Football IQ - Simply put, he's green. Understandable but he's got a long way to go in terms of play recognition and trigger ability to attack and work into the teeth of plays and beating LBs to the spot. May be required to operate strictly under special teams as a best case scenario early on in his career to onboard his defensive prowess.
Tackling - He's got a requisite wingspan to wrap up and offers notable closing burst and acceleration to run through tackle challenges. Fairly dynamic finisher and brings a good attitude to head on collisions — isn't afraid of the contact despite lack of high end exposure.
Block Shedding - Length is present to be sufficient here but block deconstruction is still fairly foreign — especially in the box. He's been a bit spoiled by space reps and will need more coil and hand power to offset climbs to the 2nd level by offensive linemen looking to wall him off and prevent lateral flow.
Competitive Toughness - Like his effort level; he's a high motor player who uses his speed to his advantage in order to cover grass and rally to the football. Play strength isn't ideal but urgency and aggression do allow him to play through blocks of skill players and blow up potential screens and quick game on the boundary.
Lateral Mobility - He flows well, he's a free mover and despite track background he moves well in lateral scenarios as well. Capable of ducking across face and will offer good first step quickness to make up for delayed trigger in play recognition. He has some upside in coverage as a result of loose hips.
Coverage Skills - He's all upside — but not a lot of polish. Long way to go for playing zone coverage effectively but he does have the wingspan, hip mobility and movement skills to sufficiently shade and buzz in shallow zones. Offers upside in turn and run coverage, too — but he's all over the map with consistency and execution.
Gap Shooting Ability - Quickness is there to jump down into the action, but he's often flexed away from the set and even more often late to identify chances to bolt through flashing creases. He'll get stuck on lateral contact as well, needs to become more well versed in ripping through hands to uncover clean.
Feet/COD - Like his mobility quite a bit. Was expecting more of a straight line athlete but he can make angular adjustments on the fly and effectively to dart as needed and work to daylight. Mirror skills in short spaces are effective — he can win in head up scenarios in the alley.
Flexibility - He's fluid. Does not have issues with pivoting across his momentum or flipping his hips as necessary to play and react with quickness. Does a nice job of coiling and exploding through contact too in order to wrap and drive through contact as a tackler — more natural at the football than when working to it.
First Step Explosiveness - Plenty of twitch and bounce in his game; he's go from zero to sixty with little issue and get momentum rolling to break blocking angles. Quick to fly into traffic and has the ability to bail himself out with his suddenness from off platforms.
Best Trait - Range
Worst Trait - Play Strength
Best Film - Washington State (2019)
Worst Film - Oregon (2019)
Red Flags - None
Summary - Davion Taylor is a space defender who should bring the needed burst and range to the NFL to challenge for a rotational role. Taylor does not possess a lot of experience as a JUCO transfer with 2 years at the FBS level and understandably is raw from a mental processing perspective. Taylor will need to be utilized in a specific role to protect him as an undersized defender but he does offer some potential upside as an athlete on special teams coverage units as well.