Philadelphia Eagles Draft: Carlif Taylor Offers Value In Late Rounds
Will the Philadelphia Eagles draft Marcus Mariota? Will they stay put and pick Byron Jones, Jaelen Strong or some other high-profile draft prospect? Will the Eagles draft a capable starting safety and who is going to replace Jeremy Maclin in the receiving corps?
All these topics have been discussed over and over again in the last couple of months and will be discussed even more in the remaining hours until the start of the 2015 NFL Draft. No surprise, as the answers to those questions will affect the Eagles’ 2015 season big time.
However, it’s really important for team to be able to find value in the late rounds. I’m not going to bring the Tom Brady case up (even though I just did), but there are a number of top NFL players who were drafted late or even went undrafted, like Jason Peters and Tony Romo.
Defensive tackle Carlif Taylor is someone whose name is not being mentioned in the draft discussion as much as it should be. It is understandable, as he is coming from a Division II football program and his compact frame does not pass the eye test.
Carlif Taylor is 6′ 2″ tall, his weght is listed at 314 lbs. His arms were measured at 32″ and his hand size is 9″ 1/4.
Taylor played football at Southern Connecticut State. During his time with the Owls, Taylor posted 6.5 sacks and 172 tackles, 25 of which were for a loss.
He attended the Rutgers Pro Day, where he run the 40-yard dash at 5.1 seconds and did 30 reps in the bench press. Carlif’s size might not be ideal, but his athleticism, strength and play on the field suggest he has what it takes to play in the NFL.
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If you look at his tape, it’s hard not to be impressed by his tenacity and motor. Taylor keeps his pads low and straight and uses his hands to knock off the offensive lineman’s block. He’s not the first to get up after the snap, but he attacks the gap fast and his overall movement in the trenches looks natural.
Carlif Taylor does a great job getting off blocks while keeping an eye on where the play is headed. He never quits on a play and there were times where he chased the ball carrier 20 or more yards down the field. In every play, he shows the spark, the strength and the tenacity you want to see in a defensive lineman.
His ideal position would be 4-3 defensive tackle (either 1-tech or 3-tech), but Taylot can play in 3-4 too. As Ryan Bonds from SportsRants.com noted, Taylor has playing experience in both fronts and could be a nose tackle or a defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
Taylor is not expected to go earlier than the fifth round. In some media outlets, he is projected as a seventh-rounder or even an undrafted free agent.
Will the Eagles draft another defensive lineman in the late rounds, as they did in the last two years? The defensive line is set and there is little need for depth. Nevertheless, a player with the potential Taylor has shouldn’t be overlooked.