Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: RB Stepfan Taylor
Stepfan Taylor, RB Stanford
5-9, 214 pounds
Hometown: Arlington, TX
40 time: 4.76
Bench press: 17 reps
Vertical leap: 30.0 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.50
News and Notes:
Leaves Stanford as the career leader in rushing yards (4,300), touchdowns (45) and 100-yard games (21). … Ran for 1,530 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior. … Big and thick, tough to bring down with an arm tackle. … Rose Bowl offensive player of the game in victory over Wisconsin. … Not great in any one facet of the game, just solid all around. … Alternate personality that is popular on YouTube.
What they’re saying about him:
- Dallas Morning News: “Overall, Taylor is a tough grade because he has some good game tape, but the lack of explosiveness is really concerning. He can do a lot of things well, but it will be difficult for teams to select him over other backs with obviously higher upside.“
- NFL.com: “The Cardinals running back proved this season that he was capable of maintaining his level of play even without Andrew Luck at QB. While he isn’t exceptional in any one facet of the game, he is technically sound, and well rounded. Taylor is possibly the safest back in this class due to his ability to not only pass protect, but to catch the football, which will make him invaluable on third downs.”
- He’s got some nifty feet. I like how he operates in traffic.
- A definite north and south runner. You probably won’t see him outrun defenders to the edge very often.
- Strong lower body makes him tough to arm tackle and provides a nice base for pass blocking.
- Not very dynamic. The long TD run early in the clip was great, however…
- Good hands. Seems smart when asked to go out and catch a pass and set up a screen.
If drafted by the Packers:
I see Taylor as another one of those running backs that the Packers could pick because he’s a good pass blocker, can catch the ball, and might “fit” the offense, whatever that means.
I’m sick of hearing about how a running back fits the Packers offense. To me, that’s code for “this guy isn’t very good.” How about picking a running back because he’s a damn good running back. I’m not saying the Packers purposely pick bad RBs because they somehow think they “fit” the offense. I am saying if it comes down to drafting a “fit” running back or filling another position, I say fill the other position.
Anyway, about Taylor…
What do we make of his terrible showing at the NFL Combine? The kid was very productive at Stanford. Does that production cancel out the fact that his 40-time and 20-yard shuttle at the combine was horrendous?
There’s a lot to like about Taylor in pass protection and catching the ball. I like how Taylor sets up screens and I like his nifty feet in making that first tackler miss.
But other than that, nothing really stood out to me. He seems like a fourth-rounder whom the Packers could take and then tell us he “fits” the offense. We shall see…