The Philadelphia Eagles selected Davion Taylor with pick No. 103 in the 2020 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about him, I reached out to SB Nation’s Colorado blog: The Ralphie Report. Buffaloes writer Jack Barsch was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you recap his college career?
Davion Taylor got off to a slow start. As I’m sure you’ve heard, he’s pretty new to the game of football and didn’t play meaningful snaps until he got to Coahoma Community College. When he got to CU, he was full of potential but he had to learn the fundamentals first. He still played right away, and his athleticism was evident, but he was often caught ball-watching and lacked a lot of the basic discipline needed to be a consistently good player.
His senior year, last year, he put a lot of it together. In a new defensive scheme, he was allowed to roam a lot more as a S/LB hybrid. Depending on the offense, he could play close to the line of scrimmage, cover the tight end, or chase the slot receiver around. Asking a running back to beat him one-on-one in the flat was a fool’s errand. Once Taylor started to see the game as fast as he played it, he became a terror. His breakout game was probably the game against Washington. He shut down tight ends, decimated running backs, and got a few sacks along the way.
He leaves CU as a fan favorite. His attitude was top notch, he was a quick learner, and his athleticism was so fun to watch.
2) What are his strengths?
Pound for pound, he is one of the fastest players on the field every down. He combines that high-end speed with a penchant for pain and surprising strength. If you give him enough runway, he will bury some players. He’s highly coachable and will be a complete stud on special teams.
3) What are his weaknesses?
As most Eagles fans have probably heard, he still is new to the game of football. He will take some time to catch with the mental game of the NFL. The chess matches at the next level get a lot more complicated, so he will need to catch up in kind. He also can be a little small for a pure linebacker, and he may get washed out by NFL linemen.
4) Are you surprised where he was drafted? Higher or lower than expected? Just right?
Y’know, before the draft process, I would’ve been very surprised that he was a Day 2 pick. But we knew that he would test out of his mind athletically. When that happened, he had a huge rise up the draft boards, and some even had him tagged at the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd round. That would have been a shock to us CU fans, but where the Eagles drafted him is about where we thought he would go.
5) Given his lack of experience, to what extent do you think Taylor is ready to contribute as a rookie?
Well, right away, he’s going to be a special teams stud. His size and speed combo is perfect for a gunner and on the punt team. I think you can expect to see him on passing downs as a blitzing or cover option in the LB corps, but I wouldn’t expect 3-down production just yet.
6) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
I think he will take a few years to get going, but by the time he gets to his second contract, he will be an exciting piece for any defense. He’s perfectly suited for the modern NFL as an antidote for the shifting NFL offense, but he’ll need some time.
7) Anything to know about him off the field?
One of the quietest, nicest guys on the CU team these last few years. It’s hard to not love him.
BLG’s take: Taylor is raw but seems eager to get better. His upside is intriguing. The Eagles’ coaching staff will need to find a way to get the most out of him in the NFL. Probably best suited as a special teams contributor in Year 1 before ideally developing into a full-time starter.
Spider graph via Mockdraftable: