Draft week is upon us! In four short days, the near four month wait to see who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick with the fifth overall pick will officially come to an end. The next prospect in our 40 day marathon, is offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor, from Florida. Taylor, is projected to be a top 15 pick on Thursday.
Jawaan Taylor’s Career
Taylor, who is forgoing his senior season at Florida to enter the NFL draft, was highly recruited out of Cocoa high school, which is also located in Florida. Before attending college, Taylor needed to lose some weight and he did just that. The coaches asked him to drop from 380 pounds to 350 and he did just that. He is now regarded as one of the best, if not the best offensive lineman in this years class.
While at the University of Florida, Taylor started 12 0f 13 games as a freshman, earning Freshman All-American honors, as well as Freshman All-SEC team. As a Sophomore, Taylor played in all 11 games, including two as a left tackle. In his junior season, he played 12 of 13 games at right tackle and didn’t earn any conference honors, but he is considered one of the best lineman in this year’s draft. NFL.com, has Taylor graded as a 6.25 prospect, which translates to “should become an instant starter”.
- Excellent run blocker
- Has great power and strength
- Has very Long arms
- Solid pass protector (which Buccaneers need)
- Showed up in big games against big time pass rushers
- Had an excessive amount of pre-snap penalties
- Allows inside path to quarterback
- Can over-set at time
Why The Buccaneers Need Him
Demar Dotson is getting up there in age and his play has been in decline over the last two years. Also, Tampa Bay needs to start investing higher draft picks into there offensive line. With that being said, the Buccaneers also have never really invested high draft picks, especially in the first round into their offensive line. The last time the Buccaneers drafted an offensive tackle in the first round of the NFL draft, was back in 2001. The team selected Kenyatta Walker with the 14th overall pick. Walker, was also from the University of Florida. Since 2001, the team has only selected two offensive lineman, the other being Davin Joseph back in 2006.
Will It Happen?
Unless we see a trade back, probably not. Taylor is a fantastic prospect and would be an immediate upgrade along the Buccaneers offensive line, but picking him at five isn’t an option.