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Potential Buffalo Bills target: draft analysts’ take on OT Jawaan Taylor

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Taylor is a top-ten player in this draft and would start immediately on the offensive line

NCAA Football: Florida at Tennessee Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Over the free-agency period, the Buffalo Bills added a starting-caliber tackle in Ty Nsekhe, but at 33-years-old, the Bills still don't have a long-term answer at right tackle. Jawaan Taylor is one of the best players in this draft and is in a close race for best tackle prospect with Jonah Williams. The Bills would be getting a player who could be an anchor on the offensive line for years to come.

Joe Marino and Jon Ledyard of The Draft Network and Lance Zierlein of NFL.com have this to say about Taylor:

Joe Marino

A three-year starter for the Gators, Taylor improved in every season, culminating with a dominant junior campaign. Taylor offers a rare blend of mass, length, mobility and power that make him an ideal starter at right tackle. He does have some technical improvements to be made with his hands and playing with better leverage, which are fixable issues. Taylor has the upside to become an impact starter and fixture in a quality NFL offensive line.

Jon Ledyard

After a mediocre at best sophomore season, Jawaan Taylor became one of the country’s most improved players during the 2018 campaign, excelling under Dan Mullen’s new staff at Florida. Facing a murderer’s row of pass rushers throughout the season, Taylor was consistently excellent, showing explosive footwork, impressive range in his set points and the power to physically manhandle opponents as well.
Little things still need to brushed up in Taylor’s game, like consistent strike timing, pad level and getting his hands inside more regularly in the run game. But all the physical and athletic tools to be a star are in place, and the technique took a massive leap forward against elite competition this past season. Expect Taylor to come off the board in the top 10 picks, which is where he belongs.

Lance Zierlein

Throwback right tackle with adequate foot quickness for pass-protection duties and above-average size and nastiness to fit the “road grader” model. Taylor strains to cave, kick or drive his opponent out of the way. His feet are good enough to slide out on speed rushers and redirect them past the pocket, but his hustle to protect his edge will expose him to inside moves from power counters. He’ll need technique work in the run game and has to keep his weight in check, but he should be an early starter at right tackle or guard with a positive impact on the run game right away.

Taylor, who tipped the scale at 380 lbs in high school, needed to drop weight to 347 lbs in order to keep his scholarship with Florida. Building on that effort, Taylor was a Freshman All-American who started 12 games at right tackle. He started the next 23 games, 21 of them at right tackle, and flourished under new head coach Dan Mullen.

Taylor’s draft position thrives due to his massive strength and good footwork. Considered one of the top linemen, it’s possible he might be drafted at sixth or seventh overall—before the Bills pick. Either Ty Nsekhe and LaAdrian Waddle are set to start at right tackle for the moment, but Taylor could change that equation if he joins the Bills.