As the resident Davion Taylor supporter, even I can admit he didn’t have a great outing in his first start of the season last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He started alongside Alex Singleton, taking the starting spot from Eric Wilson. I’ve been clamoring for Jonathan Gannon to take the training wheels off Taylor and just let him play. Gannon obliged, but the returns weren’t so great.
Taylor finished with an overall PFF grade of 52.5 for the game, his worst single-game grade of the season. He played a career high 37 defensive snaps and he tallied four combined tackles. He missed two tackles and Tom Brady’s passer rating when targeting Taylor in coverage was 137.5, the worst passer rating Taylor has given up this season.
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There are two ways to digest this kind of performance from a young player like Taylor. One, he’s simply not ready to start and Thursday’s outing proves that. Or two, he was facing the best quarterback of all time and was taken advantage of by arguably the greatest offensive mind to ever lineup under center. I choose to side with the latter.
Despite the bad outing last week, there’s absolutely no reason for Gannon to go back to Wilson. For starters, Wilson isn’t going to be here next year. He might not even finish the year with the team. Taylor’s ceiling is higher than any other linebacker on this team and he’s still played relatively well throughout the season.
At this point in the season, while playoffs are still an outside possibility, this year should be about figuring out what the team has at each position. We need to see as much tape as possible on Taylor this year. If he gets relegated to the bench, Howie Roseman just won’t have an adequate amount of tape to determine how much capital he needs to put into the linebacker position this upcoming offseason.
And chances are, Taylor will flash throughout this year. The athletic ability he possesses has already been evident through the first six weeks of the season.
Taylor is probably already the best backer on the team. Keeping him in the starting lineup is a no-brainer.