Zane Taylor, OC, Utah

Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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Zane Taylor, OC, Utah

Postby Pudge » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:00 pm

Utah Senior
40: 5.45


Technically sound and intelligent guy. Is a natural knee bender and gets quickly into his set with good, quick hands. Has a nice punch in pass protection, gets extension, and can lock. Has nice footwork. Able to get position as a run blocker and wall off defender, and shows ability to lock on there. Shows some comfort when blocking on the second level and out in front of screens. Flashes cut blocking potential. Plays with good mean streak and does a good job finishing his blocks.


Undersized and it shows when he's facing bigger interior defenders on an island. Can get pancaked and bull-rushed in a one on one situation. Less effective overall when facing a bigger nose tackle. Lacks pop and ability to get push in short-yardage. Not a fluid athlete in space and needs to take better angles there, as he'll miss assignments from time to time.


Taylor is a smart, technically sound guy, but he's not a super physical guy. He's a good pass protector because of his good technique and quick hands, but you don't want him blocking on an island. He projects best in a zone blocking scheme. Despite benching 225 pounds 41 times at his pro day, that strength does not translate well to the field. He started 38 career games at center while at Utah.


Taylor is a guy that reminds me of a Todd McClure type. He's mean, tough, and plays with good technique, but he's overpowered against quality nose tackles. LIke McClure, he'll fit best playing in a zone blocking scheme in the NFC, where he'll have to deal a lot less with quality 3-4 nose tackles. He is sound in pass protection and rarely makes mistakes there, but he's hit and miss as a run blocker. Again, in a zone blocking scheme, his inability to get push will be less apparent, and he can use his technique and footwork to get position. If you could transplant the Colts to the NFC, that would be the ideal fit for him. With that said, probably the best fits for him then become a team like Washington or Seattle, that employ the Gibbs-style blocking scheme. He could probably handle being a starter right away, although I doubt he would be good, because quality NFL linemen would push him around quite a bit. But if he can sit on the bench for a year or two and develop some more, I think he could make a good starter. He'll never be great, but like McClure he's a guy that can get the job done most weeks.


Taylor is a guy that can work in Atlanta, but it wouldn't be a great fit. He's not as physical as the Falcons blocking scheme now requires. He's smart enough to stick and be a productive reserve behind Hawley. He could be even a nice insurance policy, but his limited upside in the Falcons scheme mean he isn't a strong bet to make the roster as a rookie due to his lack of versatility. The best hope is that he can land a practice squad spot and then push for time down the road. He does have starting potential, but in Atlanta is more of a stopgap if Hawley doesn't work out.


For a zone blocking scheme looking for a good developmental center, he'll make a solid late fifth or sixth round pick.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 3.0
Pass Blocking: 3.5
Run Blocking: 2.5
Footwork: 3.0
Technique: 4.0
Mobility: 3.0
Mean Streak: 4.0
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