Pro Day showing could spring Taylor's stock

Outgoing Sun Devil senior wide receiver Kerry Taylor had a career year in 2010, yet that wasn't enough for the former Chandler Hamilton standout to obtain an invite to the NFL combine. Last Friday at ASU's Pro Day, Taylor finally got his chance to strut his skills in front of NFL scouts and feels that his performance on that day should garner vital attention leading up to next month's NFL draft.

The 6-0 199 Kerry Taylor reported 40-yard dash times recorded that day ranging between 4.43 to 4.54 seconds. He added that he posted a time of 4.1 seconds in the shuttle, 6.6 seconds in the L-Cone drill, as well as registering marks of 10 feet in the broad jump and a 38-inch vertical.

"I was able to put up the numbers that I wanted in my drills and was very happy with the way it went," Taylor said. "It (Pro day) went as well I expected it to go. I think I was able to answer some question marks with my drills.

"Maybe some (scouts) thought I was more of a possession receiver and I was able to showcase my speed and quickness. I did better than maybe some people expected me to."

Taylor said that some teams (didn't specify them by name) were in contact with him prior to Pro Day and that he is hearing from even more teams following that event. He doesn't have team visits planned as of right now but believes that this may change before the April 28-30 draft.

"I'm open to visiting any team," Taylor stated. "I grew up rooting for the (Arizona) Cardinals because they are the home team. If they gave me an opportunity to come out there and visit their facilities that would be awesome."

Being the nephew of former San Francisco 49ers great John Taylor obviously generates some speculation whether that team will invite the former ASU player for a visit, let alone draft him.

"Anything is possible," Taylor commented. "I really don't try to feed myself off of my father (10-year NFL veteran Keith Taylor) and my uncle because I want to make a name for myself. But if that connection helps then it helps. I'm willing to go to any team that will give me a chance."

By his own admission Taylor stated that the first three years of his Arizona State tenure didn't go exactly as planned recording 58 receptions and 734 receiving yards. However, the new system implemented by first-year offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone benefited the wide receiver quite well.

In his senior campaign, Taylor paced the Sun Devils in receptions (54) and receiving yards (699) averaging nearly 13 yards a catch.

"In my senior year I was really able to showcase the type of player I am," Taylor said. "I was able to do a lot more than I did in my first three years. I think the new offense helped me out and let me do what I am best at."

Taylor, who didn't redshirt his freshman year, acknowledged that there is a part of him that wishes he could be a member of the 2011 roster and a squad that is poised to have a banner year.

"I wish we had a better year last season," Taylor confessed. "We were young and we were playing under a new offense so we had the normal learning bumps and curves along the way. With all the players we have coming back this year I know the team will have a strong year."

In his last collegiate game, a 30-29 double overtime victory against rival Arizona, Taylor had his best game donning the maroon and gold hauling in six catches for 112 yards and was instrumental in his team's victory that night.

"I wish we went to a bowl after that game," Taylor remarked, "but I guess that was our bowl game in the end and I'm happy I was able to play the way I did in my last game for ASU. Beating U of A on their field in double overtime is a great way to go out. I don't know I would be able to top that off playing in a bowl game. That was the most fun I ever had in a game and my best ASU memory."

Taylor, much like other players showcasing their skills for NFL teams in recent weeks, are naturally focused on their own task on hand and perhaps by default oblivious to the league lockout which is taking place these days putting the 2011 season in a state of uncertainty.

"Obviously I hope that all that stuff gets taken care of sooner than later," Taylor explained. "I just try to worry about other stuff like working hard and making sure that I can make it to an NFL roster. Players like Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are the ones that are fighting and helping out guys like me possibly have a job next year. I hope everything works out because we all want to play football."

The former ASU wide receiver believes that his Pro Day showing will help his chances of getting selected (most likely in the lower rounds) and fulfill his goal of his name being called during the draft.

"I think I did the best I could do on Pro Day," Taylor commented. "The rest is up to the NFL teams and whether they like me and whether they think I can play in their system. It's just a waiting game.

"Sometimes it isn't bad to be a free agent because then you are more in control of the process and you get to pick the opportunity that fits you the best. When you get drafted there is obviously more money up front, but in the long run if you get to pick your team that could help you out more."

Taylor stated the best advice his father and uncle have given him concerning the NFL draft process is to just worry about what he can control.

"They told me that I control what I do on my Pro Day and I thought I did well," Taylor said. "Now it's just a waiting game and seeing which team thinks I can help them out and make an impact right away."


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