Keith Taylor, Washington
Quite often a Washington cornerback ends up on the radar of the Dallas Cowboys. Kevin King, Sidney Jones, Byron Murphy, Marcus Peters, and Desmond Trufant are the most relevant ones in the NFL. The Huskies have another two cornerbacks ready to make their mark on the league. One’s definitely better than the other, but in the case of Taylor, a scheme that works in his favor could help him stick around much longer.
Washington plays a zone heavy defense. They try to be creative in disguising their pressure which forces their defensive backs to be disciplined in the regions they’ve been assigned to cover. This is typically why the cornerbacks mentioned above have been proficient in…. zone coverage.
The trend continues with Taylor. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds the Husky defensive back has good length for the position. He uses that to jam at the line of scrimmage and to maintain stride length in the stem of the receiver’s routes. Unfortunately, because of his long limbs, his change of direction and lateral quickness suffer. He’s only adequate at mirroring the footwork of opposing receivers at the LOS.
He uses his play strength well to disrupt receivers at the LOS and through the stem the route. He displays good instincts in zone coverage and displays solid transition quickness to overlap routes in his third of the field. He does bail often and can sometimes lose where he is in relation to the field, but he consistently shows the ability to prevent deep completions.
Taylor is a solid athlete relying more on his play strength and explosiveness to disrupt receivers and fight at the catch point. He didn’t record an interception so questions about his hands naturally spawn. However, in general, he knows how to play through the ball against opposing receivers.
Taylor could come to Dallas and be a reserve cornerback that gets some playing time on the outside in the 1-gapping Cover 3 scheme. Keeping things simple could really benefit the former Husky in addition to the rest of the team.