The Sports Daily > Vikings Digital Diaries
2012 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Brandon Taylor

PJD is on vacation. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.

Today, we look at LSU safety, Brandon Taylor, who absolutely has to be better than Tyrell Johnson, right?

From ESPN’s draft analysis
, which was probably written by a monkey and a snake in a romantic tryst:

Overall Football Traits

Production 2 “2008: (13/0) 4-1-0 2009: (13/10) 41-4-2 2010: (9/9) 44-5-0 2011: (14/14) 71-5-2 Career: 12.5TFL “
Height-Weight-Speed 3 Average height weight and top-end speed.
Durability 3 Has the flu and did not start the 2009 Washington game. Broke right foot against Alabama and missed the final four games of the 2010 season but appeared in every other game of collegiate career and started 14 games last year.
Intangibles 1 Voted a permanent team captain in 2011. A new tradition at LSU is the player that best represents what it means to be a Tiger on and off the field wears the No. 18. Head coach Les Miles and players that have worn that number in the past voted that Taylor wear it in 2011. Shared LSU’s Percy E. Roberts Outstanding Defensive Player Award with Morris Claiborne in 2011. Winner of LSU’s Alvin Roy Award for excellence year-round in strength and conditioning in 2011. Rose to the occasion and performed well at the 2012 Senior Bowl. Eight brothers and sisters. Brother Curtis played at LSU and San Francisco took him in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Safety Specific Traits

Instincts/Recognition 3 Vocal leader that can be seen getting players aligned on film. Reads quarterback and can get early break on the ball but route recognition is just average and drifts out of position on occasion. Has some problems tracking the ball and can get caught out position in run support.
Cover Skills 3 Faster than quick and average to above average range. Experience playing centerfielder-type role and more than capable of covering deep half. Physical presence that times his contact well and can separate receivers from the ball. Fluid and fast enough to turn and run with some tight ends but more effective playing zone than is matching up in man coverage. Takes too long to transition out of breaks and not explosive enough to recover with any kind of consistency.
Ball Skills 3 Average hands size and shows good focus when the ball is in the air but struggles to extend arms and pluck it out of the air. Ball explodes on him too much. Violent hands and looks to rip the ball out when chasing the ball carrier.
Run Support 3 Aggressive and doesn’t shy away from contact. Effective wrap-up tackler when squares up and breaks down into sound position but still misses too many tackles. Gets into trouble when takes sub-par angles and/or doesn’t play under control in space. Drives legs through tackle but not an explosive downhill striker. Lines up at linebacker depth but size and technique raise concerns about ability to do so at the next level. While doesn’t shy away from contact takes on blockers with shoulder instead of hands and can get caught up in the wash.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Safety is clearly an issue for the Minnesota Vikings, maybe one of the largest issues. For the past … what … two? three? FOUR?! … years now, the safety position has been so devoid of life and talent that it looks like your mom giving a blow Jay. I think the last passable safety we had was Darren Sharper, and he is easily 76 years old now, if that puts the need for safety into perspective. The Vikings have interesting potential back there with Husain Abdullah, Jamarca Sanford, and even Eric Frampton, but at some point the have to bite the bullett and upgrade the position. Unfortunately, the 2012 draft isn’t as safety heavy as other drafts have been recently, leaving the possibility of finding an immediate impact player in the draft a small one. Brandon Taylor does have the petigree to maybe turn into a big time player for the Vikings at safety, however. Right at about 6 feet tall and just over 200 pounds, he’s got average size, but great speed. In addition, he’s been a critical cog in the LSU defense for the last two years, when their defense could easily have shut down the Vikings offense. My concern would be his strength (his bench press numbers from the combine should be out by now) and his “play-making ability” as understood through turnovers, but if he’s preventing guys from catching the ball and lighting someone up occassionally, that alone would probably harden my loins because I don’t even know what that type of play looks like from the safety position anymore. At this point, if someone just does their job I’ll pretty much call them a Hall of Famer. And with Taylor ranked as the 81st player overall (but 4th best safety!), he’d be attainable in the 3rd round, which would be solid value for our shit-balls team.

The only downfall is that he might smell like corndogs. You know, LSU fans and corndogs? Look it up.

What say you?