Arguably the Huskers’ best defensive player, Cam Taylor-Britt earned second team All Big Ten honors for his play this season. The junior cornerback is a talented player and very well could be deciding whether or not he wants to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. That is why I thought it was fitting to dissect his game against Rutgers for this week’s Scouting Perspective.
Whenever you watch Cam Taylor-Britt play he always finds a way to make his presence known. A big part of that is his instincts, which is an invaluable tool to have as a cornerback. If you know where you need to be you’re going to be in a position to make a play.
This was evident against Rutgers as Taylor-Britt was able to read what the receiver was going to do before they even came out of their breaks. In the first quarter the receiver was running an in breaking route and from off coverage Taylor-Britt was able to burst forward to hit the receiver and force the incompletion.
Physicality is another calling card of Taylor-Britt’s game as he never shies away from contact. Whether that was during the second quarter where he ran right through a receiver trying to block him on a quick pass or in the third quarter where he read the pass to the running back in the flat and he was able to lay a big hit and tackle on 3rd and 9.
But what is the most impressive trait for Cam Taylor-Britt is his ball skills. If you want to play defensive back in the NFL, you have to be able to play the ball in the air. We’ve seen Taylor-Britt make some big deflections to save the Purdue game, but he was it again against Rutgers. Late in the fourth quarter as Rutgers was trying to tie the game he was able to leap up and high point the ball down the field, getting the interception and ending Rutgers chances of a win.
The biggest concern I have for Taylor-Britt moving forward is his physical traits. While I’m not saying that he is slow by any stretch of the means, he’s not a burner. To play outside cornerback in the NFL you have to be fast to deal with all the speed the league has at receiver. Too often Taylor-Britt would give up separation if he is put at a disadvantage.
Another area for concern is his fluidity. It’s one thing to run in a straight line, but you also have to stick with receivers in and out of breaks. Lacking fluid hips, Taylor-Britt does give up separation on shorter throws. A prime example of that was in the fourth quarter where he opened up thinking the receiver was going to go down the sideline. However the receiver took a hard step and broke inside and Taylor-Britt had to spin back, giving up a yard in separation.
Overall there is a lot to like about Cam Taylor-Britt and his NFL Future. With some concerns about his overall top speed and fluidity I believe his best fit in the NFL will be at strong safety, a position he has played earlier in his Husker career. There Taylor-Britt can use his physicality in the run game but also match up in the slot or with tight ends along with some zone. Currently I have a third round grade on Taylor-Britt.
The player that he most reminds me of is a bigger Desmond King from Iowa. King ended up being drafted in the 5th round because of concerns about his speed. But like Cam Taylor-Britt, King had very good ball skills and instincts that made up for his lack of elite athletic traits. King went on to be an All Pro in 2018.
Stay or Declare
The big question will be whether Cam Taylor-Britt will declare for the 2021 NFL Draft or return for his senior season. There are two schools of thought for his decision. The first is to return to Nebraska and continue to develop with the hopes of building off his 2020 success and work towards making first team All Big Ten. On the other side, Taylor-Britt’s biggest concerns are his physical traits, which can those really improve with another year of college? Either way, it will be fascinating to see what decision he ends up making.