Philadelphia Eagles: Davion Taylor is finally good to go

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

After weeks of anticipation, fans of the Philadelphia Eagles finally got an opportunity to see Jonathan Gannon‘s defense in action versus the Atlanta Falcons.

The results? Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

While we didn’t have a chance to see everything Gannon seemingly has under the hood, as the team only ran 72 defensive snaps mostly with a lead, plenty of players looked much more comfortable in their new roles than in seasons prior.

Fletcher Cox? Dominant. Javon Hargrave? As initially advertised. Heck, even Darius Slay, who didn’t exactly shine under Jim Schwartz in 2020, looked like his old self with a legit number two cornerback, Steven Nelson, lined up on the opposite side of the field.

With that being said, do you know one player who didn’t shine on the field for the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Atlanta Falcons? 2020 third-round pick Davion Taylor. But hey, it’s cool. After being inactive in Week 1 due to the lingering effects of a training camp calf injury, the Colorado product was a full-go at practice this week and could make his 2021 debut as soon as Sunday.

Davion Taylor might finally take the field for the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday.

When the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Davion Taylor in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, it left many a fan confused.

Sure, the idea of drafting a linebacker on Day 2 was beyond appreciated, as the team’s linebacking corps has been brutally undermanned since Jordan Hicks left town, but Taylor wasn’t your typical Day 2 linebacker.

Restricted from playing football games on Fridays due to his familial religious beliefs, Taylor wasn’t a highly sought-after recruit heading into college and surely didn’t expect to end up an NFL player.

Still, Taylor was able to walk onto the football team at Coahoma Community College in 2016, transferred to Colorado in 2018, and finished second on the team in tackles as a senior.

Factor in a very impressive series of performances at the 2020 NFL combine –  highlighted by a 127-inch broad jump and a 4.49 40 yard dash – and many pegged Taylor as an ideal developmental prospect who could pay massive dividends down the line for a team with patience.

The 2020 Philadelphia Eagles were not that patient team.

No, in a season sans Nigel Bradham but before Alex Singleton fully came into his own, the Eagles opted to rely on a linebacking corps with a combined price tag a few times smaller than the dead money left behind from the Carson Wentz trade, with Nathan Gerry as their top option.

Fun fact: Did you know Gerry isn’t signed to an NFL active roster at the moment? I wonder why?

With a dire need to find viable bodies capable of actually plugging holes versus the run and dropping back into the correct zone versus the pass, picking an athletically gifted linebacker who was a year away from being NFL ready left a lot to be desired.

But do you want to know the upside of drafting a linebacker who is a year away from being NFL ready? Fast forward a year into the future, and you have a player who is NFL-ready.

Fun fact II: It has been a year and five months since Taylor was drafted, so he should be beyond ready to go at this point.

While such an arbitrary distinction doesn’t always hold true, as plenty of other “year away” players never quite arrive as advertised, Taylor actually did get some looks in the Eagles’ starting lineup next to Eric Wilson during training camp before a calf injury sidelined him for much of the summer.

Taylor missed the entire preseason and was held out of Week 1 while he continued along with the rehab process.

But now, with Week 2 right around the corner, Taylor was officially a full-go at practice and should be on track to be active versus the San Francisco 49ers in the Eagles’ home debut of the 2021 season.

And if Jonathan Gannon remains committed to his “everyone plays” philosophy, we very well may see Taylor take the field on both defense and special teams in his sophomore season debut.

Next. Keep a close eye on the Julio Jones situation. dark

Will Davion Taylor eventually become a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles? Maybe. He certainly possesses a unique set of skills athletically that the linebacking corps doesn’t otherwise possess and could eventually become a viable weapon in defensive sub-packages. But for that to happen, Taylor first needs to take the field and prove his worth, the first steps of which could happen as soon as Sunday.