Linebacker is a position of need for the Cincinnati Bengals. They could have an opportunity to snag a diamond in the rough in Colorado LB Davion Taylor.
Athleticism is something the Cincinnati Bengals need to bring to their linebacker core, and Davion Taylor could fit that role perfectly. The 6’1″, 224-pound linebacker out of Colorado is a raw talent, but has blazing speed and is sufficient in both the run and passing game.
Taylor had an impressive NFL combine, capping it off with a 4.49 400-yard dash time. In college, the speedy linebacker was All Pac-12 in the 100m dash with a 10.51. Although very explosive, Taylor is a little raw and inexperienced, not playing football until college. The 21-year-old is someone with very high potential and with NFL coaching can turn into a star at the professional level. Here are some strengths and weaknesses from Taylor:
Taylor is a freak athlete. As mentioned, the guy has burner-type speed. He’s very explosive and closes ground downhill very well. He is sufficient in both the pass and run game. His explosiveness and his length allow him to get off blocks well, so although he’s undersized, you’ll rarely see him stuck on a blocker. The former JUCO athlete reads defenses pretty well aside from occasional lapses due to inexperience. Overall a very explosive weakside linebacker with a very high ceiling.
He’s very raw. As mentioned, he didn’t start playing football until he got to college and spent some time at the junior college level. This is something that can be developed but will take some time. Taylor has occasional mental lapses and could use some coaching to better his football IQ. He’s a little undersized, but this could also lead to versatility. He’s ideally a weakside linebacker but he could spend some time at nickel or at strong safety if needed.
Overall, Taylor is a very high potential player but will need some coaching to better his understanding of situational football. The Bengals run a variation of a 4-2-5 defense, but in base 4-3 packages, Davion Taylor could serve as a dependable weakside LB with some playmaking abilities. After not attacking linebacker in the first wave of free agency, the Bengals have an opportunity to target mid-round options like Taylor, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Willie Gay Jr., and Jordyn Brooks. Taylor is being mocked in the 5th round right now but could go higher based on his ceiling and athleticism.