Name: Vincent Taylor
School: Oklahoma State
Position: Nose tackle (0/1 technique)
Stats to know: 43 total pressures tied for 11th among all interior defensive linemen in 2016.
What he does best:
- Tremendously powerful, uses heavy hands to shock lineman as he engages.
- Consistently stands up blockers on initial contact.
- Flashes ability to generate vertical movement against single blocks in the run game.
- Displays good leverage and strength when bull rushing, consistently able to collapse the pocket.
- Possesses sufficient power to disengage opposing lineman with just one arm.
- Multi-dimensional pass-rusher, beat blocks using the swim, rip and arm over moves intermittently.
- Forces offensive lineman to overextend with a developed push/pull move.
- Sufficiently athletic for the position, unbalanced offensive lineman with quickness occasionally.
- Refined upper body technique, displays good hand placement and ability to “get skinny” to penetrate.
- Fails to consistently shed in the ground game, despite generating an early advantage in reps.
- Lacks patience to find the ball, occasionally loses gap discipline.
- Overly aggressive at times, widens lanes with attempts to penetrate.
- Rarely generates pressure if initially blocked, lacks a variety of counter moves.
- Not the stoutest against double teams, can be surprised by blindside chips.
- Not the smoothest when required to change direction.
Player comparison: Michael Brockers, Los Angeles Rams
Like Brockers, Taylor has a long frame and both players can have their problems with double teams if they don’t win right off the snap. Brockers has had a solid career for the Rams, and Taylor should have plenty to stick around as a productive nose tackle at the next level.
Bottom line: If not for the depth in this class of defensive lineman, Taylor would undoubtedly have received more attention. He put together a remarkably impressive junior year, flashing an outstanding physical skillset. Taylor is already a well-developed pass-rusher, despite his tender years. In order to succeed at nose tackle in the NFL, however, he’ll need to improve against the run. Although Taylor flashed a spectacular skillset, consistency remains elusive.