Versus the Run: Simply a beast against the run. Very strong at the point of attack. Has solid strength in his upper and lower body. Requires a double team when fresh, and can sit and anchor his position. When fatigued, he tends to come out of his stance high and play with poor leverage, which results in him being moved off of his spot. Needs to do a better job of staying on his feet when the tank is depleted. Carries his weight well and moves better than you’d think a 330+ pounder would. Can make plays outside of the tackle box, but isn’t consistent at it. Needs to improve his read and react skills against the run, and learn to disengage from blockers blockers sooner.
Pass Rush Skills: Not a very affective pass rusher. Is a two down player for the most part. Can collapse the pocket with a powerful bull rush, and has a decent hook move, but won’t beat defensive linemen with speed/finesse moves. Where he truly excels is taking up blockers, and allowing linebackers to shoot gaps when blitzing.
Quickness (hands/feet): Good hand quickness. Shockingly light on his feet. Does a good job of getting of the snap.
Toughness/Motor: Plays with a mean streak when not fatigued. A true mauler that looks to overwhelm offensive linemen with his size and power. Is a sound tackler. Uses all of his weight when coming down on a ball carrier. Motor is inconsistent. Gets worn down quickly and often. All technique goes out the window once the tank is empty. Needs to improve his conditioning.
Intangibles: Was suspended and dismissed from Penn State due to getting into a fight at a frat party. Was arrested and charged with a felony, but the chargers were later dropped. Poor academics also played a role in his suspension. Seems to have turned things around. Has been clean off the field every since. Coaches and teammates rave about him.
Overall Stock: There are some red flags surrounding Phil Taylor, so teams will have to do some extensive digging. He will have to answer questions about his dismissal from Penn State and his academics. With an average motor, he’ll also have to answer questions about his conditioning. The biggest thing for defensive linemen is proving that they can stay on the field. If he can ace the interview process, Taylor may find himself a hot commodity come April. There are a plethora of teams running the 3-4, who need assistance at the nose tackle position. Taylor is the number one nose tackle prospect so he’ll be in high demand. During Baylor’s Bowl game, I was left unimpressed with Taylor. However, during Senior Bowl week, Taylor impressed me immensely. I’m not fully on the bandwagon yet, but if he can stay consistent with his performances, I might join the fan club and run for president. Teams in the back forth of the draft will give Big Phil Taylor a serious look.
NFL Comparison: Kris Jenkins