After the recent news via Daniel Popper of The Athletic that starting cornerback Michael Davis is no longer in good standing with the team, the position could be much higher on the Chargers’ list of draft needs than we all expected. Even with the big-time signing of J.C. Jackson, and the drafting of Asante Samuel Jr. a year ago, the secondary was still far from where it needs to be if this team wants to compete for a Super Bowl in 2022.
So today, we’re taking a look at an intriguing cornerback prospect in Nebraska’s Cam Taylor-Britt.
To begin, let’s hear some praise from executive director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Jim Nagy.
Another example of why speed matters at CB more than any position on the field. Checkout how much ground @HuskerFBNation’s CB Cam Taylor-Britt covers after getting caught staring at QB. @CamTaylorBritt_ with one of best INTs we saw all year on 2021 tape.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/obwTWpNRZe— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 8, 2022
Obviously the biggest trait that Nagy is stressing in the tweets above is Taylor-Britt’s elite speed. His 4.38 at the combine is impressive and allows him to cover up some of his shortcomings as a defender. In Taylor-Britt’s draft profile over at NFL.com, draft analyst Lance Zierlein doesn’t sugarcoat his negatives, noting he is often “cooked” on double moves and struggles to read pursuit angles correctly.
But even with some glaring holes in his game, elite athleticism does wonders when it comes to enticing NFL scouts. It also doesn’t help that he has plenty of experience playing in one of the nation’s premiere college conference.
As a three-year starter, Taylor-Britt played in 40 total gamed during his Cornhusker career. He ended his time in Lincoln with 140 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 22 passes defended, and five career interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. This past season, Taylor Britt recorded career highs in tackles (51) and pass breakups (11) en route being one of two Nebraska players named a First-Team All-Big Ten performer.
Impressive pass breakup by Cam Taylor-Britt against Bell pic.twitter.com/zjXPkTCn1N— Billy M (@BillyM_91) December 5, 2020
Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear different opinions on Taylor-Britt’s willingness as a tackler. Zierlein doesn’t believe he’s physical enough for a potential move to safety, but Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network is a massive fan of his ability to lay the wood. Another area the two analysts are split on is his ability to bring ball carriers down after the catch. Zierlein believes he left too many yards out on the field while Crabbs didn’t see many instances of blown assignments, especially in one-on-one situations.
At the end of the day, I believe Taylor-Britt’s athleticism could allow him to thrive in a man-heavy defense, but that may be asking too much since you’re essentially banking on him to quickly get over his consistent mental lapses. With the right coach, however, I do believe he could be a steal in this year’s draft.
After reading through a handful of scouting profiles, it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a consensus when it comes to where Taylor-Britt should be ranked in this year’s class. Some believe him to be an early day-two pick while others may have him land on day three. Heck, I’ve even seem the take that he could sneak into the back end of the day one. If that’s the case, the Chargers won’t even get close to considering him. If he does manage to drop all the way to the 79th pick, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bolts jump on a prospect with tangible upside.