in the footsteps of Shea McClellin and Kyle Wilson, recent Boise State defenders that cracked the first round.
An All-Mountain West selection as a senior, he impressed onlookers at the Senior Bowl practices while playing against some of the nation’s best.
Is Taylor talented enough to be considered a starter in the NFL? Or will he blend in among a crowded group of cornerbacks in this draft class?
|+ Physical, scrappy defender||- Overly aggressive at times, can be beaten|
|+ Good movement skills; quick feet, straight-line speed and fluid hips||- Did not face top competition often during his college career|
|+ Willing against the run, a fairly reliable tackler||- Has an injury history|
|+ Versatile with a strong understanding of the game||- Not as tall as some teams would like|
At 5'11" and 192 pounds, Taylor is thin with a fairly muscular build.
An athletic cornerback, he had a very good workout at the NFL Scouting Combine. Showing off impressive straight-line speed, he clocked a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. Other results from Indianapolis include a 35” vertical jump and 10’7” broad jump.
Taylor changes direction effortlessly, displaying quick feet and fluid hips. His times of 6.82 in the three-cone drill and 4.06 in the short shuttle are in the range that teams like to see.
He is also very strong, as evidenced by 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Taylor was named a team captain as a senior and appeared to have been a good student at Boise State with a strong work ethic. He is very competitive on the field and never backs down from a challenge.
Unfortunately, he has had a hard time staying on the field. In 2009, he redshirted due to a knee injury. The next year, he was suspended one game for a violation of team rules. He also missed four games in 2011 due to injury.
Boise State did not stick to one defense. While it operated primarily out of a four-man front, a lot was asked from the defenders. Taylor became experienced in both man and press coverage. By his senior season, he showed a very good understanding of the game, which allowed him to succeed in both pass coverage and run support.
Playing the Ball
Taylor displays good timing, breaking up passes and separating receivers from the ball. With impressive awareness, he does a nice job of getting his head around and locating the ball. While impressive body control helps him adjust to passes, his hands do not appear as natural as a receiver’s.
He undercuts routes and aggressively attempts to make a play, which has led to not only interceptions and pass breakups, but also big gains.
Against the Run
Demonstrating good instincts, Taylor reads and reacts quickly when playing the run. He is a reliable wrap-up tackler that packs a punch for his size. A tough cornerback, he willingly takes on blocks and holds his own at the point of attack. He is typically a responsible open-field tackler who stays low and fires through ball-carriers, but he occasionally drops his eyes.
Quick feet and impressive reaction time allow Taylor to excel in off-man coverage. He generally displays patience and good timing, but at times he allows receivers too much room to operate. Possessing fluid hips, he is able to blanket receivers anywhere on the field.
In press-man coverage, he is physical at jamming receivers at the line, but he can take himself out of position and does not recover well. Though he disrupts the timing of routes, he occasionally surrenders inside or outside positioning.
Playing for a very diverse defense at Boise State, Taylor has some experience in zone coverage. It appears that while his timing and ball skills still help him, some of his talents may be wasted in zone. He shows glimpses of good zone awareness, reading the quarterback’s eyes; however, he occasionally looks lost in space.
In off-man coverage, Taylor demonstrates good technique. His transitions are smooth, with fluid hips. He has quick feet but must do a better job of staying low in his backpedal.
His tackling form is generally very good, as he does not simply go for the knockout punch.
His press-man technique, however, needs work. He occasionally takes himself out of position near the line of scrimmage.
A versatile player capable of handling a variety of roles on defense, Taylor is not a cornerback limited by scheme. Not only does he have experience in both man and zone coverage, but he disguises the blitz well and can make an impact behind the line of scrimmage.
In the NFL, he fits best in a defensive system that features him in off-man coverage. Not only is he physical enough to match up with receivers at the next level, he is also fluid enough to cover outside or in the slot. He projects as a starting cornerback that could make an early impact due to his strong understanding of the game.
Draft Projection: Late First-Early Third Round