PFF selects cornerback Jamar Taylor as a secret superstar
By Thomas Moore
Cleveland Browns cornerback Jamar Taylor has quickly gone from a minor draft day trade acquisition to one of the defense’s best players.
The Cleveland Browns surprised everyone during the 2016 NFL Draft by trading for cornerback Jamar Taylor.
A former second-round selection by the Miami Dolphins, Taylor spent three seasons with the Dolphins appearing in 33 games and totaling 82 tackles and zero interceptions.
The change of scenery did wonders for Taylor as he quickly became Cleveland’s top cornerback, finishing the year with a career-high three interceptions and adding 46 tackles while starting 15 games. Along the way he also picked up a three-year contract extension from the Browns.
His solid first season in Cleveland earned Taylor a nod from Pro Football Focus as the Browns “secret superstar:”
"Taylor had actually played significant snaps prior to the 2016 season, but last year was a career-high, and more importantly a huge leap forward in terms of production. His overall PFF grade of 82.8 was more than 30 points higher than his previous career best (47.4) and marked the first season of his career he notched more than one pass breakup over a season. Taylor still surrendered five touchdowns over the season, so needs to maintain that knack for making plays to offset that in 2017."
The Browns have continued to rebuild the secondary since the end of the season, adding veteran cornerback Jason McCourty in free agency and drafting cornerback Howard Wilson (who is currently out with a knee injury). There is also a new defensive scheme as defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is now calling the shots.
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Whatever Williams has in store for the defense, Taylor is up to the challenge, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
"“Wherever. I can play all positions so it is really wherever. Wherever they want me in the best position to make our team win or I can get the ball back for our offense or score the ball, then I think that is the best place for me. I am up to any challenge. I think they know that. If they need me to play center, I will play center. If they need me to play quarterback, wide receiver, D-line just really because it is just about winning. That is all I am just trying to do here.”"
Taylor may have been an afterthought in the eyes of fans when the Browns acquired him during the 2016 draft, but he caught everyone’s attention once the regular season got underway.
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Now that the secret is out of the bag, the next challenge will be for Taylor to show that he can handle the extra attention that opposing offenses may be throwing his way in 2017.