by Ryan Myers
Photo courtesy of Air Force Academy Athletics.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Air Force, Safety, Trey Taylor
Name - Trey Taylor
Pos - S
Team - Air Force
HT/WT - 6’0” 210 lbs.
Home - Frisco, TX
Trey Taylor is a safety from Frisco, Texas where he played his high school football at Lone Star High. He was a two time letter winner and set the single season record for interceptions in his senior year with 7. That earned him all-state honors twice. He was graded as a three-star recruit by 247Sports and a two-star recruit by Rivals.com. After high school, Taylor committed to Air Force over offers from New Mexico State, Liberty, North Texas, and others.
In his first two seasons of college, Taylor did not see any action, and retained his eligibility. In his first season playing safety for Air Force in 2021, Taylor played in 10 games, starting each of them. He made 62 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception. He had very similar numbers in his second season on the field as he made 69 tackles, 1 sack and 2 interceptions.
This season, in Taylor’s final season of college football, he made 74 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown. In his college career, he showed consistent improvement from season to season and created more turnovers and played better in coverage over each year.
Taylor’s length, speed, and ability to read quarterbacks will earn him a spot in this year’s draft. His length in coverage creates tight windows and interceptions, and he has strong hands, which help him in physical routes and 50/50 balls while also helping him fight through blocks when stopping the run. He has good speed, which allows him to mirror receivers and their routes well, and helps him match running backs in the flat. He is a reliable tackler in most situations and shows willingness to play downhill to stop the run. In coverage, he reads the QB very well, which is why he is at his best in zone coverage. His speed allows him to arrive at the same time as the ball, and jump routes which is how he creates turnovers.
Taylor needs to get better at open field tackling and his run reads. He struggles against some of the quicker and more agile ball carriers in open field situations and is a bit of a liability when on an island in these plays. He may be good at reading the QB, but he tends to struggle when reacting to run plays. He becomes a weak spot in the defense when he cannot locate the football effectively on runs.
Open Field Tackling
Trey Taylor’s desirable frame and length will help him find a spot at the NFL level. He will need to improve his transition game, including his block shedding techniques, run reads, and open field reliability. His combination of speed and size, along with his zone coverage ability, will be the most attractive assets that NFL organizations look to when contemplating using a pick on Taylor this year.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 6th or 7th round