Monday, August 22, 2011
The SEC's best 25 players: No. 6
By Edward Aschoff
One of the league's best at getting to and frustrating quarterbacks makes our top 10 and he's expected to be even more of a chore for offensive linemen to handle this fall:
No. 6: Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina
Devin Taylor was a disruptive force last season, recording 13 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.
2010 numbers: Taylor was named a first-team All-SEC member by the Associated Press and was a second-team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches after recording 46 tackles to lead the Gamecocks' defensive linemen. He also led the team and ranked eighth in the SEC with 13 tackles for loss. His 7.5 sacks ranked second on the team and fourth in the SEC and Taylor led South Carolina with eight pass breakups and 11 quarterback hurries.
Most recent ranking: No. 15 in the 2010 postseason countdown.
Making the case for Taylor: Taylor can be a very soft-spoken individual, but his play is far from quiet. He's extremely explosive off the edge and has the ability to make plays all over the field with the speed he possesses. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound athlete matches his enormous wingspan with tremendous athleticism and power. Taylor was one of the most consistent pass-rushers in the league last season and spent the spring and offseason getting even faster. He's become one of the main leaders of South Carolina's defense and isn't worried about the pressure of improving on a great sophomore season. He's only concentrating on making the lives of quarterbacks around the league even more miserable this fall.