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2020 UDFA: Buffalo Bills S Garrett Taylor (Penn State) injury analysis

Hoping to make his mark as a special teams player

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis v Penn State Photo by John Bunch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite a truly outstanding secondary, the Buffalo Bills added to the depth with the recent UDFA signing of Penn State S Garrett Taylor. The redshirt senior comes to the Bills following steady play in Happy Valley, which resulted in garnering All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selections his junior and senior seasons. According to his Penn State bio, he slowly rose through the ranks as a player before really establishing himself in his junior year, locking down the secondary.

Taylor’s playing & medical history:

During his time in the blue and white, he appeared in 51 games, had 169 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, 1 sack, four interceptions, 15 pass deflections, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Amazingly, Taylor did not suffer any known injuries during his five-year collegiate career. The only injury overall on record that he dealt with was a right ACL tear his senior year of high school reportedly suffered prior to the season. As a result, he missed his senior year and redshirted his first year at State College.

He proceeded to make his mark on special teams before grabbing the starting safety role in his junior year. The only other time that could be found where he missed time was when he was ejected for targeting in 2018 against Indiana. This caused him to miss the remainder of the game followed by the first half of the next game against Iowa.

Bills Injury Impact:

Taylor appears quite healthy as he heads into his NFL career. There aren’t really any concerns injury-wise as he only dealt with the ACL tear. In fact, not having suffered another tear indicates he beat the odds for re-injury for up to two years after the original injury. Even six years out by the time he starts training camp, the re-tear rates vary but there is roughly 10-15% risk to suffer another ACL tear at five-year follow-ups.

There are always concerns for soft tissue or freak injuries, but Taylor has a shot at making this roster. The secondary always has a lot of depth on game day, but even one or two injuries really put a strain on the quality of play. Having Taylor available as a strong special teams player could lead him to landing a spot on the team. He is far from a lock considering the quality of players already on the team, but there are always surprises, and Taylor could be one of them in 2020.