Rod Taylor had a rough route to the NFL. He joined Ole Miss as a five star-recruit, but he never really played until his final season. This led to most believing he may not even get drafted. The Bengals took a flyer in the seventh round of the draft, and Taylor could end up making the Bengals smart.
Weight: 320 pounds
College: Ole Miss
Hometown: Jackson, MS
Taylor is enter the first year of his rookie contract that is worth a little over $2.5 million. Taylor got a $69,000 signing bonus, and he will have a cap hit of $497,267 in 2018. He will become a free agent following the 2021 season.
Taylor has an interesting story. He was a highly recruited player, but never was able to show his talent at Ole Miss. He played at several positions along the line. He started out at guard his first two seasons before being moved to left tackle during his Junior year. Injuries really limited his playing time though. However, he finished up strong by playing every game at right tackle his final season in college.
Many viewed him as a priority free agent following the draft, but the Bengals had other plans when they drafted him with the 252nd overall pick in the draft. He was the second offensive linemen selected by the Bengals.
Many wanted the Bengals to add another tackle or guard sooner in the draft, but the reality was that even at the top of the draft class most of the offensive linemen in this year’s draft were project players. There were very few plug and play offensive linemen, which meant the odds of whoever them drafting spending a season on the bench was pretty good.
Taylor presented a chance to still add a project lineman, but he only was a fraction of the cost. Taylor has plenty of physical tools to work worth. His biggest shortcoming though is probably his short arms. That will likely lead him to a move inside, but his ability to play tackle in a pinch should prove valuable.
Taylor just needs to really polish his game up from a technique standpoint, and the Bengals new offensive line coach Frank Pollack seems like the man for the job.
Taylor has plenty of potential, but it remains to be just that, potential. It is okay to be excited by the future prospect that Taylor could become, but right now his odds of ending up on the 53-man roster are pretty slim even with the current talent level at the position.
Taylor’s best route to the roster would be to beat out Alex Redmond or Christian Westerman, but even then, if the competition is close, the Bengals would likely still opt to place Taylor on the practice squad and keep both players.
It would take Redmond or Westerman taking a complete dive for Taylor to make the roster. Still having a nice low pressure season to really focus on technique could be just what Taylor needs.
Roster odds: 10 percent.