A few days ago, we highlighted the role that cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun could play this season for the Cleveland Browns. Further pushing Joe Haden away from the spotlight is the string of positive publicity that Jamar Taylor has been receiving, with the latest one being the fact that he was named the Browns’ “secret superstar” for the 2017 season by Pro Football Focus.
Every year, PFF goes through and tries to pick one “secret superstar” on most rosters in the NFL — they define the phrase as representing “players who have performed well but have yet to receive the recognition their play deserves.” Browns players represented in the past include CB K’Waun Williams (2015), DL John Hughes (2014), OL John Greco (2013), SS T.J. Ward (2012), and LB Chris Gocong (2011).
Here is what PFF had to say about Taylor:
Key stat: Notched 10 pass breakups and three interceptions from 81 targets over the season.
Taylor had actually played significant snaps prior to the 2016 season, but last year was a career-high, and more importantly a huge leap forward in terms of production. His overall PFF grade of 82.8 was more than 30 points higher than his previous career best (47.4) and marked the first season of his career he notched more than one pass breakup over a season. Taylor still surrendered five touchdowns over the season, so needs to maintain that knack for making plays to offset that in 2017.
Let’s hope that Taylor wasn’t a one-year wonder, and remember that he did have several huge gaffes last season in which he took a chance on a wide receiver and was burned for a long gain/touchdown.