Taylor Helps Himself With Pro Day Showing

Wide receiver Courtney Taylor talks about his performance at Monday's Pro Day on the Auburn campus.

Auburn, Ala.--Unlike many of his teammates at Auburn's NFL Pro Day, wide receiver Courtney Taylor already had an idea of what to expect after taking part in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month.

Despite having a solid showing for the scouts at Indianapolis, Taylor says he was anxious to get back to Auburn and work out once again to show he was better than the player they saw in the Hoosier Dome.

If the early returns are any indication, Taylor more than helped himself as he turned in a very good showing in the drill portion of the workout while also testing well. Measuring in at 6-1 1/4, 205 pounds, Taylor ran two 40 times under 4.5 seconds, which was his goal coming in, while adding a 35 1/2 inch vertical and the longest standing broad jump of the day.

Once they broke up into position groups, Taylor was the only wide receiver in attendance and got a strenuous workout from the NFL scouts who wanted to see him in action. Without a senior quarterback on Auburn's roster and no QB prospects within close proximity available to come throw on Monday, Coach Kevin Yoxall called upon former quarterback Ben Leard to throw to Taylor and the backs for the day. Although the two had never set foot on the field together, Taylor says he had no problems catching passes from Leard.

"Coach Yox told me that he was going to be throwing and I was fine," Taylor says. "I watched Ben Leard growing up and knew he was a great and established SEC quarterback. It didn't make a difference to me. I told him I didn't care where he threw it because I was going to catch them all. It didn't even matter."

Courtney Taylor strides down the field after making a catch.

Looking smooth in his routes and catching everything thrown his way, Taylor had one of the more impressive receiver workouts for an Auburn player in recent years. He says that much of the reason for that is because of the training he's put in since the end of last year. Unlike many of his teammates who spent time in the Atlanta area, Taylor instead was in Florida working with Tom Shaw in Orlando. While Ben Grubbs, Will Herring, Karibi Dede and others spent time with Auburn teammates, Taylor says he instead spent time with one of college football's best players and picked up some pointers from him.

"Calvin Johnson kind of became my best friend down there for a while," Taylor says. "He's a great, humble guy. You had LaRon Landry and Craig Davis from LSU. We had Aaron Rouse from Virginia Tech. We had guys from everywhere down there. It was a very competitive atmosphere.

"He taught me to be humble," Taylor adds on Johnson. "That's the most humble guy I have ever met in my life. To be where he's at and the success he's had on the field, just how humble he is, you can't beat anything like that. That's a good guy and good friend."

Taylor says that he'll now take a week off before heading back to Orlando to continue training before the NFL Draft with the hope that he'll get invitations for private workouts with some teams before that time. Once the final days begin to hit home before the April 28 start of the draft, Taylor says he'll head home to be with his family in Carrolton, Ala., and anxiously await word on where he'll begin his pro career.

"I'm probably going to be in Tuscaloosa, somewhere close to my hometown," Taylor says. "Honestly you don't have any idea in this business. Of course, if you're a top five pick you can pretty much guess where you might go. I have heard everything. They have said I'm a first day guy with a lot of teams tell me at worst, the third round. I really have no idea. Most definitely (I would be happy going on the first day), but I would be even happier if I go in the first or second round."


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories