With their third-round pick, 103rd overall, the Eagles selected linebacker Davion Taylor out of Colorado.
Taylor took a unique path to the NFL. Raised by a single mother, Stephanie, in Magnolia, Mississippi, Taylor's family members are Seventh-day Adventists who faithfully observe the sabbath sundown Friday through sundown Saturday. At South Pike High School, Taylor practiced on the football team all week, but was not be able to play in the games. He helped set up the field and the water bottles for his teammates before heading home on Friday nights.
There was one game in his senior year when kickoff was before sundown, so he was permitted to play. He recorded 10 tackles and an interception as a cornerback. He was also able to play half of another game, but that was it for his high school career.
Without much experience, he enrolled at Coahoma Community College where he thrived before earning a scholarship to Colorado. Taylor was a hybrid defensive player who lined up all over the field. As a senior, he posted 69 tackles, nine tackles for loss, and seven pass breakups. He thrived at the Senior Bowl and shined at the NFL Scouting Combine, testing as one of the most athletic linebackers in Indianapolis. It should come as no surprise as he ran the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4x100-meter events on the Colorado track team.
Despite trade offers to move down, the Eagles made Taylor their third-round selection Friday night. It's the highest draft pick used on the position since Jordan Hicks was also a third-round choice in 2015.
"I love the defense, man, 4-3, it's something I'm really kind of used to because I ran it at community college, a little bit at Colorado, so the defensive schemes, I know I'm going to fit in perfectly, and just throughout the draft process I've learned a lot when it comes to just that scheme," Taylor said. "I just know I'm going to fit in perfectly, and I'm ready to get in and start learning because I'm just anxious just to get on the field."
The Eagles lost two starting linebackers from 2019 in Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill. Nathan Gerry returns as does promising second-year player T.J. Edwards along with special teamers Duke Riley and Alex Singleton. Jatavis Brown, a former starter for the Chargers, was signed in free agency. But here, the Eagles get a heat-seeking missile for Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz.
"This guy is one of the fastest, most explosive players in the draft," Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman said. "Obviously, he has some raw (talent) to his game. That's why he's there in the third round. But I think we have a vision for how he's going to be used in our defense, and I think it's consistent with what we talked about when we started the offseason. This guy is very fast. He has a role. Obviously, he has a role not only on defense, but also on special teams. But we think this guy has the traits in his body to develop into a starter who can make plays all over the field. That's what we think his ceiling is, and we have to get him there."
Take a look at the Eagles' newest linebacker, Davion Taylor.