Draft

New York Jets 2019 NFL Draft Profile: OT Jawaan Taylor

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor of Florida works out during day two of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor of Florida works out during day two of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Here’s our 2019 NFL Draft profile for Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and New York Jets prediction.

It’s no secret that the New York Jets need some help on the offensive line. While the team did go out and acquire former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele in the offseason, the team still has a glaring hole at center and isn’t really set long-term at any of the positions, except for maybe right tackle.

With that, expect the team to draft at least one — if not multiple — offensive linemen in this year’s 2019 NFL Draft. Since they aren’t dead set on really any of their starters for the future, the Jets won’t be limited to drafting one specific position, although center should be a top priority.

As such, Florida’s Jawaan Taylor remains very much in play. Taylor broke on to the scene as an impact freshman back in 2016 when he started 12 games and earned Freshman All-American honors.

Taylor played well again as a sophomore but didn’t really differentiate himself as one of the best offensive tackles in the country until his junior season. Although he didn’t earn any national recognition in terms of awards/honors, Taylor is widely seen as one of the best offensive linemen in this year’s class and is essentially a lock for the first round.

STRENGTHS

The primary strength of Taylor’s game comes with his excellent pass protection ability. In fact, there may not be a more refined pass blocker in this entire draft class than Taylor.

The Florida product has the size and length that scouts dream about from an offensive tackle but also possesses the athleticism and hip flexibility to match up with the best speed rushers in the nation. That pairs well with his excellent power in his blocks as there are plenty of reps on his tape where he simply overpowers a defender and pancakes them to the ground.

At a point in high school, Taylor tipped the scales at nearly 380 pounds. While he’s slimmed down significantly and now weighs in at under 340 pounds, Taylor still has the same muscular frame and power to his game that he possessed when he was younger.

For his size, Taylor is seen as an extraordinary athlete with the ability to shift his weight to maintain balance against even the most agile pass rushers.

WEAKNESSES

While athletically Taylor is close to an elite prospect at the offensive tackle position, there are still a few technical issues in his game that he could clean up.

Taylor sometimes struggles with his hand placement as he too often finds himself lunging at defenders and coming up empty. He must find the right balance between being patient and aggressive when it comes to his pass blocking.

Moreover, Taylor will occasionally struggle with his pad height and getting lower than his opponent. Particularly when he is moving up into the second level, Taylor doesn’t always bend his knees enough and could get pushed back by linebackers who were lower to the ground that he was.

There are no glaring weaknesses in his game, simply a few technical issues that could be overcome at the next level.

NEW YORK JETS PREDICTION

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With an obvious need along the offensive line, Taylor could very much be in play for the New York Jets in the first round. However, the team isn’t likely to target him with their No. 3 overall selection.

Taylor would be an ideal target if the Jets were to trade back into the back half of the top 10 as that more appropriately fits his true value. If drafted, Taylor could slide to guard early on before being kicked out to tackle in the near future.

The only issue is that he has primarily played right tackle throughout his career and the Jets right tackle situation might be the only secure spot on the line for the future with Brandon Shell currently occupying the role.

Still, Taylor has experience playing left tackle and even some guard making him an ideal eventual replacement for Kelvin Beachum on the left side. At the same time, his present fit on the team would remain up in the air.

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Look for Taylor to be targeted by other teams early on including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, and even the Miami Dolphins.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

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