Darrell Taylor is another guy who played on the defensive line last year. He’s also younger than all the other front seven players we’ve put on this list, as he’s not actually a senior. On top of that, he’s one who showed more flashes than the others.
However, like Jonathan Kongbo, he’s moved to outside linebacker. And as a former weakside defensive end, this is an even better fit for the 6’4″ 247-pound junior. People like Taylor line up at end because they are good enough to be on the field but also have to fill a void. Their best position, though, is always outside linebacker.
As a result, Taylor should explode onto the scene as a playmaker this year. Last year, his first season seeing real action, he had three sacks, four and a half tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and even two pass deflections. And that all came despite only seven starts last year and seeing action in just 10 games.
This year, in Jeremy Pruitt’s and Kevin Sherrer’s new scheme, Taylor will likely stay at outside linebacker in the 4-3 and 3-4 sets. And either way, he figures to make a huge impact for Tennessee football. There’s no reason to believe he won’t thrive here.
As a result, Taylor, once a four-star recruit joins a deep list of front seven guys who should have breakout seasons, and he’s the top guy in that group. Expect big things from him this year as he finally reaches his potential.