Tough Taylor likes the dirty work

Jamaar Taylor missed minicamp and won't participate in a competitive practice until August. But the rookie receiver has already impressed Giants coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Ernie Accorsi with his toughness, the trait for which the sixth-round draft choice was most recognized at Texas A&M. <BR><BR>

Before the draft, Taylor, only about halfway through rigorous rehabilitation for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, displayed the determination Coughlin covets in injured players. Though he would've been well within reason to skip change-of-direction drills while working out for the team, Taylor tried anyway, even with his professional future unsettled. Taylor also was supposed to run only at half-speed prior to the draft, but pushed himself and was clocked in the mid-4s in the 40-yard dash.

"I am excited about his continued progress," Coughlin said. "The value of this young man in terms of how he was evaluated prior to the injury is substantial. He is very well thought of."

Draft prognosticators projected Taylor to be taken as early as the second round at the start of his senior season for the Aggies. The three-year starter, who transferred from Notre Dame, was on pace to set school career marks in receptions and receiving yardage, but blew out his knee in Texas A&M's sixth game against Nebraska. When he's healthy, the 6-0, 197-pound Taylor should probably push often-injured third-year man Tim Carter to become the team's third receiver.

Though faster, Taylor's tools mirror those of fearless flanker Ike Hilliard. He holds the ball after being blasted over the middle, exhibits elusive moves to dodge defenders after making catches and likes blocking.

"I'm a physical guy," Taylor said. "I'm not a real pretty boy. Wide receivers usually get tagged as pretty boys, but I do the dirty work. I like to play physical football."

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