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Redskins Senior Bowl Draft Prospect: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

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The lack of quality players at NT has killed the Redskins in defending both the pass and run.
The lack of quality players at NT has killed the Redskins in defending both the pass and run.

Projected round: 2nd

The Redskins 3-4 defense started to take some shape the last 4 games of the season, which was evident with the rushing defense jumping six spots to finish 26th in Yards Against per carry (4.6). Anthony Bryant was certainly a help there. So that leads to the question - Who will be the Redskins Nose Tackle next season if the Redskins don't draft one? There are several free agents out there, but in terms of our current roster, Anthony Bryant still has question marks if he can make it through an entire season (since this was his first NFL action after a 4-year hiatus). Vonnie Holliday played admirably this season, but he will be 36 this December. Phillip Daniels saw some action at NT and is a work horse, but he will be 38 in March. 

The NT arguably is the most important position in the 3-4. If a NT can't get at least double teams blocks, like Ma'ake Kemoeatu could not, then the LBs have a much more difficult time getting through their gaps cleanly. A NT that can push the line back also does wonders for dropping a QB's completion percentage. So, how about Phil Taylor?

Brian Galliford, who's covers the mock drafts for SB Nation, had this to say on Taylor's first day at the Senior Bowl:

Name

Pos.

College

Ht.

Wt.

Arm

Hand

Phil Taylor

NT

Baylor

6’4"

337

33.8

10.8

 

Taylor reportedly carried his 337 pounds very well at the weigh-in, looking to be in great shape, and then went out and had a good practice. Scouts noted his ability to clog up running lanes, as the South offense really struggled to run the football on the day, and he also displayed some ability as a pass rusher, with sophisticated moves for a big guy. 

Taylor is the heaviest player at the Senior Bowl. The guy can hold a gap and showed this season that he has no problem fending off blockers. He also plays with a mean streak. I can't wait for this game on Saturday.

Note: WalterFootball.com has Taylor ranked as the 4th best NT in the draft with Ole Miss, Jerrell Powe being #1.