“Tyrod Taylor; the human highlight reel.” Retired NFL champion, Ray Lewis, said that of his former teammate during a 2013 preseason game. Fast-forward two years later, Taylor is now opening eyes at Bills camp and competing for the starting gig.
The fifth-year man out of Virginia Tech has never been short on talent. In his four-year stint under center at VT, Taylor threw 44 touchdowns, accumulated 23 TDs of his own via the ground, and had a career QBR of 131.8. However, in 2011, the standout Hokie saw his draft stock slip because of concerns that he was too one-dimensional to succeed at the NFL level as a quarterback.
Taylor was drafted in the 6th round by the Ravens and didn’t see much of the field behind Super Bowl QB Joe Flacco. However, that never stopped Taylor from pushing for the starter position. “Joe was the guy there, he was the starter and we knew that, but at the same time that didn’t stop me from competing.” Taylor said to Sal Maiorana of the Democrat and Chronicle.
Luckily for Taylor, the competition won’t be as stiff in Buffalo. Arguably more physically talented than both E.J. Manuel and Matt Cassel, he doesn’t have the necessary track record only attempting 35 passes in four years.
Cassel has shown glimpses of success in this league with the Patriots and Chiefs but after a subpar year in Minnesota, his best days are likely behind him. Manuel has been average through two years and seceded the starting role to veteran Kyle Orton last year. The minutes logged by these two quarterbacks may be the only advantage they hold over Tyrod Taylor.
Does that automatically make Taylor the starter in week 1? Slow your roll, not for certain. The first week of OTA’s has just wrapped up and it’s troubling to believe the Bills organization would start the 2015 season with their 2013 first round draft pick on the sidelines.
Will Taylor be the starter by week three if the Bills struggle? That’s more plausible and frankly, would make for a better show. The speed of Taylor paired with LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin, and Sammy Watkins is dangerous, and in the NFL, speed kills.