The Seahawks are toying with the idea of moving 2020 draft pick Darrell Taylor to SAM linebacker. Taylor played LB in college so why not? To be fair, I saw Taylor play in college at the University of Tennessee a lot due to various reasons. I can speak of his talents and also his possible shortcomings.
To be fair, I was surprised Taylor went as high as he did. It’s not that he doesn’t have talent; He does. But he wasn’t overly well-coached in college and was moved around so much on the defense that his growth may have been stunted a bit. But again, there should be no doubting his potential due to his raw talent and athleticism.
Seattle might have gotten a steal with Taylor if he had played last season and been good. But Taylor injured himself by over-training and he missed his rookie season. This means Taylor has three years left on his rookie year and he must perform in 2021.
Seahawks smart to move Darrell Taylor
By most reports, Darrell Taylor is ready to go this coming season. And by other reports, Taylor could move from defensive end/edge rusher to strong side linebacker (SAM). This would be a brilliant move.
Taylor has the ability to cover tight ends as he is quick and fast enough to do so. But Taylor also has the ability to sneak into a pass rush and fast enough to create havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
I never actually understood that Taylor would be a pure edge rusher. In college, though he played a 3-4, he was much more productive as a linebacker. After moving to LB in 2018, Taylor has 21 tackles-for-loss and 16.5 sacks in two years. Before that as a defensive end, in two years (and yes, a few more games), he only had 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 3 sacks. Taylor needs to be a linebacker.
Plus, Taylor’s size at 6’4″ and 260 pounds and speed is better suited for a linebacker. He’s more Von Miller than Michael Bennett. Seattle just needs to use him correctly. The question isn’t whether Taylor is good but how good the Seahawks defensive coaching is.