Name: Jordan Taylor
Height: 6’5" Weight: 210 lbs
Age: 25 Experience: 3rd
Jordan “Sunshine” Taylor was picked up by Denver as an undrafted free agent in May of 2015, an in September of 2015, he joined Denver’s practice squad.
From there he famously became Peyton Manning’s personal workout partner during Manning’s injury and subsequent return for the Super Bowl run in 2015.
Manning famously bought Jordan Taylor a custom suit to wear during Super Bowl week for all his help and extra hours put in.
Here's Jordan Taylor's custom suit that Peyton Manning got him. Pretty cool deal! #SB50 #Broncos #suitup pic.twitter.com/F1K5aoNYBl— Phil Milani (@philmilani) January 31, 2016
This, along with his recognizable hair and 6’5” frame, put him on Broncos fans radar and he carried it over into last year.
In 2016 he had a strong camp and even stronger preseason which earned him a spot on the final 53 man roster.
A night from @Broncos WR Jordan Taylor... #DENvsAZ pic.twitter.com/JM1lvYzYzu— NFL (@NFL) September 2, 2016
In 2016, he was stuck in a 4-headed mashup behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. With Jordan Norwood off the team, Taylor now will compete with Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer for what looks to be scarce roster space given that Denver drafted two wide receivers in Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie.
Taylor will need to build off of his 16 catch, two touchdown campaign from last year to solidify himself at the top of the pack.
Taylor has great size and catch radius, at 6’5”. Combine that with great hands, and you have the makings of some highlight reel catches.
I still can't believe this catch by Broncos WR Jordan "Sunshine" Taylor pic.twitter.com/MgJ2alCBtc— NFL Retweet (@NFLRT) August 1, 2016
He also shows good toughness and wiggle after the catch. Last season, I remember one short throw (insert Siemian joke here) where he spun out several defenders and created a first down all on his own.
.@TrevorSiemian evades Houston.— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
Runs ALL the way across the field.
And finds Jordan Taylor for the TD! #KCvsDEN https://t.co/2GDwIy23rH
Paxton Lynch.— NFL (@NFL) September 2, 2016
In the end zone... Again! #DENvsAZ https://t.co/jbVatX66XT
Oh my, Jordan Taylor!— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2016
His 1st career TD grab! #Broncos #DENvsNO https://t.co/l0Wrj02yjI
He also has shown good chemistry with both of the young quarterbacks so far.
From a stats perspective, he outplayed both Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer last year while also contributing the same number of special teams snaps (40%) as they did.
Not unlike the majority of our receiving corp outside of DT and Emmanuel, Taylor would disappear at times for long stretches during games. Some of that has to do with lack of separation. Taylor has to get more refined in his route running and learn to consistently create separation.
He has the ability to make contested catches, but in the NFL (and especially with a young QB) you can’t rely on contested catches consistently. You have to get open regularly.
“Watching last year’s tape at the end of the year, I was impressed with Jordan. Jordan is a hard worker. He’s a big target, he’s got good hands and he works hard everyday. That’s a full room. Between ‘88’ (WR Demaryius Thomas), ‘10’ (WR Emmanuel Sanders) , ‘14’ (Cody Latimer) and [WR Bennie] Fowler, plus those two young kids, that’s a full room. It’s going to be a tough decision in terms of who makes our football team, but that’s the way it should be. You want every spot on your football team to be that way. You want it tough and competitive in training camp.”
- Vance Joseph
I have alluded to it, but Jordan’s main competition for a roster slot is Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer. I think it’s unlikely Denver keeps two of those three, and completely impossible that they keep all three. Taylor will have to continue to have a strong off season and make plays in preseason like he did last year, to solidify his roster spot.
Personally, I think Taylor is the best of the three, and brings a dimension of size and red zone ability that Denver lacks in their receiving corp currently, outside of DT. I would put my money on Sunshine making the team and contributing at a higher level this coming year.