NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Stepfan Taylor, RB Stanford

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Stepfan Taylor
Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: RB Stepfan Taylor

Player Information:

Stepfan Taylor, RB Stanford
5-9, 214 pounds
Hometown: Arlington, TX

STATS

NFL Combine:

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 Cardinal’s 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.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • 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…

 

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • PatMc

    Adam, I wish you would just speak your mind!
    “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 agree 100%. If a RB is needed then get the best RB you can. In fact, get two RB’s because they will both be better than what we have today.

  • Mark

    Shonn Greene 2.0?

  • zac5

    Slower version of Bandon Jackson.

    Would make a good third down back.

    Will not give defensive coordinators sleepless nights.

  • James david Marsh

    He is a very good, dependable, productive back who will protect Rogers and convert those 3 and 1 situations. Draft him in the third round after DL and DE/OLB/S. He will produce for GB.

  • Dobber

    A good, productive, COLLEGE back, who will get nothing more than what’s blocked for him on the NFL level.

    • Dobber

      Sadly, I see Montee Ball in much the same way. I wish I saw Ball as more than that.

      • Stroh

        Kinda agree. Tho I would rather have Ball. I like his cutback and vision for GB. Ball gets much higher grade. Take him at least a round higher.

        • Dobber

          Agreed. Would rather see him in Green and Gold than Taylor. I worry that his numbers were inflated by a very good OL, but I love his toughness and versatility.

  • Ron LC

    4.76 – 40? Wow! He does fit the mold of the new RB. Short and stocky. UDFA choice only.

  • Turophile

    In defence of the ‘fit’ back.

    You are a team that has a big mauling O line and your field is artificial turf (and in a dome). A great place for a RB with jets, even if he is a 200lb guy. A big punishing RB would make less yardage.

    However, if you are a team that plays
    on natural grass in an open stadium and the O line is not great at opening big holes, then that big punishing RB that can break a poor tackle and always seems to be able to fall forward becomes more valuable than the speed guy.

    If you put your money on a poor jumper at the Aintree Grand National with those huge fences, expect it to fall. Horses for couses, because the prospect that ‘has it all’ is rare indeed and goes very early in the draft.

  • SchenySchen

    No thanks. not decisive. no explosion. average vision at best. reliable,does nothing special. this could have been a brandon saine video. GoPack!

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