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View Full Version : BJ Raji versus Phil Taylor....better prospect??


FUNBUNCHER
03-06-2011, 07:08 PM
The 2009 draft was thin in retrospect for elite interior Dline talent, thus far, and Raji appears to be the gem of that class.

My question is, how does Taylor compare to Raji and is he worth a top 15 pick for a 34 team lacking a stud in the middle??

I know that Phil Taylor is bigger, possibly stronger, nice workout numbers but I doubt he has the agility, pass rush ability or pursuit that Raji had at BC.

If a team like say the Skins took him at 10, is it a 'chalk' pick, or a Tyson Jackson type selection where people are thinking, 'wtf, NO WAY is he a value selection that high!!'

What's more important if you're building a 34 D from scratch; a dominant NT or a terrorizing OLB???

Brent
03-06-2011, 07:10 PM
He doesnt compare to BJ Raji. Taylor is 2nd rounder at best, BJ was a Top 10 pick.

FUNBUNCHER
03-06-2011, 07:14 PM
He doesnt compare to BJ Raji. Taylor is 2nd rounder at best, BJ was a Top 10 pick.


I was expecting more of a 'why' answer, not a 'because' declaration.

I haven't seen enough of Taylor playing for Baylor and obviously GB took Raji at 9 not just because he was the BPA but because they really needed that anchor in the middle of their D and he was there, talented, and filled a need.

GaMeTiMe
03-06-2011, 07:14 PM
Don't understad the hype behind Taylor, he was rising even before the combine just for being huge. Good combine, but nothing that suddenly makes him a top-25 prospect in this class. If Kansas City doesn't bring back Edwards it's a possibility he goes that high. Otherwise he'll be in the 25-35 range

DeepThreat
03-06-2011, 07:15 PM
There is zero comparison. Raji was scheme versatile and could play in either a 3-4 or 4-3, while Taylor is pretty much a pure 3-4 nose tackle. Raji was much more explosive and quick with nearly equal strength. Taylor is a late first rounder at best, and Raji was a legitimate top 10 pick.

As for the latter question, I say OLB. The pass is everything in today's NFL, and the most important aspect for a defense is its play against the pass.

PossibleCabbage
03-06-2011, 07:23 PM
Here's why Raji is a top 10 pick and Phil Taylor is a late 1st-2nd:

Raji 10 yard split: 1.69 seconds.
Taylor 10 yard split: 1.77 seconds.
(For comparison purposes: Ron Brace: 1.88 seconds, Terrence Cody: 1.90 seconds).

Raji is explosive over short distances in addition to being stout and powerful, which is why he's significantly more valuable as a nose tackle than a guy who's just big. Remember, the nose tackle in a 3-4 defense is supposed to force double-teams because he is otherwise disruptive; there's no such thing as a "defensive blocker".

J-Mike88
03-06-2011, 07:24 PM
What's more important if you're building a 34 D from scratch; a dominant NT or a terrorizing OLB???
Both:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XMn2sTP85Vw/TT2PE0sB4kI/AAAAAAAAAE8/lq0LFjVIVgc/s1600/B_J_%2BRaji%2By%2BClay%2BMatthews%2B01.jpg

asdf1223
03-06-2011, 07:28 PM
Raji wasn't regarded as highly either till the senior bowl and was being talked about as a second round prospect till then. Taylor could still be picked high(a team like Houston makes sense IMO) but this class has so much depth I dont think its likely and Raji was a better prospect. Raji had his questions too. One year of great production, the academic eligibility issues and whether playing next to Ron Brace helped him out more.

wonderbredd24
03-06-2011, 07:37 PM
the combine is the reason BJ Raji was so highly rated over Phil Taylor... not that stuff... it happens on the actual field of play... oh yea, games.

I'll take the dominant nose tackle over a linebacker all day long... it's not even close.

Master Exploder
03-06-2011, 10:39 PM
I gotta' admit. I think a great NT is much better than a great LB in pretty much either scheme. If you have a guy that can make his presence be known by disrupting the interior offensive line, then he will make the rest of your team look a lot better. I don't think you can say the same about a great LB, but both are great to have.

gpngc
03-06-2011, 10:56 PM
Taylor put on a show at Senior Bowl practices. He was virtually unblockable. In the pass-heavy, spread-em-out Big 12 he didn't make much of an impact.

And NFL teams don't like drafting 2-down players very high (especially because 3rd down is the most important down in football). Raji could rush the passer a little and had the versatility and athleticism to make an impact on passing downs as well. Taylor's a behemoth who will occasionally get to the passer but will make his money stuffing the run - not on 3rd and 7.

87Canes
03-06-2011, 11:06 PM
KC will have the luxury of getting a quality player at various positions of need and Taylor is high on our list.

I wouldn't be dissapointed one bit if we took him with our 1st pick. Dorsey, Taylor and Smith would be a heck of a 34 DL

SenorGato
03-06-2011, 11:13 PM
Raji wasn't regarded as highly either till the senior bowl and was being talked about as a second round prospect till then. Taylor could still be picked high(a team like Houston makes sense IMO) but this class has so much depth I dont think its likely and Raji was a better prospect. Raji had his questions too. One year of great production, the academic eligibility issues and whether playing next to Ron Brace helped him out more.

Raji's only problem was that bs academic problem...BC trench player who was well known and highly thought of as a junior...shiny new toy syndrome kicked in new names became hot...guy was a legit top 10 pick in his draft and probably one of the 5 or so best players on draft day.

Taylor just wasn't as dominant as Raji was in college...I think someone might buy him late in the first...the man is 340 and he can move like a LBer.

Sportsfan486
03-07-2011, 03:23 AM
Raji's only problem was that bs academic problem...BC trench player who was well known and highly thought of as a junior...shiny new toy syndrome kicked in new names became hot...guy was a legit top 10 pick in his draft and probably one of the 5 or so best players on draft day.

Taylor just wasn't as dominant as Raji was in college...I think someone might buy him late in the first...the man is 340 and he can move like a LBer.

This. B.J. Raji was awesome at BC and killed the senior bowl and combine. His only concerns was the academic stuff and a false report that he tested positive for drugs.

Raji wasn't quite Suh as a prospect but he wasn't too far off. Taylor isn't in the same stratosphere. He's big and strong. That's what he's got. Raji was big, quick, agile, strong, technique savvy, and had great production throughout his BC career. He was a lock to go top 10.. there was absolutely zero doubt he'd be gone by 11.

no bare feet
03-07-2011, 06:46 AM
Raji, you could say had more character concerns than Phil Taylor. Raji tested positive for drugs at the combine(whether true or false still a concern) and missed an entire year of football for academic reasons. Raji was more productive over they course of the tape you watch, but he was not deemed a top 10 pick until he dominated at Sr. Bowl Week.

RaiderNation
03-07-2011, 09:45 AM
Not even close. Raji was a top 10 prospect while Taylor is maybe a late 1st but most likely a 2nd rounder.

PossibleCabbage
03-07-2011, 09:58 AM
Raji tested positive for drugs at the combine(whether true or false still a concern) and missed an entire year of football for academic reasons.

He tested positive for drugs (Marijuana I believe) at BC, not at the combine. There's a big difference. You can excuse a kid for smoking a little bit in college, but being unable to pass a drug test at the biggest job interview of one's life is pretty inexcusable. But there are always a lot of those rumors and teams never put any stock into them since they have access to the actual drug test results.

The academic ineligibility thing is pretty excusable when you look at it. Someone high placed at the school (the Dean I believe) had told him how many credits he would need to take during the summer to remain eligible, however it turned out that the Dean was wrong and he would have had to take more and this came to light too late to do anything about.

These are the sort of character concerns that get teams to ask questions, but they aren't questions that you can't dismiss with a little research.

bitonti
03-07-2011, 10:55 AM
Raji was awesome at the Senior bowl, against the run and pass. Taylor was good against the run. Doesn't offer much pass rush... he's 1 dimensional and Not comparable to raji.

cajuncorey
03-07-2011, 11:00 AM
He doesnt compare to BJ Raji. Taylor is 2nd rounder at best, BJ was a Top 10 pick.

I was expecting more of a 'why' answer, not a 'because' declaration.

I haven't seen enough of Taylor playing for Baylor and obviously GB took Raji at 9 not just because he was the BPA but because they really needed that anchor in the middle of their D and he was there, talented, and filled a need.

BJs stock rose a lot purely because of need just as phil taylors is. as well their players styles do compare favourably. so brent do some homework!

A Perfect Score
03-07-2011, 11:23 AM
To be fair, I thought Raji was overdrafted that year and he's still a much better prospect then Taylor. The only reason Taylor is being talked about as a first round NT is because there isn't really anyone else to step up and take that #1 spot from him and with more and more teams shifting to a 3-4, there's a need for talent at the position. I think in a draft with more talent at NT, Taylor is a second round guy. I like what he brings to the table, but what he brings is limited.

wonderbredd24
03-07-2011, 11:37 AM
How is Phil Taylor in the conversation as a 1st round pick? On film, the guy was a 4th or 5th round pick and because he's finally motivated to be in shape so he can get paid, he's a 1st rounder?

No thank you.

FUNBUNCHER
03-07-2011, 01:56 PM
How is Phil Taylor in the conversation as a 1st round pick? On film, the guy was a 4th or 5th round pick and because he's finally motivated to be in shape so he can get paid, he's a 1st rounder?

No thank you.

Maybe, but I don't know many who saw more than one Baylor game last year.
His Senior Bowl performance is a huge tell, IMO.

He's not a safe pick in top 15, but Taylor should still be considered the top NT in this draft and drafted top 50 because of it.

RaiderNation
03-07-2011, 02:12 PM
Taylor's only chance in the 1st round I believe is to KC or NYJ. Both have needs at NT, but I think they could address other needs before it but you never know. I dont think theres any chance he gets by Houston though in the 2nd since they are changing to a 3-4 now and have no NT on the roster. Plus Baylor is in Texas

StaticGator
03-07-2011, 02:38 PM
In addition to what he did at the Combine, Raji had a beastly senior season putting up 7 sacks and helping BC finish #7 in rushing defense. Taylor is a decent prospect but reminds me more of someone like Dan Williams than Raji.