Alontae Taylor

Alontae Taylor

  • CB Volunteers
  • Senior
  • #--
  • 6'
  • 199lbs
  • 12/03/1998
  • Prospect
  • Southeastern
TDN 100 TDN100 Prospect

2021 Season

INT

2

PD

2

TACK

36

TD

1

Top Traits

Football IQ

Taylor's transition to cornerback seems to leave added room for growth.

Football IQ

Alontae Taylor

Taylor has showcased steady growth when it comes to developing his feel and instincts in coverage, especially in zone. He is capable in any coverage technique and he wasn’t guilty of coverage breakdowns in any of my exposures. He has only played cornerback since the fall of 2018 and it didn’t take him long to develop into one of the best corners in the SEC.

Functional Athleticism

Taylor is a bit more of a straight line athlete. Plan accordingly.

Functional Athleticism

Alontae Taylor

Taylor has excellent speed and can be trusted to carry routes vertically down the field. He has dynamic click-and-close ability. With that said, his short-area quickness and agility are only average, which leads to some challenges staying connected with elusive route-runners that can uncover quickly if Taylor isn’t able to disrupt them at the line of scrimmage.

Versatility

Corner? Safety? Return man?

Versatility

Alontae Taylor

Taylor has appeal in any coverage concept, although there are some matchups in man coverage that present challenges. He has some experience working from the slot and has favorable traits to be considered at safety. Taylor has been a steady presence for Tennessee on the punt and punt return units.

Prospect Summary

Alontae Taylor transitioned from wide receiver to cornerback in the fall of 2018 and developed into one of the top corners in the SEC. In addition to being a quality football player, Taylor was an academic standout at Tennessee that is known for his football character. An ascending talent that played his best football in 2021, Taylor has developed his instincts in coverage, is a good athlete, features plenty of versatility, and embraces a physical brand of football.

While Taylor is best in zone and press coverage, he has the ability to hold his own in off-man coverage and carry routes vertically. With that said, his best moments in coverage come when he can cue the backfield, stay leveraged, and drive forward. While the results can be inconsistent, he is never passive about tackling or playing off contact. And while he isn’t overly deficient in man coverage, shifty and elusive route-runners can give him trouble on the horizontal plane if he is unable to disrupt the route early at the line of scrimmage.

In year one, Taylor should be a standout on special teams and provide quality depth. By year two or three, Taylor has the makeup of a quality starter as he continues to gain comfort and time on task at the position.

Ideal Role: Developmental starter, special teams Standout

Scheme Fit: Zone with some press-man coverage

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: South Carolina (2020), Texas A&M (2020), Georgia (2020), Pittsburgh (2021), Ole Miss (2021), Georgia (2021), Kentucky (2021)

Best Game Studied: Kentucky (2021)

Worst Game Studied: Ole Miss (2021)

Man Coverage Skills: Taylor is aggressive and physical in man coverage where his best reps come when he can play up on the line of scrimmage, crowd releases, create jams, and put the cap on routes early. While he has the speed to carry routes vertically, he has modest agility which creates some challenges when trying to stay connected with elusive and shifty route-runners that can snap quickly through breaks and create separation. While I like him more in zone coverage, Taylor can hold his own in man.

Zone Coverage Skills: Taylor has really developed his feel for zone coverage and does well to stay leveraged, reach his landmarks, and adjust on the fly. His ability to cue the backfield and work into throwing lanes shines on tape. He’s comfortable operating from a half-turn, squeezing routes, and layering coverage.

Ball Skills: Taylor’s ability to play the football has improved steadily throughout his career—keep in mind he converted from wide receiver in the fall of 2018. With that said, he still has room for growth. There are times where he is late to find the ball and is clearly more comfortable driving forward on the football at this point.

Tackling: Taylor is a competitive and physical tackler that is enthusiastic about getting involved. With that said, he needs to find more consistency with his results. He’s an aggressive tackler that aims low and generally tries to wrap, but he does miss too frequently and I believe it has more to do with executing with better control. He is guilty of leaving his feet and dropping his head on contact and it leads to whiffs.

Versatility: See Above.

Competitive Toughness: Taylor’s competitive spirit always shows up when watching him play. He is enthusiastic about tackling, playing off contact, being physical in press coverage, and competing at the catch point. He’s embraced different roles for the Vols and improved every year.

Functional Athleticism: See Above.

Football IQ: See Above.

Run Defending: Taylor is an enthusiastic run defender with a fast downhill trigger and he loves to be physical. He does well to take on contact and spill runs back inside while maintaining outside leverage. He has the makeup of a corner that will make his team’s run defense better and not just be “willing.”

Length: Taylor has ideal length and knows how to use it. It primarily shows up in press coverage with his ability to get hands on receivers early, when competing at the catch point, and extending his tackle radius. His length is a notable asset in zone coverage with how he can restrict and influence passing windows.

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 77.25/100 (Third Round Value)

Crabbs Grade: 76.00/100

Marino Grade: 77.50/100

Harris Grade: 76.00/100

Sanchez Grade: 78.00/100

Weissman Grade: 77.00/100

Parson Grade: 79.00/100