The Broncos finished the regular season ranked fourth in the country in pass defense and surrendered just three passing touchdowns all year. Taylor, who earned First Team All-Mountain West honors in 2012 with 51 tackles (including 3.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks) and a team-leading nine passes broken up and four interceptions, was the single biggest reason for this success.
Taylor proved himself to be a standout immediately for Boise State, registering 24 tackles and an interception as a true freshman. A knee injury forced him to redshirt the 2009 campaign, but he returned to win a starting position in 2010, posting 35 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and three forced fumbles.
He missed four full games and most of a fifth a year later with a stress fracture in his leg. He returned from the injury to compete against Arizona State in the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl, returning a Brock Osweiler interception 100 yards for a touchdown.
Like many Boise State players before him, Taylor hasn't earned a great deal of national attention throughout his career. However, he has quickly ascended up draft boards (ala Doug Martin, Shea McClellin, Kyle Wilson and many others) once scouts had an opportunity to watch him perform against more respected competition in the pre-draft process.
Good straight-line speed and possesses good burst out of his breaks. Reportedly was timed at 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash by Boise State coaches and clocked a 4.37 at the Scouting Combine.
Breaks quickly on underneath routes, showing the ability to close on the ball to make the interception. Good ball skills, including good leaping ability and timing. Good upper body strength and competitiveness for jump-ball situations.
Reliable run defender who doesn't back down from a challenge. Keeps his containment responsibilities, showing the ability to break free from blocks and is a reliable open field tackler who plays with toughness. Named a team captain in 2012 and is viewed by the coaching staff as one of the team's hardest workers.
WEAKNESSES: Only occasionally asked to play press and may lack the size and arm length to fit in this scheme. Aggressive and can be fooled by double-moves.
Was rarely challenged in 2012 and hasn't faced top-notch competition on a weekly basis throughout his career. Has struggled a bit with injuries and will need to be checked closely by team doctors at the Combine.
COMPARES TO: Ronde Barber, DB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Needless to say, Taylor has a long ways to go before a comparison to long-time standout Barber is earned, but they share several similarities, not the least of which is good instincts, a burst to close, reliable open-field tackling ability and a strong work ethic.
2013 NFL Division Champs
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