Pros: An aggressive run stopper that has good speed and closing burst on the ball, giving him good pop as a tackler and hitter. Is most comfortable working in the box. Has decent ball skills. Shows potential as a blitzer off the edge because of his burst.
Cons: Really struggles in coverage, and lacks awareness in zone. Doesn't have quickness or hips to match up with receivers or tight ends. Looks to hit at times rather than wrapping, leading to missed tackles. Will take some poor angles and doesn't always break down well at the point of attack.
Overview: He's a one-dimensional safety that plays like an undersized linebacker. Considering how much zone LSU plays on defense, you wonder why he seemed so lost in at times. Successor to LaRon Landry at FS, but a much more natural strong safety.
NFL Forecast: He's a very good run stopper, but is too lacking in coverage to really be trusted in the secondary. You're probably better off telling him to bulk up and move to outside linebacker. He could stick in the league if he can make an impact on special teams, but barring major improvements in his coverage ability, he's not going to impact as a starter. He's good enough in his single dimension to stick as a backup in the league and some teams might keep him around for a while hoping they can develop his athleticism and speed into a competent coverage guy, but I'm not optimistic about it. Even if you were to go the route as trying to move him to linebacker, he'd still be too weak in coverage to trust in coverage.
ATL Forecast: Taylor could add depth at strong safety and if he plays well on special teams can help out there. But he doesn't fix the teams woes at strong safety and at best would just be a backup to DeCoud or whomever else the team tries there.
Value: Taylor lacks a starter's upside, so he's only a late round pick. He can add depth, but taking him before the seventh round is probably a reach.
Scouting Reports of safeties in the 2009 NFL Draft
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