2017 Draft Reaction: Taywan Taylor Goes to the Tennessee Titans

Taywan Taylor was drafted with the eighth pick in the third round (72nd overall) by the Tennessee Titans. Taylor was the second wide receiver drafted by the Titans after they selected Corey Davis in the first round.

From a fantasy perspective, I think we would be more excited about Taylor if they had not taken Davis as well. Tennessee was 28th in pass attempts in 2016. While they’ll likely continue to lean on their running game, the Titans obviously felt their receiving corps was an area of need entering this draft.

We’ll get to more of that in a minute. But first, we take a comprehensive look at the new Tennessee Titans WR, Taywan Taylor.

Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky, 5-11, 203

Final Age: 21.7  Vert: 33.5  Cone: 6.57

Raw and Market Share College Production

Year Rec Yds Avg TD msYD msTD
2013 24 270 11.3 0 0.10 0.00
2014 45 767 17.0 7 0.17 0.15
2015 86 1467 17.1 17 0.28 0.34
2016 98 1730 17.7 17 0.37 0.40
Career 253 4234 15.8 41 0.23 0.22

Shawn Siegele had this to say about the college production resume of the senior wide out:

Taylor finished his career with back-to-back monster seasons, especially his 2016 campaign where he finished third in the nation with 1,730 receiving yards. He separates himself from the rest of the high-yardage receivers with his combination of yards per catch (17.7) and TDs (17). If reports about his athleticism are correct, he may be a higher-upside version of Biletnikoff winner Dede Westbrook.

Let’s look at Taylor’s production comps using the Box Score Scout.

taywan taylor production comps

This list of comparables doesn’t exactly scream future fantasy star. Mike Sims-Walker and Donnie Avery had brief stints as featured WRs on bad teams. Markus Wheaton and Terrance Williams have survived in NFL as complementary receivers, however when their star counterparts missed time, they’ve failed to seize the opportunity to be more than occasional flex players.

Player Outlook

Taywan Taylor was the 12th rated wide receiver prospect in the RotoViz Scouting Index. That was lower than ArDarius Stewart who was drafted seven spots later than Taylor, and Isaiah Ford, who wasn’t drafted until the middle of the seventh round. Taylor checked in at WR9 in our composite pre-draft RotoViz rankings.

If we look at Taylor’s combine measurables, he is above average in all areas for an NFL wide receiver. What really stands out is his 92nd percentile agility score which puts him in the same class as Doug Baldwin, Julian Edelman, and Emmanuel Sanders. It would be a shock if Taylor was not manning the slot for the Titans in Week 1. I think his three straight college seasons of 17+ YPR indicates that he has the downfield skills to develop into a flanker at the NFL level.

taywan taylor measurables

In a draft full of second fiddle WRs at the NFL level, Taylor ended up in a situation where he could immediately step into a starting role. I don’t think his situation is all that much different to Zay Jones in Buffalo: Run-first team with a superstar wide receiver drawing coverage and an efficient, mobile quarterback.

Realistically, Taylor will be Robin to Davis’ Batman. Only a handful of NFL teams can support two top-24 WRs, however, which caps Taylor’s fantasy ceiling at this moment.

Team Outlook

I think the biggest loser with the arrival of both Taylor and Davis is Tajae Sharpe. The slender Sharpe excited dynasty owners last summer but his 2016 campaign was disappointing given the relative lack of competition. The Titans drafting two WRs in the first three rounds is not a ringing endorsement of Sharpe’s future role with the team. The Tajae Train has probably left the station for good.

This draft is a big boon for the prospects of Marcus Mariota. With Davis and 2016 free agent signee, Rishard Matthews, manning the outside and Taylor and Delanie Walker in the middle of the field, Mariota has a full complement of targets to maximize his abilities. I expect Mariota to make a big jump in his third season in the NFL.

Conclusion

Taywan Taylor, in all likelihood, will never be Tennessee’s top receiving option for as long as Davis is around. I think Taylor’s ascendance in fantasy will be directly tied to his quarterback. If Mariota and the offense can support two fantasy relevant receivers, Taylor has the skills to make it happen.

Find all our 2017 NFL Draft reaction content here.

Additional Research

  • The Phenom Index – Jon Moore combines age and market share of receiving yards into a single number. Historical success rates are provided, and scores for the 2017 draft class can be compared to those from previous years.

  • Jim Kloet provides context, graphing WR college market shares by age.

  • Josh Hermsmeyer calculated dominator ratings for all of this year’s prospects. Dominator rating is the average of a player’s market share of receiving yards and market share of receiving touchdowns. In terms of predicting NFL success, any number over 0.50 projects as an NFL superstar or top 10 overall pick value. Scores from 0.45-0.50 are excellent (roughly Top 15 pick value), 0.40-0.45 very good (Top 20 pick), 0.35-0.40 (late first, early second), 0.30-0.35 (second round to third round), below 0.30 (middle round pick).  

See for yourself…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njWqlMWNkd8