Thursday, August 15, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #14 Raymon Taylor

Raymon Taylor
Name: Raymon Taylor
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 183 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Highland Park
Position: Cornerback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #6
Last year: I ranked Taylor #48 and said he would be a backup cornerback. He started 11 games and made 45 tackles, 2 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), and 1 fumble recovery.

Taylor entered the 2012 season as the fourth cornerback, behind J.T. Floyd (since graduated), Blake Countess, and Courtney Avery. In the first quarter of the season opener against Alabama, Countess tore his ACL. Avery entered in his place and struggled mightily. Taylor stepped in opposite Floyd the next week against UMass and became the starter. He picked off a pass the following week against Notre Dame and then again the next game against Purdue, returning the latter for a 63-yard touchdown. Taylor, who had recovered a fumble against Alabama, didn't force another turnover after game four. He was fairly physical and showed pretty good speed, but struggled with zone coverage.

When I ranked the players, I expected Taylor and Countess to be the starting corners; Avery has been the starting slot corner for the past couple seasons, and he struggled on the outside last year. However, recent indications suggest that Countess and Avery appear to be the top duo, and Taylor will be backing them up. I think Michigan is in pretty solid shape at corner with essentially three starters returning, but cornerbacks have been dainty in recent years (Countess's ACL, Floyd's broken leg, Troy Woolfolk's broken ankle, etc.). I still think Taylor - or whoever the backup is - will get plenty of playing time, but this is likely too high for Taylor if he is indeed behind Avery. Mulligan? Anyway, I've never thought Taylor had superstar potential, but he was decent last season and should only improve in 2013 and 2014.

Prediction: Backup cornerback;


  1. It would be nice to have a 2nd stud corner opposite Countess (whom I think will eventually be an all conference player). But that won't happen this year. It's possible that Taylor and Avery will trade some starts until one guy proves himself a little more. I'm guessing that Taylor wins out because Avery has not shown himself to be particularly quick for a guy his size and I don't see him being effective in man-man coverage. There's a good opportunity for Hollowell (who is apparently looking good) or Jordan Lewis to gain playing time as the year goes on. I've heard that Lewis will eventually pass these upperclassmen up as he gets more comfortable.

  2. Avery and Taylor seem to be going back and forth. Yesterday on The Rundown Mattison included Taylor as 1 of the 4 starters in the backfield as of now.

  3. I'd bet you won't need that mulligan. Yes, maybe a little high for a position where there are 3 viable starters for 2.5 spots. But, even if you assume Avery and Taylor are interchangeable (which is weird since Avery is small and Taylor is pretty big, so the whole field/boundary distinction is apparently out the window despite all the discussion about it) Michigan will use all 3 experienced CBs regularly. The 4th guy is... TBD. CB is not a position where Michigan has a ton of depth, so Taylor will play a good bit regardless of who starts against CMU.

    Furthermore, I'd be pretty surprised if Avery ended up playing more than Taylor. Are there other examples of OLDER players passing younger proven starters with both being healthy? I assume there are but I can't think of any. It's doubtful that Avery improved THAT much, but maybe somethings up with Taylor. More likely, the coaches want to push Taylor who seems more talented and a better fit.

    If a mulligan is warranted though - it might be to bump Avery higher. He'll play a good bit and the nickelback spot being handed to Thomas may not be fully decided or final.

  4. Does your ranking of Taylor change now that it appears that Avery has moved to FS? Coutess and Taylor on the outside as starters. Countess slides to the nickel spot and Hollowell plays outside.

    1. Nope, nothing really changes. This is where I ranked Taylor prior to anyone moving around.