2013 NFL Draft Prospects: Devin Taylor Scouting Profile

Kevin C. Cox

A tall strutting Gamecock of a Defensive End, Devin Taylor is no "Drill Bit."

The Denver Broncos aren’t in the immediate market for a Defensive End in this year’s draft, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have any on their radar. Somewhere around the 3rd round however, they could entertain the thought of selecting an available prospect. One such player could end up being Devin Taylor from South Carolina.

Taylor is a 6’7", 275 lb. Redshirt Senior who Lettered all 4 years for the Gamecocks. He is ranked 13th out of 212 Defensive End prospects and 115th overall in 2013. Taylor’s 40 Time is listed as 4.79 seconds and his Production Ratio came in at 1.02. He is projected as a 3rd-4th round pick.

BIO

#98 Devin Taylor
Date of birth: November 15, 1989 (age 23)
Degree: Integrated Information Technology.

Arm Length-35 3/4"
Hand Length-10 1/4"

2010 All-SEC (AP, Phil Steele, Rivals.com)
2011 Preseason All-American (Phil Steele)
2011 Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele)

Taylor played in 52 games over the past 4 seasons, with 45 starts. He is credited with 161 Tackles, 35.5 TFL’s, 18.5 Sacks and 22 Quarterback Hurries. Taylor ranks among the Gamecocks' career top-10 in both Sacks (6th) and TFL’s (tied for 2nd). He emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the SEC after the 2010 season, earning him recognition from ESPN as the 6th-best player in the SEC coming into the 2011 season. He participated in the East-West Shrine Game last month and received an invite to the NFL Combine.

This past year as a Senior, Devin started all 13 games at Defensive End, logging 40 Tackles with 8.5 Tackles For Loss, 3 Sacks, 5 Pass Breakups and 3 Hurries.

In 2011, this talented Defensive End was named honorable mention All-SEC by the Associated Press. He started all 13 games, making 42 Tackles, 8.5 TFL’s, 6.0 Sacks, an Interception, 2 Pass Breakups, 6 Hurries and a pair of Fumble Recoveries.

As a Sophomore in 2010, Devin was named to the 1st-team All-SEC by the Associated Press, Phil Steele and Rivals.com and 2nd-team All-SEC by the league's coaches. He also was an All-Sophomore 1st-team selection by CollegeFootballNews.com. Taylor started all 14 games, led the Gamecocks' Defensive linemen with 46 Tackles, led the team and ranked 8th in the SEC with 13 Tackles For Loss. He also had 7.5 Sacks, good for 4th in the SEC, led the team with 8 Pass Breakups and 11 Quarterback Hurries. Devin.scored his first career touchdown vs. Tennessee with a 24-yard Interception return, while also recovering two UT Fumbles.

In 2009, he platooned at Defensive End with Clifton Geathers, played in 12 of the 13 games (did not dress against Florida due to a bruised sternum) and started each of the first five games. Taylor had 28 Tackles with 5.5 TFL’s, 2 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles and a blocked Punt.

2008: Redshirted as a true freshman.

DRAFT PROFILE

NFL.COM DRAFT GRADE-62.9

STRENGTHS: Tall and long with freakishly long wingspan (87"), Taylor possess an ideal athletic frame for a strong-side Defensive End. He has an extremely high motor and is always pursuing the ball until the whistle, making a high number of hustle plays. His height, length and big hands help him deflect passes (18 career Passes Defended including 2 INT’s).

A strong tackler, Devin’s long arms make him difficult to completely avoid and he is tenacious in getting ballcarriers to the ground once latched on. Hustles down the line when unblocked and downfield to chase plays, also gives strong effort fighting through double teams on the edge and when dropped into short zones.

Has bullrush potential, but his power rush is underutilized. Devin has an effective swim move and with his height, can easily get his arm over the top of blockers.
Powerful and violent hands when he uses them effectively and has the ability to occupy and control multiple blocker at once on the edge.

WEAKNESSES: Taylor isn’t a quick-twitch athlete, especially with his hand on the ground. He flashes burst off the snap but isn’t entirely consistent with it. Possesses tight hips and lacks natural fluidity to burst to the play, struggling to smoothly redirect. Lean-muscled and will get pushed around, lacking natural power on his frame, probably due to a top heavy build. He could use a feisty temperament and more of a sense of urgency. His height and long legs prevent him from having elite short-area agility, change of direction ability, and closing speed. Devin has a tendency to stand up almost immediately off the snap. Takes time to rip off blocks with long arms and slower hands and can be moved out of the hole by better linemen. Needs to use his length to full advantage, extending his arms to keep distance from tackles.
Taylor is limited in edge rush ability by a lack of combination moves. He doesn’t disengage well enough for an end with extremely long arms and his overall hand usage is very undeveloped. He needs to play with a lower pad level because he allows blockers to get underneath his pads too often.

NFL COMPARISON: Kenny Iwebema (Arizona)

OVERALL: Right now, Devin is a tweener Defensive End with poor technique thriving on a big-time motor and unmatched size. I call Taylor a tweener because he doesn’t have the flexibility or foot quickness to thrive as an edge rusher in a 4-3, but his struggles to lower his pads and a rather lean frame at the moment could limit his effectiveness as a 5 technique. His value is probably
equal for both schemes since he’s going to require development anyways. His evaluation would be far more glowing had he progressed in the way most had hoped since his sophomore season, but that didn’t happen and now he should come off the board late in the second day or early in the third.–Darren Page

BOTTOM LINE: While Taylor is a physical specimen in his own right, he does not display proper quickness or pad level in order to be a consistent starting player in the NFL. However, Taylor is a player that isn't a stranger to hustle, and his length will make him an intriguing target to a team that thinks they can fix his pad level and pass rushing technique. Perhaps more intriguing however is the fact that his frame does not appear to be maxed out yet. It seems as if he can easily get to around 300 pounds, without sacrificing athleticism, which could interest all 32 teams.

The NFL Network's Charles Davis singled out South Carolina DE Devin Taylor as a player he is excited to watch during the Combine. Davis was very impressed with Taylor during the East-West Shrine week and believed he "opened up some eyes." We are worried Taylor might be tight in the hips and his long arms may prevent a strong display of strength, but he has a frame NFL teams' covet. Feb 7th Source: NFL.com

NFLDraft Scout

VIDEOS

2012-13 Gamecock Spotlight Video

Devin Taylor Interception vs. Arkansas - South Carolina Football 2011

Devin Taylor: It's Great To Be A Gamecock 2012

Highlights: Devin Taylor - South Carolina

Devin Taylor NFL Draft Analysis - 2010 Season

While the scouting reports are as inconsistent as the prospect himself, Devin Taylor has the size, effort and speed to become a very good player. He is somewhat of a development project and needs to work on his flexibility, hands and pad level, but could contribute right away as a situational pass rusher because of his ability to shut down passing lanes and bat down passes. Devin needs to develop his lower body to help balance out his length. Most of his faults can be cured with good coaching, so there is plenty of promise. In my opinion, Devin Taylor is not the next coming of Jarvis Moss.

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