Just three days after winning the XFL Championship, Arlington Renegades linebacker Willie Taylor signed an NFL contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Taylor’s former school Eastern Kentucky was the first to announce the signing on their Twitter account Tuesday. He becomes the first Arlington Renegade to sign an NFL contract since their 35-26 XFL Championship victory over the DC Defenders this past weekend.
During his stint with the Renegades, Taylor was a stable for their pass rush as he was one of their top quarterback hunters on the team. He finished the regular season with 16 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. His four sacks were tied for the team lead on the season with Will Clarke. In the championship game, Taylor recorded a half sack and two tackles in the win.
The intriguing part of Taylor’s story coming into the XFL was that he was one of three XFL players who was eligible to be drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft last month. He ultimately did not get drafted by an NFL team during the draft. Taylor used the XFL to help build game tape being that he came from a smaller college like Eastern Kentucky where he played football last fall.
What makes Taylor a good prospect for the NFL is his ability to be able to not only rush the pass but drop back into coverage to help with the pass defense. He’s athletic with a great speed off the line when he is rushing the quarterback. Taylor was ultimately able to find a lot of success while playing up against offensive tackles that have NFL experience. It’s too early to tell whether Taylor has a shot at making the Jaguars’ roster, but he did plenty to prove that he is worthy of battling for at least a practice squad spot.
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