Browns No. 1 pick scouting report: NT Phil Taylor, Baylor

Posted April 29, 2011 @ 6:30 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

The Browns traded down, then up, to land Baylor NT Phil Taylor with the No. 21 overall pick, and he could start immediately in Cleveland's new 4-3 scheme.

"He obviously is a huge man," Browns GM Tom Heckert said of the 6-3¼, 334-pound Taylor, and we think with him and (DT Ahtyba) Rubin inside we are going to be tough inside."

Here is personnel analyst Nolan Nawrocki's scouting report on Taylor from PFW's 2011 Draft Preview: 

Notes: Two-way lineman as a Maryland prep. Began his collegiate career at Penn State, where he saw limited action (wore jersey No. 90) in seven games (53 snaps) without recording any stats. Sprained the MCL in his left knee during '07 fall camp but started 5-of-12 games played, notching 20 tackles, 6½ for loss and three sacks. Was involved in an on-campus fight in October - served a suspension against Wisconsin and was charged with aggravated assault (ultimately dismissed), simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment. Was suspended from the team in February '08, opted to transfer and sat out the season per NCAA rules. With the Bears in '09, totaled 25-2½-½ with one interception and two blocked field-goal attempts in 12 games (nine starts at nose guard). Suffered a turf toe injury against Oklahoma and did not start against Iowa State or Oklahoma State (also yielded a start on Senior Day). Had his knee scoped in June '10 to clean out loose cartilage but recovered to start all 13 games at nose guard and recorded 62-7-2 with two batted passes and a forced fumble.

Positives: Giant body - has imposing stature with sheer mass and girth to anchor inside. Long arms and large hands. Functionally strong to occupy blockers and hold his ground vs. the double-team. Presses blockers and caves the pocket with his bull rush. An athletic big man. Heavy tackler.

Negatives: Weight has tended to fluctuate too much. Marginal stamina - too often wears down, stays blocked and does not exert himself. Lacks twitch. Struggles to control his man and locate the football. Plays too tall and negates his natural strength. Inconsistent get-off. Limited pass-rush ability. Has underachiever traits. Not a worker and does not like to practice. Questionable mental toughness.

Summary: An enormous, knock-kneed widebody with a unique combination of strength and athletic ability who has drawn comparisons to Pat Williams. Could be effective as a nose tackle in a "30" or "40" front. The demand for athletic big men could drive up his draft value, but he will need extra incentives in his contract for motivation to fall in line and keep his weight in check.

NFL projection: Top-50 pick.