The Tennessee Titans moved up 11 spots to No 72 overall Friday night adding Western Kentucky wide receiver Taywan Taylor with that selection.
In order to move up, the Titans traded their fourth-round pick (No. 124) to the Patriots and obtained a sixth-rounder (No. 200) back for the right to move up from 83.
Taylor is the second wide receiver added by the Titans in their first three choices in the draft, joining first-round receiver Corey Davis.
Taylor, 6-1, 205, like Davis is from a non-power five conference, having played at nearby Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky., about an hour north of Nashville.
The thought of being able to play in the NFL close to home – Taylor is from Louisville and has family in the Nashville area – was exciting for the Hilltoppers star.
“I can’t even put it into words. It doesn’t even feel real right now,” Taylor said. “I’m just trying to soak it all in. I’m so grateful to be a part of the Titans.
“It’s close to home and I’ve actually got family in Nashville. I’m so happy to be here. It’s close to home and I’m able to play in front of my family It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Taylor was extremely productive for the Hilltoppers in 2015, catching 86 passes for 1,467 yards and 17 touchdowns and topping that last season with 98 catches for 1,730 with 17 touchdowns again.
He fits the mold the Titans have been focusing on, especially at receiver, a productive player with good speed and precise route-running. He also excelled as a deep threat, averaging 17.6 yards per catch at Western Kentucky last season.
“Making plays and making yards after the catch, I pride myself on that,” said Taylor. “I just like to make plays to help the team be successful.”
Taylor also fits another profile that seems to be prevalent in the Titans receivers. Like Davis, who was drafted fifth overall, Taylor had just one Division I offer and he accepted it.
“Coming out of high school that was the only (Division I) offer I had, but I tried not to feed into that. I just tried to control what I could control, stay focused on the task at hand. I understood that that wasn’t in my control at the time, but I knew eventually God would come through for me. Fortunately, for me, that’s what happened,” Taylor said.
Taylor likely figures to operate some as a slot receiver for the Titans, given his shiftiness, solid route-running and deep threat capabilities. The Titans drafting of Taylor could put veteran Harry Douglas’ playing time in jeopardy, as Tennessee now figures to have four receivers ahead of Douglas in the pecking order.
The Titans had sat out the second-round after trading it last year to Cleveland for the right to move up and select Jack Conklin.