The New England Patriots top two positions of need heading into the draft are wide receiver and cornerback, and they are expected to address those needs in the first round (or in the second if they find a DT or DE they like enough). According to Tony Pauline, the New England Patriots will be working out Boise State Broncos cornerback Jamar Taylor, and Taylor has visits scheduled with every team from the 27th to the 32nd pick. Another team hosting Taylor? The AFC East’s very own Miami Dolphins, who are also cornerback-hungry in this draft. Today, the Atlanta Falcons are hosting Jamar Taylor.
Taylor will likely be selected in the top 50, and he is getting a lot more buzz among NFL scouts and a few draft analysts than the general NFL population. He’s an underrated recruit and showed solid ball skills and very good pure covering ability with Boise State. He most likely won’t slip down to the Patriots position in the second-round, so teams like the Falcons and Pats will have to like him enough to use their first-round choice on Taylor.
That means the Pats will have to like Taylor more than two big names in Johnthan Banks (Pauline reported last month that the Pats like him) and Desmond Trufant. I don’t know if the Pats would be willing to take Taylor over those two, and I’m sure teams like the Dolphins and Falcons will snap up Taylor beforehand if the Pats don’t make a move. The Dolphins are expected to trade up for a tackle in the first round instead of drafting a corner like Trufant or Xavier Rhodes, so they could take Taylor in the second. Interestingly enough, if the Dolphins took a CB in the first, then teams like the Pats would theoretically have a drier CB “market” to choose from.
I would be OK with drafting Taylor, because I think he is a solid cornerback prospect. But I view him more as an early second-round type player. However, he is a more consistent player than a guy like Banks- or even Trufant- who actually have more bust potential than the Boise State product. His visit in New England will dictate what Bill Belichick and the Patriots front office decide to do at the position, and I think we’ll see the Pats take their highest-rated available CB on the board in the first round, since there is less depth at the CB position than at WR or DT (lots of depth at defensive tackle).
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