- Staying true to his wheeler-dealer reputation on draft days, general manager A.J. Smith traded up in the third round to secure strong safety Brandon Taylor. To move up five spots, Smith relinquished his third-round pick and a sixth-rounder to get Taylor. "We felt this was the next-best option for us," Smith said. "We added a strong player we believe in, at a spot that needs competition. We felt we could get him there and not much later, and we decided to be aggressive and go get him. We didn't want to fool around." - The Sports Xchange
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Positives: A well-put-together athlete with a strong build. Plays fast and flies to the ball with accurate angles. Does a nice job using his eyes to read and react quickly. Smart, disciplined defender who makes plays on the ball and contesting throws. Physical hitter and aggressive tackler with natural strength and good timing. Intense competitor and team leader who had 33 career starts at strong safety in the SEC.
Weaknesses: Possesses a bit of a narrow frame, has only average speed and lacks the fluid body type and hips to quickly change direction. Doesn't look comfortable in reverse and can't be trusted in man coverage on an island -- sloppy transition and not explosive. Overaggressive and will miss tackle attempts. Needs to do a better job breaking down in space and using proper technique. Suspect anticipation and ball skills.