Kelvin Taylor Earns High Praise From NFL Draft Experts

    Former Florida running back Kelvin Taylor is receiving some high praise as the 2016 NFL Draft nears.

    April 5, 2016

    Former Florida running back Kelvin Taylor is receiving some high praise as the 2016 NFL Draft nears.

    Nine touchdowns and 967 yards. That’s all there is separating Kelvin Taylor’s Florida career from his father’s.

    If Kelvin had stayed for his senior season like Fred Taylor did, the student would have likely surpassed the teacher — or matched him at the very least.

    Now, Fred also went on to have an outstanding career in the NFL. After the Jacksonville Jaguars made him the No. 9 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, he amassed 11,695 yards rushing and 66 touchdowns in 13 seasons.

    Kelvin won’t be the No. 9 pick when the 2016 NFL Draft gets underway in Chicago on April 28, but he’ll get drafted — likely after the fourth round. Fortunately for him, not all starters are first-round picks. Only nine running backs who saw a significant amount of playing time last year were drafted in the first round: Marshawn Lynch, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley II, Ryan Mathews, Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Mark Ingram and Doug Martin.

    There’s proof quality ball carriers can be found on the second and third days of the draft  2014 leading rusher DeMarco Murray was drafted 71st overall by Dallas. There are some who think Kelvin will be the next great steal.

    ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge, a former NFL running back himself, believes Kelvin has a lot to offer.

    Florida fans might do a double-take because Kelvin, a former 5-star recruit, didn’t exactly blow folks away while he played in Gainesville, Fla. He was never able to take the starting job away from former teammate Matt Jones, who now starts for the Washington Redskins, and the numbers didn’t exactly wow them.

    Then again, as previously mentioned, Kelvin would have rushed for more yards and touchdowns if he returned for his senior season like Fred did — assuming he matched the stats from this past season.

    Even Matt Miller, an NFL Draft expert for Bleacher Report, believes Kelvin has the ability to make it in the NFL.

    The reality is the NFL is a different game than college football, and Taylor’s work ethic and style would fit in with a lot of teams.

    He’s 5-foot-10, 207 lbs. He ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. Big deal.

    Taylor has great vision, lateral agility and the one-cut ability that can sneak up on NFL defenses and gash them on Sundays. More importantly, he’s not prone to fumbling (zero fumbles in 486 career carries), has steadily improved as a pass blocker, and proved at his pro day he can become a receiver out of the backfield.

    He’s not as fast as Keith Marshall or Kenyan Drake. He isn’t as strong as Derrick Henry, and he isn’t as polished as Ezekiel Elliot. Regardless, Kelvin Taylor has the skill set to succeed at the next level. And if you’re still not sold, ask yourself one question: Would you have pegged Matt Jones as an NFL starter when he left Florida?

    Kelvin has an NFL pedigree with an underappreciated collegiate resume.

    MORE: Florida Gators Football Recruiting Update As Of April 5, 2016


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