Cam Taylor-Britt Draft Profile
Nebraska – CB
Cam Taylor-Britt didn’t start playing cornerback until he joined the Cornhuskers in 2018. Before that, he was a dynamic dual-threat quarterback at Park Crossing High School in Montgomery, Alabama. In his senior season, he threw for 1,466 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for another 1,030 yards and 14 touchdowns.
But Scott Frost had other ideas for Taylor-Britt and four years later he is on some lists as one of the best nickel defenders in the draft. Many saw what Taylor-Britt could bring to their programs, but Frost saw it first. Frost had his eye on him since Taylor-Britt was a freshman in 2014. “He’s been on me since Oregon, honestly,” Taylor said about Frost, who was an assistant at Oregon. “I’ve always had a great relationship with him.” He cites his established relationship with Frost as the reason he chose Nebraska over the 15 other offers he had received.
It’s a relationship that proved to be mutually beneficial. Frost got five interceptions, 2.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 22 passes defended (11 in 2021), a back-to-back second-team All-Big Ten cornerback as well as a team captain. Taylor-Britt got the coaching he needed to achieve his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.
Of course, a head coach can only do so much to step up a player for success. The player has to rise to the occasion when the lights are on him. Taylor-Britt did just that. He earned an invite to the Senior Bowl where he promptly suffered a quad injury that caused trainers to rule him OUT for the remainder of the week’s practices. Two hours after that ruling he was back on the field in full pads. When Coach Jim Nagy asked him, “We doing this?”
His response was “Hell yeah, we doing this! Nothing gonna keep me from competing!”
Taylor-Britt’s performance didn’t knock anyone’s socks off, but he did have a strong showing in spite of the injury. The impressive part was the grit of it all. It speaks volumes about his commitment and toughness.
In stark contrast to that, Taylor-Britt did knock socks off at the combine when he posted a 4.38 40 time, the fifth-best time at the combine among cornerbacks. He didn’t post times or measurements for the remaining events, but NFL.com’s draft analyst Chad Reuter wrote, “He had one of the best performances on the floor, as well, changing directions and catching everything in sight. Taylor-Britt transitioned forward from his backpedal more smoothly than I expected.”
And there is further proof on Twitter of his athleticism.
Taylor-Britt has been mock drafted as high as the second round and as low as the fourth round. If he falls somewhere in the middle, he may be available to be the first pick for the Los Angeles Rams at 104.
Top Three Traits
Zone Coverage Skills
Taylor-Britt’s ability to read play design might be his best trait. It allows him to get a jump on receivers so he can make a play on the ball. He really shines in zone. His footwork is on point which allows his play speed to stay in high gear.
While at Nebraska he played corner, safety, and return specialist. His tape from that time proves that he can also cover in the slot. The Senior Bowl and the speed he displayed prove that he can potentially move outside if he lands in a zone-based defense.
He also proved to be a threat when blitzing off the edge and his pursuit ability makes him a good sideline to sideline run defender. He is not afraid to lower his shoulder and pop the pads.
For the Rams, in particular, having another high-ceiling low-cost return threat would be a huge step in the right direction for their special teams.
We’ve covered the 4.38 speed and the practice dummy vertical, but there is also his 1.54 10-yard split, that’s .01 seconds slower than Kalon Barnes, who posted the Combine’s best 40 time. On the field, that kind of 10-yard sprint equates to closing speed. Which is put on display in this clip from the Nebraska/Michigan game.
While Nebraska CB Cam Taylor-Britt bites initially on play action, he is able to recover and use his ball skills to pull the ball out of the WRs hands and save the TD #Huskers #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/CRN5u2qcbi
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) October 14, 2021
He is also built like a brick outhouse, just over 5’10” and 196 lbs. Which makes his speed all the more impressive. He also has good length for his height with an arm length over 32”.
He is physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage and makes receivers work at the catch point. There is an old-school enforcer feel to how he plays the game. His competitive toughness piles on his athletic traits. This aspect would pair well with Jalen Ramsey. [pickup_prop id=”20983″]
Three Traits To Improve Upon
This one is a bit confusing. For a player with great spacial awareness and high football smarts, Taylor-Britt lacks this fundamental skill. That said, it isn’t unheard of that super competitive defenders, like him, come in way too hot on tackles. So for Taylor-Britt, it is a matter of learning to play with a cooler head in those moments, not a misunderstanding of what’s happening on the field.
This is the other side of the same coin of his pursuit angles. Taylor-Britt starts to salivate when he gets the chance to make a play on the ball. Which looks great on highlight reels, but created too many boom or bust plays. That is the big reason that Taylor-Britt will fall lower in the draft than what his enticing potential might seem to suggest.
The one thing rookie defensive backs can’t do is give up big plays. Not in practice and certainly not in games. Especially when they are competing for playing time, which he will be doing on any roster he makes. Playing time is integral to player development.
Taylor-Britt’s improvement centers around this one thing. In college, his athleticism mitigated the damage that his loose play created. In the NFL, that won’t be the case. The consequences will be exacerbated when he squares up against more experienced wide receivers and he won’t be able to rely on his hustle alone to contain the play.
Taylor-Britt would make for a good addition to the Rams’ secondary. His prowess in zone coverage as well as his ability to play nickel meets the Rams right where they need help. If he can develop the discipline to hang with elite slot receivers, he could compete for the starting role with Terrell Burgess.
The Rams would be an ideal landing spot for such development. He would get to work with a former defensive back’s coach in Raheem Morris and get reps against the best slot receiver/best receiver in the game in Cooper Kupp.
Les Snead also has a habit of picking guys with raw physical traits, making the bet that the Rams coaching staff can turn them into quality starters. Think Jordan Fuller and his overwhelming football IQ and Ernest Jones for his outsized leadership ability. It isn’t always a bet that works, but definitely one worth making on Cam Taylor-Britt.