It’s pretty obvious that the Bucs this off-season need to add more speed and playmaking to the offense in order to take that next step forward as a team. Last week, I talked about WR John Ross who is very explosive and could provide the juice that the Bucs are looking to add to their offense. Ross is likely a first round pick and definitely could be in consideration at 19 for the Bucs. However, there is good news for the Bucs as there are plenty of speed/playmaking receivers in this years draft class. One that is a favorite here at realbucstalk is Western Kentucky’s Taywan Taylor as he is someone the Bucs could target on day two of the draft. Taylor is starting to gain recognition around the league as he hasn’t been discussed a lot due to coming from a small school. Taylor made a big impression at the senior bowl and one AFC scout was mad that his sleeper is no longer a secret per NFL.com
“He can do it all,” said an AFC scout. “He is a natural pass-catcher who can run all of the routes. He can make plays on vertical throws or make it happen on catch-and-run tosses. Plus, he can play inside or outside in a pro-style scheme. I loved him on tape and like him even more after watching him down here. … I’m just mad that the secret is out on my sleeper.”
It looks like Taylor was already a favorite of the Bucs as they were very excited to meet with him during the senior bowl week per Turron Davenport.
Western Kentucky WR Taywan Taylor barely made it off the escalator before Bucs and Raiders grabbed him for meetings.
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) January 23, 2017
Let’s now go over Taylor’s strengths and weaknesses as he could be a viable option for the Bucs in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft.
Taywan Taylor- 6’1 195lbs 98 rec, 1730 yds, 17 Tds, 17.7 ypc
Strengths: Taylor has speed and size which makes him dynamic and is always a threat for a big play when he is on the field. He has the ability to change speeds very quickly which allows him to create separation. Has the ability to play outside or inside as he is a very smooth route runner and can run all the routes. He can get yards after the catch as he is very dynamic in the open field, has ability to make people miss. His hands are solid with the ability to make tough contested catches if necessary.
Weaknesses: Taylor needs to become more consistent with his route running as he would usually get away with some free lancing, he must become more discipline in the NFL. He needs to work on catching with his hands more as he tends to body catch a little too often. He got a lot of production from bubble screens, jet sweeps, and catch and run plays. Weekly competition was not the best as he usually was the best player on the field.
Overall, Taylor has all the physical tools you look for in a WR as he has explosive speed and size to be a threat anywhere on the field. Taylor still needs to refine some parts of his game i.e. route running, catching with hands, and adjustment to better competition. With that being said, Taylor should be able to make an immediate impact as number two or slot receiver. Unless the Bucs can get Corey Davis or Mike Williams in round 1, I could see the team targeting a guy like Taylor as he can bring the playmaking ability and speed that they are looking for. With the recent news of John Ross needing shoulder surgery that could push the Bucs away from taking him as it looks like his body is very fragile(2 knee surgeries) and lean towards a player like Taylor who has four years of production and should be available in the later rounds.