Another pick, another great selection. One slot after trading into the 2011 second round (!!), the New England Patriots took former Ohio University (not to be confused with Ohio State) WR Taylor Price. Price has elite speed, elite hops, above average height and elite weight. He has elite hands, elite route running and elite decision making skills. Seems like another fantastic selection.
After a run of wide receivers occurred, I thought that the Patriots might be out of luck. Then they make this pick. We missed out on Damian Williams, but Taylor Price has a ceiling just as high. Check out his college numbers here at ESPN.
More information after the jump!
Release: Good quickness off the line and separates from corners down the sideline if left unchecked using his exceptional speed. Can use his hands to get off press coverage and use a hesitation move to freeze corners before getting into his route.
Hands: Reliable receiver who extends to able to catch the ball away from his frame. Adjusts to high, low, and wide throws well, and can make the exceptional catch. Brings in passes over either shoulder, even when contested. Excellent body control over the middle and on the sidelines.
Route running: Sharp and sudden route-runner; sinks his hips and accelerates out of the cut. Solid comebacks and outs, presses corner and stops quickly to complete the route. Sells routes on the run with foot work and body language to get corner off balance. Must work harder to get open when his quarterback is in trouble.
After the catch: Agile with the ball in his hands, can make the corner miss on quick out. Often gets additional yardage despite having to adjust to poor throws. Accelerates quickly after the catch; north-south runner. Sets up safeties in space with head fake and shifty hips. Changes ball to outside hand when feeling pressure from the inside.
Blocking: Needs work here, must put more effort into reaching a target and come with more aggression when he finds one. Has the size to be successful, and flashes willingness to mix it up downfield to help teammates on the run.
Intangibles: Unselfish player. No major character issues. Quiet on the field, lets his play do the talking.
Price has rare speed for a bigger receiver and has garnered a lot of attention as his senior season progressed. He is explosive off the line and breaks down the cushion on defenders before they know it. He can avoid the press and shows the ability to get in and out of his breaks with the kind of burst that separates from even the best of cover corners. He makes acrobatic catches and looks very comfortable when reaching out to pluck the ball away from his body. He still needs some work on setting defenders up and selling fakes, but there is a lot to work with on this guy, and some team is apt to take him earlier than the public expects.
- Great hands.
- Great route running.
- Great adjustments.
- Great recovery after a big hit.
- Low stats are most likely due to terrible quarterback play.
- Makes the most of the bad passes.
- Willing blocker, but still needs to work on learning who he should block.
Summary: He has #2 potential with his size, but that's perfect. Price should see immediate playing time, especially if Brandon Tate doesn't work out as well as we had hoped. I see him learning well from sitting behind Randy Moss for a year and should start contributing. He may not have special teams ability, but he definitely could step in from the get go. I'm very hopeful about him.