Sean Taylor, dead at 24, will be remembered as one of the fiercest hitters the NFL has ever seen. Coming out of Miami, he was maybe the greatest position prospect I've ever seen. Showing elite recognition in the passing game and a rare ability to deliver the open field kill shot, it was like he was a combination of Ed Reed and LaRon Landry, other elite safety prospects.
Mel Kiper's scouting report, rating Taylor as the #2 prospect behind Larry Fitzgerald, dated January 28, 2004.
2. Sean Taylor (jr.), S, Miami-Florida (6-2¼, 225) | previous ranking: 6 Taylor is to the safety spot at Miami what Ray Lewis was to the middle linebacker position. He follows in the footsteps of former Miami safeties Bennie Blades, Darryl Williams and Ed Reed (all were first-round picks). I expect Taylor to be even better. In fact, he could be the best safety in the NFL early in his career. Taylor is the prototypical Pro Bowl safety: tremendous speed, a nose for the ball, aggressive, a great tackler and terrific in coverage (team-leading nine interceptions). He has such tremendous instincts and awareness. Worthy of being a top-five pick.
Taylor held Fitzgerald to 3 catches for 27 yards in a 2003 matchup and led the country with 10 picks as a junior.
Joe Gibbs called the Redskins decision to draft Sean Taylor over Kellen Winslow, Jr. and Ben Roethlisberger "one of the most researched things in the history of sports." This was in response to what was previously his most serious of a myriad of off the field issues - his armed assault charge for pointing a handgun at someone he suspected of stealing two all terrain vehicles in June 2005. The charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement in June 2006, and Taylor went on to make his first Pro Bowl as an alternate, where he memorably annihilated Bills punter Brian Moorman on a fake punt. Taylor was playing like an All Pro in 2007, leading the league in interceptions before missing the last two games with a knee injury.