Former Ohio Bobcat Taylor Price was a late riser in the 2010 draft, as the 6-foot, 205 pound receiver flew up boards, eventually being selected by Bill Belichick and the Patriots with the 26th pick in the third round (90th overall). In nearly two seasons with New England, Price had two good preseasons but only has three catches for 41 yards, all coming in 2010.
So why was Price let go? We asked our friend and PatriotsInsider.com publisher Jon Scott for some help.
Taylor Price's departure from New England was a curious case of losing faith in a relatively important draft pick very early in the process. Early that is if you believe it takes at least two full seasons before college receivers have any real idea of what they're supposed to do on Sundays.
In Price's case, the big problem was that the team expected him to be further along in the development process than he was midway through his sophomore season. According to some, he wasn't showing much improvement. According to the Patriots, that was enough to judge him on when they cut him.
But true to form, the Patriots pulled a surprise when they decided to keep recent pickup Tiquan Underwood over Price when they desperately needed another roster spot. It was a real sign that the team had given up on their third-round draft pick from 2010. Underwood was a late preseason castoff from the Jaguars, but a player the Pats had scouted when he came out in the 2009 Draft.
Price's departure may have just as much to do with the team's need for veteran depth at the receiver position, as it did needing that roster spot to call up center Nick McDonald. McDonald played center for the patriots (their 4th new face at the position in 2011), because of injuries to Dan Connolly and the limited performance of Ryan Wendell in Connolly's place.
The Patriots could have released one of their many running backs, or sometimes on, sometimes off special teamers like Matt Slater or Dane Fletcher. Instead, New England opted for the least damaging loss, a wideout who – despite the urgings of his offensive coordinator – never really got into New England's game-plan on Sundays.
Can Price help his next team?
Sure. He was an all star at Ohio. He had shown tremendous flashes of excellence in camp in New England, and he can be a dynamic player in space.
What are his flaws?
He's obviously not easy to educate in a complex offensive system. His frame doesn't exactly impress as a blocker (a la David Givens), and he's not ready to be a consistent threat downfield.
With a little more time to develop, I think Price could have made a go of it in New England. But the team isn't about to carry an active roster spot for a player who is supposed to be a contributor. He was beaten out by guys like Matt Slater (offense, defense, special teams), and Danny Woodhead (offense, special teams). When it came down to it, the Patriots may have opted to bring him back on the practice squad if he cleared waivers. But we'll never know now.
Our take: Great stuff as always by Jon Scott. As for Price and the Jaguars, the team simply has nothing to lose by bringing in anyone and everyone at wide receiver. No player has been anything near consistent at the position thus the team holding the closest thing you'll see in the NFL to "open tryouts." Hopefully Price can get up to speed with the Jaguars playbook and route tree which likely includes quitting on your routes, dropping passes and then in the second half waiting for the ball to be thrown at your ankles.
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie
Taylor Price Scouting Report
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