Broncos training camp: Jordan Taylor profile


Oct 26, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Rice Owls wide receiver Jordan Taylor (15) makes a reception and scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the UTEP Miners at Rice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We are only a few days away from the start of Denver Broncos training camp. The wide receiver position for the Broncos is perhaps one of the few positions that is set in stone, with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders set to start and Cody Latimer to have a big year. However, there is one wide out on the Broncos roster who could surprise.

After this year’s NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos took nine undrafted free agents. One of them was Rice University wide receiver Jordan Taylor. He was a huge star playing for the Rice Owls, earning Conference USA honors for his big time numbers as a wide receiver. During his college football days, he accumulated 176 receptions for almost 2600 yards.

Jordan Taylor’s biggest year was during his senior season. While he did play four fewer games in 2014 than his 2013 junior year, he was placed on the radar during his final year of eligibility. It was the third straight year that Jordan Taylor led his team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

What could earn him a spot on the Denver Broncos, either on the final roster or the practice squad, is his size. During his time at Rice, he often would line up on the outside or in the slot. While on the outside, he could use his frame and size to jump for a football over his defender. While in the slot, his frame would allow him to box out defenders in order to catch the ball in traffic. Gaining an advantage over the corner makes him a great target in the passing game.

However, his speed and yards after the catch need some work. He does not possess the elite speed that most wide outs are known for, which would make it difficult for him to separate from the defender. During his time at Rice, whenever Jordan Taylor would be set up for a short pass or screen, he would be stopped almost immediately. YAC is key for a wide out because it shows the player has the speed and ability to get away from the defender.

His other issue is being pushed around on coverage by the corner back. Because his speed does not allow him to separate from the defender as easily as most wide outs, he often gets jammed by the corner during man-to-man. Being jammed by a defender could limit his options to make the big play.

With all of that said, I believe Jordan Taylor has a future in the NFL. However, for the time being and the wide outs in front of him, I see him as a practice squad developmental player. If some way he can improve on his weaknesses and impress during training camp and preseason, there might be a spot on the 53-man roster. But as of now, his weaknesses are what is setting him back from the rest.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jordan Taylor could be a huge play maker in the NFL in the next couple years. There is definitely some potential. For now, it is a wait and see approach as a developmental player. Hopefully he can surprise this year.

Next: Antonio Smith reporting to camp