2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile

Name: Darrell Taylor

Position; Defensive End

School: Tennessee

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 260 pounds

Stats

Pass Rush

With Taylor, the toolbox becomes evident from the snap. First, it starts, as always with active hands. Taylor’s crisp hand movements set the stage. He sets the blocker up immediately from the jump. From there, he opens the vault. Going to the swim with the very smooth arm over, Taylor wins with it when he paces the move correctly. That is to say, there is a half-beat delay that some tackles have when bringing their hands up. As a result, that hesitation help. Meanwhile, Taylor’s bull offers a surprise. He forklifts the tackle to standing up. While not used extensively, Taylor can uncork that one at any time. More importantly, the variety arriving in the league should make him a favorite of a position coach.

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Agility

At times, Tennessee deployed Taylor as a spy. While that remains odd, because he was their best rusher, Taylor fared well. In short areas, he thrived at the task. Meanwhile, Taylor parlayed this trait to win on the outside with bend, dipping the shoulder and winning with flexibility en route to the quarterback.

Tackling

In the NFL, Taylor will see his share of forced fumbles as he explodes to the ball and delivers a solid shot. Yet, he is no headhunter. Instead, Taylor uses his arms and a heads up approach to jar the target. Additionally, he creates turnovers with a solid chop down at the ball.

Intangibles

Within Taylor’s film, you will see a feisty side. He loves the hand-fighting and contact. Taylor brings nonstop action to his rush. He fights through blockers and battles.

Team Fit

The Raiders are thin at defensive end. Maxx Crosby is their best pass rush. Outside of that, their defensive ends are passable, at best. Granted, Benson Mayowa enjoyed a breakout season. Yet, he may price himself out of returning and will probably want a starting role. Clelin Ferrell enters the second year with expectations, some progress and questions. Beyond that, who will step forward in case of injury or lack of production? Excuses are no longer enough. Mike Mayock knows the draft. He understands the dearth of ends on his roster. Rotations matter.

Why Taylor?

Taylor’s burst and quick hands set him apart from most in his draft range. Expected as a late second, early third-day pick, Taylor immediately improves the rotation. With the Las Vegas Raiders solid with Maxx Crosby on one end and tied to Clelin Ferrell, the team needs depth. On passing downs, Ferrell can sift inside, allowing Taylor and Crosby to pin their ears back. Despite weighing around 260 pounds, Taylor brings a power aspect to his rush sets. As a result, throughout the play, he remains viable from snap to whistle.

Injury Concern

Taylor did not participate in the Combine, due to a stress fracture in his leg. However, she should be good to go for his April Pro Day.

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