In this year’s 6th round, the Miami Dolphins selected Vincent Taylor, out of Big 12’s Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The question asked of Taylor, as with all other draftees or UDFAs: can they immediately contribute to the upcoming season(s)? Are they underrated “sleepers,” or “project players,” those who will take a few seasons to find their stride and place within an organization?
For the Dolphins potentially arriving towards the end of aNew England Patriots-dominant era, the timing couldn’t be better, considering the team’s current evolution under head coach Adam Gase.
Immediately, Taylor is easily a pocket-disruptor who will draw attention from any opposing front seven. That said, it hard to ignore 6’3” and 304 lbs. coming off the snap or the silent count. Most game film shows he is quicker than faster. What’s the difference between the two? Quick is from the start, whereas “fast” is the ability to make up for lost ground or time should a player fall behind during the course of a play.
If he lines up against other rookie guards, stopping Taylor’s impulse time won’t be an easy feat. He will probably be more of a force when lined up with Ndamukong Suh in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Consider both have similar builds and 40-yard-dash times. Taylor also comes with an above-average collegiate record of blocked kicks (4), in addition to his cumulative sack totals.
Unfortunately, he has been critiqued as being a “top-heavy” player. That becomes a liability in event of stunt plays or sweeps to Taylor’s weak side. Ironically, one of Taylor’s nuances is taking advantage of a player’s weak side with his quickness in neutral zones.
Overall, some scouting reports may perceive Taylor as a practice squad player for now. In a run-defense or short-yardage package, he is currently an inexperienced asset who should grow with game-time experience as either a situational or rotational player, in the event of injury to other defensive tackles on Miami’s depth chart. While he can be used on a limited basis now, there is no doubt of his potential to grow into a threat player, like Suh on the other side or middle of a line.