The Philadelphia Eagles selected Colorado Buffaloes linebacker Davion Taylor with the 103rd pick of the third round in the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday night.
The newest addition to the Eagles defense looks to make an immediate impact as a play-making linebacker. Philadelphia wants to be “nasty and aggressive,” according to Eagles beat writer Dave Spadaro, “and they want to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage in 2020.”
Taylor fits the mold for Philadelphia’s scheme. He’s an athletic specimen who gets downhill in a hurry and flies to the football. At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Taylor’s built for the position with a unique athletic prowess. He timed a 4.49 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine, the third best time of any linebacker behind only Isaiah Simmons and Willie Gay.
In two seasons at Colorado, Taylor accumulated 136 tackles (20 for loss), with two sacks, nine pass deflections, three fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown. Aside from the production, his mental processing improved seemingly every week, and by the end of 2019 he was arguably CU’s best defender.
Taylor is considered a raw prospect because of his unique background. He only played two total games in his high school career because strict religious beliefs required him to observe the Sabbath, which for Seventh Day Adventists is from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. He wasn’t able to play under Friday night lights, but he proved to himself at practice that this could be his future. With no scholarship offers to choose from, he had to walk-on at Coahoma Community College (Clarksdale, Miss.) just to get on the field.
Thanks to his tremendous work ethic, he earned a starting position, drew attention from CU and various SEC programs, and made his to major college football. After years more of film study and practice, he made himself into a star defender. He should continue to improve as he’s shaped by NFL coaching and development.
Taylor was the second Buffaloes player taken off the board on Friday. Laviska Shenault Jr. is Jacksonville bound after being selected 42nd overall in the second round by the Jaguars.