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Is Gators lineman Jawaan Taylor’s draft stock rising?

Florida Football Insiders



Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never too soon to start looking at top draft prospects, and there’s a Gators offensive tackle, who is already turning heads. Florida lineman Jawaan Taylor, who declared a year early for this April’s NFL Draft, appears to be someone that teams selecting in the top 15 should be paying attention, as the process continues to unfold this Winter.

And, as it turns out, all three state NFL teams: the Bucs, the Jaguars and the Dolphins, are not only picking in the top 15 in this upcoming draft, but are all in need of a tackle, too.

First, Taylor’s stock is on the rise, because of the improved play overall of the Gators in 2018 under new coach Dan Mullen. Taylor started 12 games a year ago on a Gator squad that ended up 10 – 3 after their Peach Bowl victory over Michigan.

The 6’5, 335 pound Taylor obviously stood out coming out of Cocoa High School, where he was 4A First-team All-state offensive lineman. And, previous Gators coach Jim McElwain and staff we’re so impressed with Taylor in 2016 that he started, as a true freshman, for 12 games gaining valuable experience.

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.

Our colleagues at the Draft Network did just this in January after their tape evaluation and own scouting criteria show them that Taylor will be an early selection.

Then, another prominent draft analyst, Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network put out his list of his top 15 players for the 2018 NFL draft, regardless of position, and guess who was at #13?:

Again, these are just a couple of opinions, but Jeremiah is highly respected as a talent evaluator, who used to scout for NFL teams. And, if he has Taylor as one of his top 15 players that he’s reviewed and analyzed, then it carries weight.

Taylor did not play in either the East-West Shrine Game or get an invite to the Senior Bowl last month. He is however, one of eight Florida players who take part of the NFL Scouting Combine starting later this month in Indianapolis.

And, if he is impressive there, look and listen for his name to get brought up more and more over the next couple of months.

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