One of the premier offensive lineman in the upcoming NFL Draft, and arguably the player who’s going to be picked the highest out of any of the state schools, will not participate in the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine later this week.
This news came in the form of an announcement from Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor and famed orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama.
Taylor Representatives circulated a letter from Andrews to the media on Monday morning:
NFL teams received notice that Florida OT Jawaan Taylor has been evaluated and diagnosed with a mild distal hamstring strain and Dr. James Andrews advised him to not perform at this week’s combine, per source. pic.twitter.com/cqlYKMgiUv
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 25, 2019
It is not uncommon for players to not physically work out at the Scouting Combine, while still participating in the team interview process. It is interesting that Taylor’s representatives felt it necessary to have the excused absence with the doctor’s note publicized about his hamstring vs. just telling the teams/media the reason.
We wrote earlier this month that Taylor appears to be a lock as a first-round pick, and could go as high as the top 10 in the upcoming draft. Further both the Buccaneers picking fifth and the Jaguars picking seventh may be very interested in bolstering their offensive line with the man who started, as a true freshman in Gainesville in 2016 and became one of the top offensive linemen in the SEC by his junior year last season.
He further showed versatility in his sophomore season starting 9 times at right tackle, but playing the final two games that season at left tackle. This will only help in his evaluation, as he has the potential to be play the more lucrative position protecting quarterbacks blindsides in the NFL.
It’s that versatility that has some prominent draft analysts and observers already alerting everyone that it’s not going to take long to call Taylor’s name on night one of the upcoming draft.
Taylor will obviously have the opportunity to work out individually for teams on the Florida Gators “Pro Day” and, if he schedules other private workouts for teams before the draft takes place in April.