Draft hype comes and goes, and it’s come right into the lap of Nebraska’s Cam Taylor-Britt. This former three-star corner was a productive three-year contributor at Nebraska and a name that has gotten hot just roughly a week out from draft day. Taylor-Britt brings an alpha mentality onto the field every game. This was shown especially in 2021 when his confidence was sky-high. Playing in the Big 10, Taylor-Britt also got some big-time opportunities, facing off with Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Will this experience against the best translate to the NFL? Let’s find out.
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Name: Cam Taylor-Britt
Jersey: No. 5
Weight: 195 lbs
Games Watched: Oklahoma (2021), Minnesota (2021), Ohio State (2020)
Major Injury History: None
Man Coverage (10.25/15)
Taylor-Britt is incredibly inconsistent in man coverage. Early on in the film, you see that he does a nice job of stopping on curls, but the rest can be rough. When going deep, Taylor-Britt can get put back on his heels, allowing the receiver to dust right by him. The route mirroring has flashed at times and has been bad in other scenarios. While this did improve from 2020 to 2021, he still got beat his fair share of times in both years. More consistency is the first step towards becoming a better man corner for Taylor-Britt.
Zone Coverage (12.25/15)
Nebraska enlisted Taylor-Britt in a ton of zone coverage schemes, and he succeeded well in most cases. He seems to understand where others should be at all times and does a nice job of getting to his spot early in the rep. Even for someone listed at 5-foot-10, Taylor-Britt looks much longer on the film and can disturb quarterbacks in the passing lanes. Negatives come when Taylor-Britt gets out of position and can’t recover, though this is on rare occasions.
Instincts are one of the many traits that Taylor-Britt needs to work on. From a scheme sense, Taylor-Britt bit hard on a clear play fake against Oklahoma that resulted in a goal line touchdown. The big issue is that Taylor-Britt needs to commit to the ball quicker. He’s better at doing this in zone rather than man, but it’s still something that has cost the Nebraska product quite a bit as he’s constantly a half-second late.
Ball Skills (7/10)
The ability to break on the ball plays a huge part in ball skills, and as we just mentioned, Taylor-Britt doesn’t really have this ability. Because of this, there’s not much production. Taylor-Britt had a pretty promising start to his career, with three interceptions in his sophomore season. In 2020 he had two, but in 2021 he only had one. This regression is a little concerning, but we still need to take into account that interceptions can be situational matters. Taylor-Britt does know how to knock a ball out when he can get to the receiver. He had 11 pass breakups in 2021, ranking 20th in the nation.
Taylor-Britt almost never had to put a full press on a receiver. Nebraska’s scheme was based on off-man coverage and zone. When he was up in the receiver’s face, it was rare that Taylor-Britt attempted to jam them. The points come from the physicality side. As we mentioned in the intro, Taylor-Britt is a very scrappy player who can dominate at the point of catch if he’s not a step behind (though he usually is).
Long Speed (7/10)
This is a very weird area for Taylor-Britt, and a trend we’ll start to see a little more as we get through the rest of the traits. Taylor-Britt ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, which instantly puts the idea in your head that he has great long speed. The film, on the other hand, proves different. Taylor-Britt lacks any and all explosiveness. This is a huge problem when trying to recover. The natural speed is obviously there, but it’s the lack of explosion that hurts Taylor-Britt when defending the deep ball.
Tackling/Run Support (8.75/10)
With very few corners being able to cover the run in last year’s class, Taylor-Britt has a bit of a leg up come this cycle. Taylor-Britt has a very nice technique when tackling. If he can actually explode and get in the backfield, then he’ll make a play most times. You’d like him to get a tad bit more consistent with strength and technique, but it’s still one of the better forms in this class and the best part of Taylor-Britt’s play.
We’ve now mentioned the explosiveness a few times and it’s what has killed him so far. Other than that, Taylor-Britt did put up an 8.28 raw athletic score in the pre-draft process, something that’s very difficult to do with poor size and explosion grades. Taylor-Britt will need to continue to keep that 40-time where it’s at to make up for some of the athletic prowess that he lacks.
Change of Direction (3/5)
That explosiveness motif is back. This holds Taylor-Britt back from being a fluid mover. He looks like he can flip those hips relatively well in stride, but he can’t stop and start in one direction easily. Now, there have been some elite flashes here, like with Taylor-Britt’s route mirroring, that make you think he can overcome the explosion issues and develop past it.
The listed height at the combine doesn’t make sense. He looks at least 6-foot-1 when playing zone coverage, and it’s a nice advantage for Taylor-Britt. However, in man coverage, this is where the length can hurt. He struggles to make any sort of play on the ball when he’s late, and it’s up high. This was demonstrated most against Ohio State as Olave and Wilson tore him apart on some plays where he couldn’t get into the frame.
The attraction of Taylor-Britt can be seen easily, though it’s not that warranted. He struggles to explode, which makes life so much harder on any player at nearly every position. What NFL teams can do with Taylor-Britt early, which they can’t do with some other late-round corners, is utilize him against the run. Maybe he doesn’t get in much in the first couple of years, except Taylor-Britt can still get rotated in on run downs as fresh legs that can blitz or just rough up a receiver a bit. In terms of draft selection, Taylor-Britt seems to be in the late Day 2, early Day 3 range. Day 3 would be more fitting for Taylor-Britt’s talent level, though you can see enough tools in his play to justify a Day 2 selection.
Rookie Projection: Depth Boundary Corner
Third-Year Projection: Rotational Boundary Corner
Player Grade (70.5/100): Fifth-Round Pick
Pro Comparison: Janoris Jenkins
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