(Stats Perform) – South Carolina State offensive tackle Alex Taylor is the next big NFL Draft prospect coming from an HBCU program.
At 6-foot-8 3/8, Taylor is one of the tallest players in the 2020 draft class. One of only four FCS players to participate at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January, he is generally graded with fourth- to sixth-round projections for the April 23-25 draft.
Since 2013, nine of the 20 draft selections from historically black FCS schools have been offensive linemen, the highest last year with Alabama State’s Tytus Howard (Houston Texans) in the first round. Johnny Culbreath was the last South Carolina State offensive lineman to be drafted in 2011, although since then the Bulldogs have sent some big-time players to the NFL, notably defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and linebacker Darius Leonard.
Despite his massive size, Taylor is as much finesse as power, relying on his feet and agility, harnessed from his former basketball career. His trim, 308-pound frame makes his look like an NBA power forward, so he’s working to add strength while he grows into his body and skills. His 88-inch wingspan measured as the longest at the NFL Combine, and he clocked a solid 40-yard dash (5.09 seconds) for an offensive lineman.
“I’m definitely a zone-type of guy. That’s what I’ve been brought up in, that’s where I can really show my athleticism mostly,” said Taylor, whose college career began at Appalachian State before he spent three years at South Carolina State in the MEAC.
Taylor comes from a football family. His father Patrick played at Presbyterian, while his uncle Joe Hamilton was a star quarterback for Georgia Tech and uncle Pierson Prioleau had a decade-long career as an NFL defensive back.
Wrote Pro Football Network: “The size is obvious, but where Taylor really impresses is in his movement skills. He sinks well in his hips and moves around the arch with ease. Taylor has shown progression in his pass sets with quickness and depth in his kick slide. His length is one of his best attributes which Taylor uses to his advantage time and time again.”