Panthers Focus On DT Taylor at Baylor Pro Day

If the Panthers had already decided to take one of the top DTs in the draft such as Nick Fairley or Marcell Dareus it makes you wonder if they would continue to work out the tier 2 guys. Maybe they are just doing their due diligence but it does seem to suggest as the author points out that the Panthers will try to fill their DT need later in the draft. This is spurred from this Baylor Pro Day report:

Unknown to most scouts, however, the Carolina Panthers began working out nose tackle Phil Taylor outside while Watkins was working inside. By the time other team scouts realized Taylor was working out, he was nearly finished. He worked out only three or four more minutes once all the scouts got outside.

The Panthers' interest in Taylor could be a sign they are leaning toward grabbing Auburn quarterback Cam Newton or LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson with the first overall pick and will address their defensive line in the third round (they don't have a second-round pick).

It also could mean they are thinking about trying to acquire a second-round pick to go after a defensive tackle like Taylor.

I'm thinking the Panthers are simply hoping that Taylor or another tier 2 DT slides to the top of the 3rd round.I'm only finding this significant because the Panthers showed no interest in G Danny Watkins during this Pro Day though he is just as highly touted at Taylor. If this was just a general visit you would think they would look at the other prospects as well.

Wondering who was actually there to watch Taylor? I had to go to a difference report for that:

Baylor’s most prominent draft prospects, DT Phil Taylor and G Danny Watkins, maintained the momentum from their strong NFL Scouting Combine performances with a solid showing Thursday at the school’s pro day.

And it’s a good thing, too, because 23 NFL teams were represented among the 33 personnel folks on hand to watch the indoor workout on FieldTurf, including Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington and Cowboys offensive line coach Hudson Houck. Both gentlemen had to be impressed with what they saw from the two highly-touted prospects.

Our new DL coach of course...duh!

Taylor had a great Senior Bowl as well. I remember a play in particular what was very obvious when it happened and the announcers called it out too. On a passing play Taylor, playing over the RG bull rushed him straight back about 3 yards and then did a perfectly executed rip/pull move. Let me see if I can adequately describe it.

Taylor bull rushed the RG back and then when the RG set up to punch Taylor back he suddenly jerked the guy forward and tossed him aside. Taylor then proceeded to lay a nice hit on the QB just as he released the ball. It was a tremendous display of power and technique by the prospect.

Let me put it this way...I would be ecstatic if the Panthers drafted Phil Taylor at the top of the 3rd round!

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