The Eagles have traditionally hated drafting linebackers early in the draft. Maybe that trend is changing amid a national pandemic.
Philadelphia selected Colorado linebacker Davion Taylor in the third round (103rd overall) after a crazy night that saw the team get slammed for taking Jalen Hurts. Linebacker was a legitimate position of need, but the Eagles haven’t taken a linebacker that high since Jordan Hicks in 2015.
The Eagles haven’t really valued the position since 1979 when they used a first-round pick on Jerry Robinson. Marcus Smith was technically drafted as a linebacker in 2014. He played in the NFL as an edge rusher, though.
Taylor drew very little hype leading up to the draft despite some drool-worthy credentials. He was a state champion sprinter and triple jumper in high school before busting onto the scene at the University of Colorado. He racked up 129 total tackles, including 18 tackles for loss and two sacks in two seasons. He ran an official 4.49 in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Scouting Report: Eagles Newest LB is Very Inexperienced
The Eagles needed a linebacker badly and they may have reached for one. Davion Taylor brings amazing physical abilities to the table, but he lacks real game experience at both the college and high school level. He didn’t play at South Pike High School in Mississippi due to his religious beliefs, then transferred to the University of Colorado at the age of 18 after a short stint at community college.
Traits-based linebacker project with rare speed and explosiveness who may need an extended developmental runway to counter his lack of experience and awareness. Religious beliefs prevented him from playing high school ball (other than a single game) and he is still in the early stages of learning and applying proper technique and fundamentals in all phases of the game. While his inexperience shows up plenty on tape, he has flashes that show off what he could be capable of in the future. Scouts say he’s very coachable and that he’s one of Mel Tucker’s (current CU head coach and former NFL coach) favorites. At best, he develops into a playmaking starter after two or three years. At worst, he should be a plus special teams talent fairly quickly.
Taylor’s Major Highlight Reel at Colorado
Davion Taylor is a linebacker/safety hybrid as evidenced by his 6-foot and 228-pound frame. No matter, he should be able to make an impact on special teams and compete for a starting job at linebacker. Let’s take a look at some of his biggest plays and best highlights.
Despite playing in only one high school game (one, that’s not a mistake), he is rangy and athletic …
He is a track star and once ran 200 meters in 21.88 seconds …
He only played two years of college ball …
He’s a great story no matter how you feel about religion. He refused to play football for a long time due to his mother’s devout faith and strict adherence to the rules of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Finally, a former coach struck a chord.
“I told his mother, ‘I understand and respect your religion, but you do realize God gave him a tool to make his life better,'” former South Pike defensive coordinator Milton Green told NFL.com. “I asked her, ‘Do you have money in your bank account right now for college tuition?’ I knew the answer. I’m not sure any coaches had been that transparent with her like that. I came at her with the truth. This is a business.”
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