Taylor dominating for Dolphins

Updated: December 13, 2006, 1:01 PM ET
As prospects go, Jason Taylor was somewhat unusual coming out of high school in the Pittsburgh area. He was home-schooled, played football at Woodlands High and was not heavily recruited, and he ended up at a mid-major program in Akron. After spending two days at Ohio State in 1997 evaluating more than 10 players, I went to the Akron football offices to gather information on Taylor. He was a standout in the Mid-American Conference and well thought of by his coaching staff.

Jason Taylor
After the impressive tape evaluation, most could see the potential in this excellent athlete. Many personnel people tried to project whether Taylor would be better suited as a stand-up linebacker or a defensive end at the next level, and when I saw him in practice, I was a bit skeptical that he could line up with his hand on the ground a good percentage of time. Taylor was tall, very lean (230 pounds) and narrow in the hips. There was no question he was special, with his initial quickness and speed off the edge, but there was a question about whether could he stand up to the pounding he would take against the run run in the NFL.

The Miami Dolphins drafted Taylor in the third round that year, and he has turned into one of the most productive and dominating players at his position over his nine-year career. The durability question has been answered with an impressive streak of 110 straight starts since 1999, and Taylor has missed only four games in nine seasons, three in his rookie season. Taylor did add 25 pounds of muscle to his narrow frame and has acquitted himself nicely versus the run.