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NFL Draft Prospect Series: Vincent Taylor

We break down the dominating Cowboy’s NFL chances

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Today is the first round of the NFL Draft and Oklahoma State has several players looking to land it in the pros. We’ve been looking at the draft stocks and profiles of the Sunday hopefuls. Take a look at the profiles for Jhajuan Seales, Ashton Lampkin, Jordan Sterns, and Chris Carson.

Today, we’re taking a look at the big man in the middle, defensive tackle Vincent Taylor.


Vincent Taylor

Coming from San Antonio by way of New Orleans, Vincent Taylor has made an impact on the Cowboy defense since his freshman year. In 2014, Taylor played in 10 games, accounting for 13 tackles, one for a loss. The following year, Taylor came into his own, starting alongside Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean while claiming All-Big 12 second team honors behind 48 tackles, 8.5 of which were for a loss, and five sacks.

Now we get to last season where he took over and became the cornerstone of the defense, amassing 51 tackles, leading the team in tackles for loss and sacks with 13.0 and 7.0 respectively. He also led the nation in blocked kicks with four this season. This spectacular performance landed him All-Big 12 honors and played into his decision to leave the team after his junior year to pursue his NFL career.

At the NFL Draft Combine, Taylor put up some impressive numbers:

  • 5.07 40-yard dash
  • 26 rep Bench Press
  • 28.5 inch Vertical Jump
  • 108.0 inch Broad Jump
  • 7.58 3 Cone Drill

What does NFL.com have to say about Vincent?


Strengths

Fires out of his stance with some gas. Can win the early battle for neutral zone. Able to create push at point of attack and make plays on other side of line. Plus upper body strength. Bench-press numbers are impressive. Can toss blockers aside and win the gap late in the rep. Has long arms and active hands in passing lane. Motor is adequate and he'll give an honest chase to the ball. Not a stagnant rusher. Looks to find blocker's edge and has posted solid sack production.

Weaknesses

Top heavy with stiff ankles and an overall lack of functional flexibility in his play. Short-area quickness is somewhat limited. High center of gravity and narrow base allows blockers to wash him down in space and turn him out of his run fit with base blocks. Upright as a pass rusher and can be redirected too easily. Unable to gain ground with lateral movement, stunting his effectiveness in twist game as pass rusher.


Chris Low at ESPN calls Taylor one of the NFL Draft sleepers.

Taylor's blend of speed and strength will play well in the NFL, making it even more surprising that he's being projected to go somewhere in the mid-to-late rounds. Everybody's looking for productive defensive tackles, especially tackles who can rush the passer, which will make Taylor a steal if he's still there the latter half of the draft.

After a solid career at Oklahoma State, Vincent Taylor is ready for the NFL and is being rated as the No. 5 DT in the draft class. He’s been touted as a rotational player for an NFL team, not expected to be taken in the early round. NFL.com has him going in rounds 6-7 but several projections have him going as high as the third but averaging in rounds 4-5.

If Taylor continues to make plays like these below, he’ll have a long NFL career.