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Dynasty Prospect Profile: Taywan Taylor

By Jared Smola 8:04am EDT 4/3/17


Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky

Height: 5’11

Weight: 203

Age: 22.1


Combine results:

(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):

40-yard dash: 4.50 (55th)

Vertical: 33.5” (28th)

Broad: 132” (96th)

3-cone: 6.57 (96th)

20-yard shuttle: 4.21 (50th)


College career:

No college WR tallied more receiving yards or TDs over the past 2 seasons than this guy. Only 5 racked up more catches.

Taylor arrived at Western Kentucky as an unheralded, 2-star recruit. He saw limited action as a freshman before earning a bigger role in 2014. Taylor finished that season 2nd on the squad in receiving yards and 3rd in TDs.

Then came a breakout 2015 campaign. Taylor set Western Kentucky single-season records for catches, receiving yards and receiving TDs. He also became the school’s all-time leader in career receiving yards and TDs.

Taylor topped 100 yards in 8 of 14 games, including a 10-103-1 line against an LSU defense that ranked 24th against the pass. Only eventual 1st-round pick Corey Coleman scored more receiving TDs than Taylor in 2015. He ranked 3rd in the country in receiving yards and 20th in catches.

2016 was even better. Taylor broke his own school records for catches and receiving yards. He ranked 3rd nation-wide in yards and TDs and 5th in catches. The senior hit triple-digit yardage in 9 of 14 outings, including a 9-121 line against Alabama’s vaunted defense. And he hit pay dirt in 9 straight games to end his college career. Taylor was named a Biletnikoff Award (nation’s top WR) semifinalist.

Western Kentucky’s passing game was uber-productive the past 3 years, finishing among the nation’s top 3 in yards and TDs in all 3. Taylor still posted impressive senior-season market shares, though: 32.1% of the team’s receptions, 36.7% of the yards and 40.5% of the TDs. Among the 12 WRs we’ve profiled so far, only Corey Davis accounted for a bigger percentage of his team’s receiving scores last year.


Film study:

Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com

Games watched - Alabama, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee St., Louisiana Tech, Memphis

From a body-build standpoint, Taylor reminds of Steve Smith. He’s on the short side but is compactly built.

Like Smith, Taylor does his best work on short and intermediate routes. He can change direction on a dime and is explosive in and out of his breaks.


Taylor’s best route might be the curl. He does an excellent job selling the vertical pattern, snapping it off, shielding his defender and then coming back to the ball.


Taylor is also a threat down the field. He has enough speed to create separation, but he wins most often with strong ball skills and sideline awareness.


He isn’t great in jump-ball situations — not a surprise considering his below-average height and vertical.

Although Taylor doesn’t run with quite as much ferocity after the catch as Smith, his quickness, change of direction and balance make him tough to corral.


Fantasy potential:

Taylor figures to get knocked by draftniks and potentially even NFL teams for subpar level of competition. But he dominated the guys who were put in front of him, including strong outings against LSU in 2015 and Alabama this past year. What more can we ask?

The film shows an explosive receiver who can win at all 3 levels of the field. His Combine performance — particularly the elite 3-cone and broad — confirm his quickness and change of direction.

This guy has the look of an NFL starter — and a value pick in both the NFL Draft and dynasty rookie drafts.


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