Taywan Taylor: 2018 Sleeper?

Taywan Taylor

This Titans offense has the potential to be scary.  There are weapons everywhere you look.  Last season, General Manager Jon Robinson invested a lot on wide receivers in the NFL Draft.  All of the buzz and hype circled around Corey Davis, who was the fifth overall pick last draft.  Davis certainly has all the talent to live up to the hype.  However, flying under the radar is the Titans third-round draft pick last season, Taywan Taylor.  Robinson obviously saw something special in Taylor since he traded up 11 spots to select him.  After his first full season in the NFL, I think I can see what Robinson saw in him.

Play Action Prowess

Taylor is a perfect compliment to the projected high volume of targets Davis will likely command this season.  Matt LaFleur, the Titans new offensive coordinator, has made clear this offensive will utilize the play action more.  This fits Mariota’s aggressive passing style and compliments the strengths of Taylor’s game as well.  Last season, Taylor showed flashes of being the deep threat a quarterback like Mariota desperately needs.

In 2017, Taylor had two catches of over 40 yards and averaged 14.4 yards per reception.  Taylor would finish the season with 16 catches for 231 yards and a touchdown.  Taylor will have lots of room to dominate the middle this season.  Deep shots should be readily available with Davis, Rishard Matthews, and Delanie Walker running routes underneath.

Quick-Hitting Excellence

Mariota excels in play action, that’s no secret.  His prowess in the screen game is severely underrated and flies a little under the radar.

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Marcus Mariota Qb-grid Chart

The graphic above shows Mariota’s pass chart from his 2016 regular season campaign.  We see where Maroita and Taylor could be a dangerous combination in the screen game.

Last season with the Rams, LaFleur’s offense flourished on quick hitters across the middle and screens.  While the style of players in Tennessee isn’t exactly the same, nothing suggests that the offensive philosophy won’t be.  LaFleur loves pushing the tempo on offense, that’s when the Rams called most of their screens and quick hitters last season.  Look for Taylor to be a key contributor.  With his crisp running motion and “run away from you” speed, he is primed for a big step forward.

Projecting Next Season

Taywan Taylor roughly doubles his catches next season.  I see a Will Fuller style contribution from him next season.  Ripping off a few big plays of 30-40+ yards and catching around 4-5 deep touchdowns.  Look for Taylor to become a key weapon next year for Mariota and the Titans.  35 catches for around 520 yards and 5 touchdowns sounds reasonable.


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