After Howie Roseman’s statements in his press conference this week, some think the Eagles will draft a defensive lineman in the first round or trade back.
With that in mind, we’ll all have our eye on the top defensive line prospects in the 2011 draft class. One guy the Eagles may have an eye on is defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
At 6’3″ and 334 pounds, Taylor is a natural run stopper in the middle. At the line of scrimmage, Taylor gets deep into the opposing blocker and uses his hands very well. He is very strong and easily throws blockers out of his way in one-on-one situations.
Taylor had some trouble with the double teams he saw in college, but he plays with very violent hands and attacks continuously until the whistle. When doubled in college, he would often try to read the backfield and shed a blocker to make a play rather then penetrating deep into the backfield.
He’s a very physical player and could definitely be talented at the next level if he stays focused. Many scouts have worries about Taylor’s focus on the game. He was from Penn State for academic purposes and also was involved in an off-campus fight.
There’s also been concerns about his conditioning and how he treats his body. At one point, he weighed as much as 385 pounds and seemed to wear down late in games.
Although there are concerns about Taylor’s past, he has definitely made improvements his senior year and seemed to regain his focus. He finished the year strong and looked good at the NFL Combine.
Some think he’d fit well as a 3-4 NT in the NFL, but I think he would be a great fit for the Eagles 4-3 system.
If drafted by the Eagles, Taylor wouldn’t crack the starting lineup right away, but would definitely fit into the rotation in the middle of the line. I think he would make a solid impact as a rookie. The interior defensive line will play a bit different than they have in the past, and I think that if this is a guy Jim Washburn likes, the Eagles could make a play for him.
View highlights of Taylor during his time at Baylor by clicking here.