NAME: Jawaan Taylor
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
JERSEY: No. 65
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 334 lbs
Run Blocking – Brings heavy hands, good core strength and powerful leg drive that enables him to create movement in the run game. That said, he must do a better job of leveraging his hips to achieve the same success in the NFL. Easily absorbs contact and redirects. Unlikely to ever be over-matched in terms of power. Sustains blocks extremely well. Has the lateral mobility and football IQ needed to be effective in zone.
Pass Blocking – Terrific blend of length, mobility and power to be a reliable pass blocker. Rare lateral movement skills for his size. Has really cleaned up his pass sets to take proper sets to frame rushers and protect against moves to the be or c-gap. Stuns rushers with his hands. Effectively uses his length and widens the rushers path.
Blocking in Space – Illustrates impressive range on tape, working to the second level and the perimeter to connect with moving targets. Body control on the move is outstanding and he squares up to targets in space well. Good vertical blocker and anticipates the flow of the defense while taking good angles to his landmarks. Consistently arrives on schedule.
Power – Can play with more consistent leverage to take advantage of his play strength but plus power is evident throughout his frame. Hands are heavy and violent with insanely powerful grip strength once the clamps are set. Core strength is evident on account of how well his controls at the point of attack despite inconsistent leverage.
IQ – Underrated strength of his game. Love how smart he is in pass protection, showing an astute understanding of what everyone’s role in the scheme is and showcasing terrific eye discipline. Is always under control, alert and reactive to stunts and pressure packages. Dedicated to establishing body positioning and arrives to his landmarks on the move on schedule. Timing with scoops and combos is precise.
Feet – Smooth and controlled footwork, especially for a man of his size. Impressive lateral mobility and smooth change of direction skills. Rarely false steps when releasing to space. Has really cleaned up issues with his kick slide that caused him issues earlier in his career.
Hands – Hands are violent and heavy. Battles to fit his hands throughout the rep and his grip strength is outstanding when he’s locked in. Is guilty of clapping instead of punching which leads to inconsistent aim and elongated strikes. Hand carriage is low in his stance. Love how he finds leverage points to create movement in the run game and works the inside shoulder when rushers threaten the outside edge track to widen their course. There is room for technical growth here to make him even more effective.
Balance – Ability to control his massive frame, despite often bowing his back instead of leveraging his hips, is impressive. Is a smooth and controlled operator in space. Has impressive moments of hip hinge and pivoting to establish his frame. Lateral movement skills are outstanding for his stature.
Versatility – Looks extremely comfortable playing right tackle and I’m not sure I’d mess with it. Doesn’t have limitations that concern me on the left side and would probably be fine at guard. That said, I’d try and keep him at right tackle where his growth throughout his career has been impressive.
BEST TRAIT – Pass Blocking
WORST TRAIT – Hands
RED FLAGS – None
A three-year starter for the Gators, Taylor improved in every season, culminating with a dominant junior campaign. Taylor offers a rare blend of mass, length, mobility and power that make him an ideal starter at right tackle. He does have some technical improvements to be made with his hands and playing with better leverage, which are fixable issues. Taylor has the upside to become an impact starter and fixture in a quality NFL offensive line.
Pass Sets – Excellent cadence. Comfortable with open hips to maximize his drive/catch but still shows understanding of pacing to ensure he doesn’t overset against inside counters. Does well to frame his blocks with his base and not get caught with too wide a base.
Length/Extension – Potent, powerful hands when playing away from his frame. Shows good reach to impact and influence defenders early, but needs to optimize his strike and get hands out earlier, he carries his hands low and can give up his chest.
Balance – Has been guilty of working up on top of his toes and can be too eager to roll his hips through contact, would benefit from keeping his hips set lower and coiling more through the lower half. Wins with strength but can enhance his play with focus in pad level after first contact.
Hand Technique – Hands are a bit too “clappy” and don’t throw with intentional force and power to stun initial push by pass rushers. Once he’s set his hands he’s very difficult to shed, showing impressive strength. Needs more focus on torquing defenders and initial stab.
Power at POA – Devastating power through his blows. Foot speed, quickness, lower body power and upper body strength will wash defenders out of the frame effectively. Shows strong reset in short yardage and explosive pop when stepping in late on double teams.
Football IQ – Showed impressive improvement throughout the course of college career, was playing at a very high level after coaching staff changes in 2018. Would like to see a little more focus on angles and hand fits to leverage defenders at the POA and establish a seal.
Functional Athleticism – Superb. Is nimble for his size and shows sudden acceleration onto the second level or when needing to press up-field to pick off second level defenders. Mirror skills are strong and shows high end redirection to ride out counters.
Anchor Ability – Natural power through the lower half is evident. Is bigger and thicker than you’d think, carrying his weight extremely well. Has little issue vs. pure power and envelopes speed to power conversions. Bows his back to set his feet firmly in the ground and lock out vs. rushers.
Flexibility – Surreal lower body mobility, especially playing in his pass sets. Shows strong knee bend, strong hip hinge and ability to reach his catch foot for depth as a means of handling speed. Will rip across face in reach situations with good torso mobility to work hips across.
Competitive Toughness – Stands out in effort plays, will burst quickly and hustle to get back out in front of runs cut back against the grain. Has tremendous natural power and ability to dictate reps in tight quarters, doesn’t need a lot of space to generate force.
BEST TRAIT – Pass Sets
WORST TRAIT – Pad Level
BEST FILM – Mississippi State (2018)
WORST FILM – Kentucky (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Jawaan Taylor is an impressive prospect: his mobility, length and functional power have the makings of a franchise offensive tackle. Taylor offers positional diversity, but his work in combo blocks, climbing to the second level and ability to reset the LOS make him a very attractive target in a gap/power system. Taylor has good hip hinge in his hips to play with grace in his pass sets and if he’s able to clean up his hands, Taylor has an extremely high ceiling as a starter.
Pass Protection – Ideal foot quickness and body control to cover the edge against speed rushers. If he gets beat on his outside hip, it’s usually because someone got into his frame first, not because pure speed was too much for him. Excellent athletic and functional mobility, can slide down hard on inside moves. Solid anchor, but still learning to protect his frame from long arm moves.
POA Run Blocking – Can open that frontside hip a bit more to gain ground on zone runs. Can struggle reaching 3 techniques without ample help from the guard on the first level. If he grips you up, good luck. Outstanding power and the ability to drive opponents out of gaps. Excellent ability to create torque to push defenders’ up the arc on seal blocks. Combo blocks are well-executed and not left hastily.
Functional Strength – Impressive power in his vice grip hands. Can displace defenders even without proper leverage in the run game. Tough to break his hands when he locks you up, have seen him stone guys with one arm.
Pass Pro Footwork – Erupts out of his stance with an elite feel for proper range in his set points. Clearly anticipates certain rushes based on the stance and alignment of the defender. Unbelievable balance and smooth footwork to alter set points on the fly or slide back inside on a counter. Almost never off-balance or out of control in his movements. Good luck beating him with speed. Occasionally will get a little eager and overset, exposing an inside rush lane that even he can’t lock down when an edge rusher is looking for it off the snap.
Strike Timing/Placement – Has flashes of being a little bit low and slow with his hands, but punch is deadly when he lands it with good timing. Has the length and power to send a message in pass protection. Vice grips power rushers and inside moves. Literally the place where inside moves go to die, left hand is an absolute wall in pass protection when defenders try to cross his face.
Never over-extends or lunges in his strikes. Prefers to carry hands low, which occasionally allows a rusher into his chest, but can drop anchor and ward off most power rushes with good hand work. In the run game, can get his hands wide and allow defenders into his frame, although he still does a good job of walling them off. Will control opponents much better with a little more attention to detail in his hand placement as a vertical blocker.
Leverage – If he can drop his pad level at the line of scrimmage, he’ll unlock his natural power and create more movement off the ball. Hands come up and drive from under his opponents’ pads, but hips are often a bit too high. Arrives at second level upright and can let linebackers into his pads as a result.
Space Blocking – Elite body control at the second level. Hits targets on the move with eye-popping agility and an engulfing physique. Hands can get a bit wide, will have to watch holding calls in NFL. Rarely misses a second level target and has the athleticism to run them out of the play if they try to work around him. As a puller, needs to throttle down a bit more and find his moving target on the fly (rarely pulled).
Competitive Toughness – No concerns here. Not a big finisher, but plays physical and doesn’t get pushed around. Competes and will get after defenders in extended play situations. Elite effort in space to reach corners on the perimeter.
Mental Processing – Does an outstanding job adjusting his pass set based on defender’s alignment. Seems to recognize a lot of twists pre-snap and communicates to pass off defenders flawlessly. Spatial awareness to right guard is evident on tape, stays on same level to handle games. As a run blocker, notes movement of second level defenders pre-and-post snap and is rarely lost in space. Sees late pressure coming a mile off.
Athleticism/Size – Elite size, length and mobility for the position. Ascending prospect with all the physical and athletic tools to play right away in the NFL.
BEST TRAIT – Pass Pro Footwork
WORST TRAIT – Hand Placement
RED FLAGS – None
After a mediocre at best sophomore season, Jawaan Taylor became one of the country’s most improved players during the 2018 campaign, excelling under Dan Mullen’s new staff at Florida. Facing a murderer’s row of pass rushers throughout the season, Taylor was consistently excellent, showing explosive footwork, impressive range in his set points and the power to physically manhandle opponents as well.
Little things still need brushed up in Taylor’s game, like consistent strike timing, pad level and getting his hands inside more regularly in the run game. But all the physical and athletic tools to be a star are in place, and the technique took a massive leap forward against elite competition this past season. Expect Taylor to come off the board in the top 10 picks, which is where he belongs.