Player Spotlight: Miami DT Leonard Taylor III

Clemson v Miami
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College: Miami

Position: Defensive Tackle

Age: 21

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 305lbs


A consensus 5-star recruit out of Miami Palmetto High School, Taylor ended up staying home to play college football for the Miami Hurricanes. Taylor is a true junior and a 2nd year starter for the Hurricanes. After seeing some playing time in his freshman year, Taylor had his most productive season as a sophomore with 3 sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss. 2023, wasn't as productive for him as he finished with just 1 sack and 3.5 tackles for loss. Taylor declared for the 2024 NFL Draft this December and is generally thought of as a potential 1st round pick.


Explosiveness: When Taylor wins in pass rush or run defense it's generally with his explosive first step or a violent rip move. Taylor has snaps where he looks like a man amongst boys, throwing guards and centers aside. Taylor is agile enough to be lined up as a 4 or 5 technique and has been used head-up on the center as well.

Frame: Taylor has a compact NFL defensive tackle frame. His lower half is a solid anchor against the run. He is lean enough to shoot gaps but still has enough upper body strength to shed blockers. Nice long arms that help him gain leverage against opposing blockers. His frame and athleticism show some pass rush potential as he develops at the next level.

Power: Blocking Taylor one-on-one usually results in a negative outcome for the offense. Taylor has the ability to drive blockers back collapsing the pocket regularly. He converts speed to power effectively and has been a weapon with stunts and games along the defensive line.


Consistency- Taylor has been wildly inconsistent week to week and even snap to snap. There are sequences where he looks like the most talented defensive lineman in the draft and then he can look like he doesn't want to be on the field. Oftentimes, he seems to be motivated by the level of competition and effectiveness. If Taylor isn't having lots of success with his first move he's often washed out of the play. The upside is immense but there's a potential floor that can be concerning.

Pass Rush- Taylor has not shown enough consistency to consider him an impact puss rusher. His size suggests he's a gap shooter in the run. However, some of his lack of production in 2023 has been related to being lined up as more of a nose guard. He's not big or strong enough to win consistently against double teams.

NFL Comparison: Christian Barmore

While a little smaller than Barmore, Taylor has lots of similar traits as a prospect. They both win in similar ways with violent hands and aggressive attacking styles. Both have the ability to impact plays both positively or negatively with their athleticism. Their incontinence on a per-snap basis stand out. Both have snaps where they seem unblockable to uninterested.

Draft Projection: Top 60 Pick

There's a lot to like about Taylor: his frame, explosiveness and violent play style are exciting for any defensive line. However, he is a player whose landing spot will matter. If he goes to a team with a strong defensive culture that relies on a frequent pass rush platoon he could easily be an impact player. Taylor is a potential boom-or-bust player, a team is going to love the upside enough to view him as a late 1st to early 2nd round pick.