He plays at a position with reasonable depth, and it’s not devastating if he’s lost to injury. However, Darrell Taylor’s potential as an outside linebacker for Tennessee football can’t be overlooked. We’re expecting him to start on one side and be a staple in the rotation there.
That’s all for good reason. Last year, in a tumultuous season, Taylor showed flashes of greatness. He made the game-saving tackle for the Vols to beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. On top of that, the 6’4″ 254-pound junior came away with 27 overall tackles, including four tackles for a loss and three sacks.
A member of that historically great 2015 defensive line recruiting class on Rocky Top, Taylor also forced two fumbles and recovered one while having five quarterback hurries and breaking up two passes. By the way, this all came despite splitting too much time up front and playing only 10 games on the year.
It’s clear that Taylor’s talent is being a rusher off the end. He was more of an athletic defensive lineman anyway, so his biggest asset is being able to run guys down. That’s why his three sacks led all the defensive linemen on the team last year.
As a result, by moving to outside linebacker, he should become a major impact player. Expect to hear his name a lot this year. Provided he can fend off junior college transfer Jordan Allen as the other starter at outside linebacker, Taylor will be a major force for the Vols.