Official Scouting Report ... Taylor

This is information that we guarantee you won't find anywhere else: the scouting report for Ryan Taylor that was provided to all NFL teams for their draft prep. Get the scoop on his entire skill-set and who he most closely compares to among current NFL players.

NFL Scouting's report on Ryan Taylor

(Publisher's note: This scouting report was written before the draft with the assumption that Taylor would be a fullback. Instead, the Packers have said Taylor will play his college position of tight end.)

Player School Jersey Year Entered Position
Ryan Taylor North Carolina 49 2006 Fullback
Height Weight Time (40) Time (20) Time (10)
6:03.4 254 4.76 2.82 1.69
20-yd Shuttle 60-yd Shuttle Three-cone Drill Vertical Jump Broad Jump
4.47 n/a 7.09 34" 9'10"
Bench Press Arms Hands Wing Span Position Pro Rank
225x21 33 1/8 10 1/8 77 5/8 Fullback/Motion Tight End/Special Teams
2010 Best Games Rutgers, William & Mary, Florida State, North Carolina State, Duke, Tennessee
2010 Worst Games East Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Body Structure Taylor has a stout, compactly built muscular frame with very good chest thickness, broad shoulders and tight waist and hips. His arms are long and his hands are massive, as he delivers a strong hand punch to shock and jolt the defender when clearing out the rush lanes. He has good thigh and calf thickness, along with good balance and body control when operating in space. He also has room on his frame to carry at least another ten pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness.
General Report
Athletic Ability Taylor has above average quickness and strength for a fullback. He hits with a thud and the versatile performer (also used at tight end and as a special teams gunner) is perhaps the hardest hitting tackler on the team, evident by his 37 tackles for the special teams coverage squads. He shows excellent balance and leverage as a blocker, along with quickness, agility, change of direction skills, body control and hand/eye coordination to fire out and stalk second level defenders. He runs with a normal stride and has the fluid hips to come out of his stance and attack the rush lanes, keeping his pad level down to root out defenders to clear space for his tailback to operate.
Football Sense Taylor is a smart, alert lead blocker who especially excels at locating and landing on his targets working in space. He uses his hands properly to widen the rush lanes and is a consistent finisher who hits with a thud when attacking the defender. He shows no problems adjusting to defensive schemes and is alert to stunts, twists and the blitz. He takes plays from the chalkboard to the playing field with minimal reps and should not have any problems digesting a complicated playbook.
Character Taylor is a classic throwback to the leather helmet days – tough, aggressive and an all-out battler in the trenches. Off the field, he is a quality role model for the younger players, as the senior is looked upon for his leadership ability. He gets good family support, is respected by the staff and has no known off-field issues.
Competitiveness Taylor plays like he's a tank/steamroller when it comes to attacking defenders in blocking situations. He plays with his head on a swivel and while not given much opportunities to handle the ball, he knows how to slip underneath coverage to provide his quarterback with an effective safety valve in the short area passing game. He plays hard on every snap and shows true aggression when stalking second level defenders or protecting the pocket.
Athletic Report
Initial Quickness Taylor is more quick than fast, showing good urgency and balance getting out of his stance to fire through the holes. He uses his arms and pad level well to widen the rush lanes and has that quick reactionary ability to easily stalk second level defenders. He has the body control and balance on the move to deliver effective cut blocks, especially in pass protection. He hits the holes with authority as a lead blocker, thanks to his quickness getting out of his stance. He is more of a power runner in limited opportunities to touch the ball, but has the loose hips to redirect and the leg drive to nicely bounce off tackles.
Acceleration/Burst Taylor is not used as a runner, but he fires low out of his stance, maintaining proper pad level while keeping his shoulders squared to widen the rush lanes. He is a savvy route runner who knows how to settle in the soft areas, but is more of the type that will power through tackles than escape from contact in the open field.
Instincts/Balance Taylor plays with his head on a swivel, always looking for defenders to attack as a lead blocker. He is quick to locate his targets on the move and seals with above average body control and strength. He moves with good hip snap, showing enough change of direction agility to get out in the flats as a receiver or when providing blocking support in space.
Inside Running Taylor is not used as a runner, as he is counted on more as a lead blocker than playing with the ball in his hands. However, he is a load to bring down when given a chance to run with the ball after the catch. He is not going to be a player that will get too many chances to run with the ball at the next level, but with his power, leg drive and pad level, he could develop into a quality "bull in the china shop" type of ball carrier in goal-line and short yardage situations.
Outside Running Taylor has good speed, as he gets out to the corner quickly as a blocker, showing the balance and footwork to mirror edge rushers, but is not the type that you will see bounce outside when running with the ball.
Elusiveness It is hard to evaluate Taylor as a ball carrier here, as he has no rushing attempts for his career. But as a lead blocker and pass protector, he shows good desire and quickness to face up and leverage vs. a defender. He is not a great "juke" guy that can easily slip off tacklers, nor one that will break the initial tackle with fancy moves, but he has good leg drive to carry a load and the power to step over trash.
Tackle-Breaking Strength Taylor is a powerful runner after the catch, as on 61.54% of his receptions, more than one defender was needed to take him down. He runs with strength and good pad level and has the ability to get tough yardage in tight quarters. When he gets on a roll, he is very difficult to stop in one-on-one encounters. He has that low center of gravity that allows him to get under a defender's pads to root the opponent out of the rush lanes. He might not have any carries to evaluate properly, but with his weight room strength, forward body lean and leg drive, handing him the ball near the goal line could make him a productive performer at the next level.
Tendency to Fumble Taylor has never put the ball on the ground, whether catching or returning the ball. He uses his body well to protect the ball and even on limited carries, you can see he properly tucks the ball to prevent the defender from trying to dislodge it.
Receiving Skills The team was missing out on a "secret" weapon during Taylor's first three years for not using him more often as an underneath receiver. He showed as a senior that he has the hands and pass catching skills to move the chains (second on the team with 36 catches, as he converted six third-down plays, had 15 first-down catches and 12 of his grabs were for 10 yards or longer in 2010). He caught 36-of-49 passes targeted to him (73.47%) with just one drop in 2010.. You can see on film that he does a nice job of extending and catching the ball outside his frame. He rarely uses his body as a crutch and could be a very effective third-down receiver and safety valve in the NFL (see 2010 North Carolina State, Duke and Tennessee games).
Route Running Taylor is used mostly on dump-offs, bubble screens and controlled routes, but has precise route-running skills. He is very effective on check-down routes working over the middle, as he is a load to bring down after the catch and keeps his pads down and shoulders squared to break arm tackles after the catch. You can see on flare patterns that he has the savvy to know where to sit in an open spot in front of the line of scrimmage. Even though he is not used wide, he has no problems locating and settling in the soft areas of the zone (see 2010 Duke and Tennessee games).
Blocking Ability This is Taylor's best offensive skill. He generates excellent power on initial contact and creates a tremendous push off the snap when operating as a lead blocker. He has the strength to gain leverage at the point of attack and does a great job of using his hands to shock and jolt defenders with his punch, along with his ability to reach defenders off his frame in attempts to lock on and seal. He delivers above average pop on contact and is always looking for an opponent to block, especially when stalking in the second level or operating in space. He has outstanding awareness to stunts, twists and the blitz, along with the feet to mirror his man when neutralizing edge rushers or neutralizing backside activity. He shows more than enough strength to widen the holes and sustain his blocks. He is built for leverage and balance and seldom, if ever, is knocked back when facing up to an opponent.
Special Teams Taylor ranks with the elite in the game when it comes to handling special teams coverage responsibilities. He is generally the first player downfield on kickoff returns and uses his strength very well to break up the wedge. He is also alert to "trick plays," having successfully fielded three short kicks in his career. With 37 tackles to his credit, you can see his pedigree in being a disruptive force as a hitting machine. He is also very good at using his speed to get downfield to cover on directional punts, having downed eight of those kicks inside the red zone during his career. On special teams play alone, he is worthy of strong consideration on draft day.
Compares To TONY RICHARDSON-New York Jets…One of the best compliments you can pay a fullback is to compare him to one of the NFL's elite blockers. Like Richardson, Taylor is not going to get too many opportunities as a ball carrier. As a pass catcher, he reminds some of Mike Allstott (ex-Tampa Bay), and you know that he will give all-out effort and consistently succeed when asked to widen the rush lane or get out and stalk second level defenders as a blocker. An added bonus in having Taylor on your roster is his ability as a tackler on special teams. He is a bruising blocker, with excellent strength, great field vision and a hunger to strike anything that gets in his path.

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