We didn’t have to wait too long until Tennessee football’s first player get drafted in Darrell Taylor when he was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks.
Tennessee football fans know very well what kind of a player Darrell Taylor can be, but this might be many Seattle Seahawks fans’ first introduction to him.
One of the most recent draft projections had Taylor slipping into the first round after Taylor was consistently projected in the third round, so apparently the NFL scouts and draft experts saw something in Taylor to send him on the rise.
The first-round draft projection didn’t quite pan out, but he was drafted at No. 48 by the Seahawks, which beats his third-round draft projections.
If you’ve been keeping up with the Seahawks situation, or maybe even the Tennessee Titans’, then you might know that Jadeveon Clowney could be leaving Seattle and could be on his way to Nashville.
Depending on where the Seahawks want him, Taylor can be an EDGE rusher or a linebacker; he’s talented enough to play both positions in the NFL. That could be one of the biggest reasons the Seahawks did everything they could to draft him.
In his last two seasons at Tennessee, he had 16.5 sacks and 19.5 sacks in his career at Tennessee, which was good enough for tenth in Tennessee history. He also finished his Tennessee career with 118 total tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries, and six forced fumbles.
Taylor was a big reason that the Tennessee defense was so successful in 2019 and the Seahawks recognized that.
"“He was in consideration last night,” John Schneider said. “Our guys did a great job of working their tails off trying to keep getting up to try to acquire him, and it was pretty hot. We view him as one of the very, very top pass rushers in this class. From the get-go this morning, we were on it, trying to move the whole way. We were trying to go up pretty high to get him.”"
The Seahawks have been known for its defense since head coach Pete Carroll took over in 2010. Taylor can be another great Seattle defender and another great leader on its future defense. Carroll saw that in Taylor and that’s why he was ready to pull the trigger.
"“He is exactly that, he is right in that LEO mold,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “The height, weight, speed things is there, his aggressiveness is there, his flexibility, his savvy for turning the corner, and doing the things that that position calls for—the power, he has to finish. He’s got speed to power moves.”"
I’m not going to lie, Taylor was one of my favorite players to watch on defense. He was always smooth in getting from sideline to sideline, and his aggressiveness is one thing I hope Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt can instill in every Tennessee defender in Rocky Top.
If Taylor can impress this summer, there’s a good possibility we could see him in a starter role in 2020, or at least a role where he’s getting a lot of playing time.