Taylor It Is
Amidst all the rumors, wallowing in the quagmire of prognostication, despite all the smoke and mirrors, the Redskins did the smart thing Saturday and used the fifth overall pick to draft safety Sean Taylor. Despite all reports to the contrary, this had to be the order of business from the get-go. Especially considering that Kellen Winslow Jr. was also there for the grabbing.
But the Redskins did what many at theHogs.net have said from the beginning, filled a need with an impact player as opposed to just getting an impact player. Taylor, along with Winslow and Robert Gallery, constitute perhaps the three biggest 'can't miss' prospects of 2004.
Last season for the Hurricanes, Taylor notched 10 interceptions in 12 games... 3 of them he returned for touchdowns. He is a ball-hawk with great speed and that allows him to close gaps and make plays. His presence will help account for the loss of Bailey. It will also allow Matt Bowen to move to his natural strong safety position. But defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams obviously has a lot of plans for Taylor, 'He'll be a very good fit for what we want to do on defense here: to keep the attacking principles going." Williams also expressed that Taylor could be a great blitzer.
Although rarely mentioned to date, the Redskins needed to address the new 'regime' of receivers that have come into the NFC East. With Terrell Owens setting up in Philly, and Keyshawn Johnson in Dallas, the Redskins needed a safety that could instill some fear into the hearts of opposing receivers. These big-bodied receivers need to be stopped from running through the middle of the defense. Sean Taylor can do that. It has been an embarrassingly long time since Washington fans have been able to count on that aspect of a defense. Alvin Walton days maybe? Taylor packs a load and he brings a great enthusiasm to the field. He is the new breed of safety - not a free safety, not a strong safety - a hybrid freak that can cover wide receivers and tight ends as well as lay a lick on a 240-lb running back. The first time that Keyshawn comes across the field and gets laid out, all trepidation for the pick will be removed. This kid brings it like Roy Williams does in Dallas and like Ed Reed does in Baltimore.
Taylor was one of 6 Miami products drafted in the first round on Saturday, in fact 6 of the top 21 picks were Hurricanes. Also selected were TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (6), LB Jonathon Vilma (12), LB DJ Williams (17), OG Vernon Carey (19) and DT Vince Wilfork (21).
The purpose of the draft is simply to try and make your team better. Sean Taylor is the real deal.
The Redskins quite simply -- got better.
This article was released on 2004-04-24.
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