The Washington Redskins were among 23 teams with scouts at a Baylor University Pro Day workout that featured defensive tackle Phil Taylor last Thursday, according Taylor’s agent Peter Schaffer.
With the failure of the Albert Haynesworth-nose tackle experiment and Ma’ake Kemoeatu coming off shoulder surgery, the Redskins are in the market for a nose tackle to anchor the line of their 3-4 defense. Meanwhile, Taylor, a Clinton, Md., native, is improving his stock as draft evaluations continue.
In post-Senior Bowl draft projections Taylor was considered a mid- to early second round. Now draft analysts believe that he could be taken late in the first round.
At the combine, the 6-foot-3, 334-pound Taylor ran the 40-yard dash in 5.09 seconds, bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times, and recorded a vertical leap of 29-1/2 inches and a broad jump of 8 feet, 4 inches. Also at the combine, Taylor had a group interview with Redskins officials including coach Mike Shanahan, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, owner Daniel Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen, according Schaffer.
Taylor reportedly had another strong showing at Baylor’s Pro Day last Thursday.
NFL teams love Taylor’s size, strength and quickness, and he appears to be an ideal fit in the 3-4. There are questions about his work ethic, however, and one criticism of him is that he appeared to take some plays off at times.
But even if the Redskins decide they want Taylor, they might not have a chance to get him. In the first round, Washington picks 10th -- which seems to be too high to take Taylor. Washington is on the clock again nine picks into the second round (41st overall), which could be too late if the projections that have Taylor now going in the first round are accurate.