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Round 6: Ravens Select QB Tyrod Taylor

Baltimore just could have found a dynamic backup for Joe Flacco.

Posted by BR.com on Saturday, April 30th, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Categories: 2011 NFL Draft

The Ravens added a decorated quarterback with their sixth-round draft pick (180th-overall) with 2010 ACC Offensive Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor
 
Slated to back up Joe Flacco, Taylor could provide an explosive presence in the Ravens’ backfield.

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“I believe I can do it all,” Taylor said in a conference call with Baltimore media.  “I believe I’m the most dynamic quarterback in this draft.  I have the ability to move the pocket and keep the play alive, and I also have the ability to stand in the pocket and make every throw that’s asked for.
 
“My style is kind of a mixture of all.”
 
Taylor arrived on Virginia Tech’s campus as one of the most-sought after dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation, but worked hard to overcome the stigma of being labeled just a runner.
 
“I didn’t label myself as a scrambler or a pocket passer.  I played my style,” Taylor explained.   “I can honestly say that when I move the pocket, I don’t look to run.  Maybe when I was a freshman, but since then, I move the pocket and use my ability to run as a tool to help the receivers get open down the field.”
 
Even though Taylor finished second in rushing in each of his four seasons as a Hokie, he significantly improved his passing as a senior. 
 
The 6-foot-1, 217-pounder completed 188 of 315 passes (59.7 percent) for 2,743 yards, a VaTech single-season-record 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions last year.  In fact, the three-year starter left Blacksburg, Va., as the school’s all-time leader in passing (7,017 yards).
 
That’s not to say he abandoned the run. Taylor gained 659 yards and five touchdowns on 146 carries (4.5-yard average per attempt) in 2010. 
 
With that type of firepower, Taylor, Virginia Tech’s school leader with 34 career wins, led the Hokies to four bowl berths and three appearances in the ACC Championship Game.
 
Taylor has been compared to the similarly-sized Troy Smith, a Ravens fifth-round draft pick in 2007 who did his best work when moving outside the pocket.
 
Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, was also known for his leadership and strong locker room presence.
 
“What he has done I think has definitely helped me out as far as the way that he plays quarterback,” Taylor said of Smith.  “I just go in there and try to be the best person I can be and mature as best as I can.”
 
It has also been suggested that Taylor could play another position (wideout) at the NFL level, as he ran a blazing 4.51-second 40-yard dash to lead all quarterbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine.
 
Even though he heard whispers of teams wanting him to play in a Wildcat system or another position, Taylor said the Ravens want to keep him under center.
 
“I want to do whatever it takes to help the team win in the best situation, but most teams have talked to me about quarterback,” Taylor, who is a college teammate of current Raven Justin Harper. “After talking to the Ravens’ coaching staff, they look at me as a quarterback.”

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