SOTT Draft Profile : Mike Taylor, Wisconsin

Patrick D. Starr

Mike Taylor has flown a bit under the radar in the upcoming draft but is First Team All Big Ten for 2012 by the media and Honorable Mention All Big Ten by coaches. He was named preseason candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award and the Lott IMPACT Award. Prior to his senior year, he was consistently awarded within the Big Ten by media and coaches alike and won University of Wisconsin's co-team MVP in 2011. Mike Taylor was a big part of the Badgers' success in getting to the Rose Bowl three consecutive seasons.

How will Taylor's college accolades translate to the NFL? We check with Andrew Rosin again to get some insight on what Taylor can offer at the next level. Be sure to check the highlight reel - it's got some impressive moments.

Tale of the Tape

Class: RS Senior

Height: 6' 2"

Weight: 224 lbs

Position: LB

What path did Mike Taylor take to get to Wisconsin?

Mike Taylor is one of those in-state kids that fell under the radar and turned out to be somebody. He was an undersized two-star kid from Ashwaubenon who, outside of Iowa, was only really offered by the Air Force, Army, and Wyoming. When the in-state Badgers came after him. He was only too happy to sign.

What did Taylor mean to the Wisconsin program?

Mike Taylor was that linebacker who dealt with injuries and always played hard. He had to redshirt bacause he played his senior year in high school with a bone spur in his neck. He tore his left ACL in 2009, made a game and Rose Bowl saving tackle against Iowa in 2010 the week after an MCL sprain, and the past couple of seasons, he stayed healthy and managed to make a massive amount of plays.

What are some strengths of Taylor's strengths?

Mike Taylor's a classic tackling machine. Good athleticism, he's maintained a solid amount of speed despite his previous knee issues. He knows how to diagnose and fill holes with moxie and vigor.

What would you consider Taylor's weaknesses?

Taylor is a 222 pound outside linebacker with a couple of knee problems, and while his athleticism is good, it's not elite.

What are the early NFL projections for Mike Taylor? How do you think he will do at the next level? Do they fit any particular schemes in your opinion?

Taylor is unlikely going to be drafted before the endgame, but he's tall enough to add muscle, tough enough to do work on special teams, and he's not one of those 4.9 timed guys. Barring an injury or some pro day fluke, Taylor is going to force his way onto a team in some form or fashion.