As we wait for the bickering between the players and owners to die down and a for a new CBA to finally get done, talking about the NFL draft might be the closest we get to football in a while. While the prospects might not show up in NYC, the only thing we know is that teams will be making their selections next month. The latest mock — a two-rounder — comes from Pat Kirwan.
21. Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Taylor is a powerful man with quickness. At 6-3 and 334 pounds, he is a nose tackle in the Chiefs’ 3-4. His arms are a bit short for the two-gap scheme but he can bull rush and be a force inside. He also was the pick here in my first mock.
55. Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
He’s not Marcell Dareus or Nick Fairley, but when you are drafting outside of the top 5, these are the type of situations your find yourself in, taking the third or fourth best prospect at a position instead of the first.
With that being said, Taylor was impressive at Baylor. When you can move the way he can with that kind of size, he has the potential to be the long term answer in the middle for any 3-4 defense. In fact, if you look just at his two years in Texas, there is little question about Taylor’s success at the next level. He traveled with other Baylor athletes to Kenya in May for a mission trip and will leave school with his degree.
The issue with Taylor is his time at Penn State before he transferred to Baylor. He dealt with injury and off the field problems during his two seasons in Happy Valley.
Taylor is popular among Chiefs fans, but with Todd Haley and Scott Pioli rarely targeting players with character concerns, he will have to convince them what happened in the past at Penn State is just that, in the past.
If the Chiefs can walk away from the second round with Hankerson, it would be hard to argue they didn’t get great value. At nearly 6’2″ and a 4.43 40 time at the combine (fourth best among WR), he would be a perfect compliment to Dwayne Bowe and open the field for whoever ends up playing the slot for Kansas City next season.