CB Alontae Taylor, Tennessee

6’0” – 193 lbs.


Came to Tennessee as a wide receiver after playing quarterback at high school, then converted to cornerback as a freshman, immediately earning a starting role and finishing with 40 tackles and two breakups. Followed that with 33 tackles, one interception, and three breakups in 2019, then added 29 tackles, one pick, and four breakups over eight games in 2020. Concluded his career with 60 tackles, two interceptions (one touchdown), and six breakups.


Only started playing cornerback as a college athlete, so looks like a quick learner who has been producing for four years at a major program. Tall, leggy cornerback who usually played off or shuffle coverage from the left side of the defense, but could be seen in press looks as well. Plays the game with passion, aggressiveness, and physicality; uses his arms to jam receivers at the line, hounds them through the route, attacks blocks in the run game, and can sling down ballcarriers forcefully. Uses his length effectively near the sideline to pin opponents. Processes routes well in zone coverage; knows when to break off of his initial man to get deeper or come down and make a tackle near the line of scrimmage. Overall flexibility and coordination look pretty good. Nice transition from shuffle to driving on an outside throw.


Might struggle to stick with quicker/faster receivers. Physicality can work against him, as he can be too grabby at the route stem, something which could draw flags at the next level. Can occasionally give up inside positioning too easily on the release from press-man. Could do a better job of staying glued through the route stem in press; drifts high, and recovery speed/closing burst look just average. Looks like he was coached to play conservatively in zone, giving up the underneath routes without contesting as often as you’d like. Would have liked to see more snaps in which he was backpedaling or needed to locate the ball over his shoulder. On-ball production was fairly modest, although he wasn’t targeted too often during the games reviewed.


Has the type of size, length, and physicality teams look for in a starting cornerback, but will need to test well during the pre-draft process in order to show that he has the type of speed, quickness, and explosiveness needed to stick with pro receivers. Might be best-suited to a scheme which lets him get physical at the line and pass off receivers to a safety, or start with a cushion and drive on spots.

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