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Prospect Profiles: Phil Taylor

PHIL TAYLOR, DT, BAYLOR

Triangle Numbers: 6-4, 330, 5.10

Scouting Reports:

Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
• Excellent size and bulk with a big frame
• Very strong, powerful and physical
• Nice balance and stays on his feet
• Stout at the point of attack and can anchor
• Able to take on and occupy multiple blockers
• Does a terrific job of stuffing the run
• Good bull rusher and will push the pocket
• Violent hands and uses them well
• Aggressive and plays with an edge
• Offers some schematic versatility

Weaknesses:
• Weight, conditioning and stamina are problematic
• Not very fast, quick, agile or explosive
• Doesn’t always play with proper leverage
• Not real mobile and lacks great range
• Is awfully limited as a pass rusher
• Questionable instincts and awareness
• Might have some durability issues
• Character concerns after off-the-field trouble

Notes:
Began college career at Penn State, where he redshirted then started five games over the next two years — Arrested on assault charges following a fight at a frat party in 2008 and after initially being suspended was dismissed from the Nittany Lion football team and opted to transfer — Was a two-year starter for the Bears — Named 2nd Team All-Big 12 in 2010 — Was hampered by a sprained knee in ’07 and missed time with a turf toe in ’09 — Showed lots of potential early in career then struggled as a junior before really coming on as a senior and improving draft stock — Possesses intriguing size and profiles as a prototypical nose tackle in a even (4-3) or odd (3-4) front.

Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Reasonably good quickness… Good first step… Violent hands… Strong lower body… Does a nice job shredding blockers… Very good strength at POA… Plays with good power… Gets a good push… Can bull his way into the backfield… Good swim move… Good closing speed… Good balance… Plays the run well… Can be unblockable in one-on-one situations… Can anchor… Space eater… Can be difficult to move… Occupies double teams… Good upside… Selected All-Big 12 second team for the 2010 season… Schematic versatility, fits as 3-4 NT, many Gabe Watson similarities.

Negatives: Marginal lateral mobility… Seems to struggle trying to maintain low pad level, plays a little too high at times… Rises almost instantly off the snap… Doesn’t always keep his head up as he pushes into the backfield… Inconsistent… Not very instinctive… Lacks range… Doesn’t always give a good effort… Not a hard worker… Conditioning issues, wears down late in games… Gets too heavy, has been as high as 385 lbs… Durability concerns, missed first nine games of 2007 season with knee injury… Dismissed from Penn St. with academic issues and for his involvement in an off-campus fight… Rebuilt draft stock following poor 2009 season (played through turf toe)… Still raw, a boom or bust type prospect

FF Toolbox:

Phil Taylor is making the most of his senior season to upgrade his draft status. As a freshman and sophomore he was down the depth chart a little ways on a stellar Penn State defense. However, the 6-4, 340 pound defensive tackle did see some playing time as a freshman for the Nittany Lions and that is an uncommon occurrence in Happy Valley. Taylor spent 2008 as a redshirt waiting to be eligible to play at Baylor in 2009. His junior campaign was not too bad as he started nine games, but a turf toe injury limited his production and he ended the season with a mere 25 tackles and just 2.5 tackles-for-loss.

Taylor has the physical tools to be a solid tackle at the next level, but he needs to be productive during his senior season with the Bears to boost his draft stock. So far Taylor is doing just that. Through seven games he already has tallied a career high 28 tackles and added 5.0 tackles-for-loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Taylor is Baylor’s clog in the middle of the defense and is beginning to live up to his potential.

He will need to keep it up the rest of the 2010 campaign to make scouts take notice. Taylor has decent quickness and strength at the point of attack, but it is likely that he will need to have a good NFL Combine to really grab some attention. He can move up to the third round area if all goes well, but he will probably stay a late to mid-round prospect.

Video:

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezk5xKe_vHg[/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Phil Taylor is an intriguing prospect. Huge. Really good run stopper. Had some off the field issues that took him from Penn State to Baylor. Had a really good senior season. But, is he a 3-4 NT, a 4-3 DT, or a 4-3 DE? Hard to know. Could easily play all three. He has the physical tools that could really see his stock improve as the process goes along. Right now, he’s probably a 2nd round pick. With good workouts, could move up. The Giants need a run stopping defensive tackle, especially if Barry Cofield moves on. Is Taylor that guy? Very possible. But, the character issues will be a problem. I don’t like guys with character issues, and the Giants tend to stay away from guys with Taylor’s background. But, talent can win out, and Taylor has it. I’m iffy on it. The off the field stuff concerns me. I think he’s going to get a lot of interest from 3-4 teams, because of his size, and I’m not sure if the Giants want a 3-4 guy. Can play 4-3 DT, but I think he’s better as a 34 guy. He may go late first, because teams are looking for guys with his size. I don’t see him in a Giants uniform.

PREVIOUS PROFILES:

OT:

Gabe Carimi

OL Anthony Castanzo

Rodney Hudson

Derek Sherrod

Marcus Gilbert

CB

Brandon Harris

Jimmy Smith

Davon House

TE

Kyle Rudolph

DJ Williams

LB

Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

Bruce Carter North Carolina

Greg Jones, Michigan State

Dontay Moch, LB, Nevada

Mason Foster, LB, Washington

KJ Wright, LB, Mississippi State

RB

Mark Ingram

DeMarco Murray

WR:

Jerrel Jernigan

DL

Aldon Smith

Jarvis Jenkins


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