When the Cleveland Browns traded for CB Jamar Taylor last offseason, he was coming off of a rather putrid season in terms of grading by Pro Football Focus, scoring a 36.7. The Browns saw someone they thought they could salvage, though, and in 2016, he finished with a grade of 82.8 and a contract extension to go with it.
Pro Football Focus went through and listed the three most improved players in terms of grades from 2015 to 2016 at each defensive position. Taylor was the most improved cornerback in the NFL. There is a catch-22 about being on the list — although it highlights the turnaround, you had to be really bad at one point in time in order for that giant leap in analytical production to be possible.
Here is what PFF said specifically about Taylor:
Taylor was sent from Miami to Cleveland via swapping seventh-rounders during the 2016 NFL Draft. A key reason why he showed such drastic improvement had to do with how he was deployed. With the Dolphins, Taylor played only 5 percent of snaps in the slot. In Cleveland, he spent 32 percent of his snaps there. Because of this, he found more success shutting down out routes (51.3 passer rating allowed), slants (62.5), and crossing routes (48.8). After finding himself ranked 106th overall among CBs in 2015, Taylor emerged as our 19th-ranked CB in 2016.
No other Browns players made the most improved list. On offense, however, former Browns WR Taylor Gabriel was the most improved receiver from 2015 (with Cleveland) to 2016 (with Atlanta).