By Josh Svetz
Ike Taylor has some pretty good first hand knowledge of one of the Pittsburgh Steelers potential draft targets.
Taylor has been training this offseason with Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in Orlando, FL and the Steelers cornerback has been shown a glimpse of his talent.
Taylor reflected on his impressions of Benjamin during Trib Live Radio’s “The Ike Taylor Show” Tuesday morning.
“He (Benjamin) plays faster than his 40 time,” said Taylor. “He has something you can’t coach in height and size. He is aggressive and plays receiver with a defensive mentality, he has great ability in the red zone as well as being a deep play threat, and I think he could be a game changer.”
While Taylor certainly doesn’t have any say in who the Steelers draft, one would imagine that he’s likely shared his thoughts on the young wide receiver with Head Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert.
Furthermore, Tomlin and Colbert both had a visit with Benjamin and his teammate, running back Devonta Freeman, last Monday and then attended the Florida State Pro Day the following day.
Recently, several of the major media draft prognosticators have the Steelers selecting Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard if they end up staying put at the 15th overall pick. However, if the Steelers decide to trade down, then Benjamin could be the selection if still available.
This past week at the NFL owners’ meetings, Colbert hinted at his openness to trading down, but countered that by saying, this upcoming draft will feature many teams trading down; at least that’s how he evaluates the situation.
With that said, trading down wouldn’t be bad for the Steelers, as they have many needs to fill this off-season and grabbing extra picks on top of their nine picks already could constitute a trade up later in the draft, like they did with safety Sharmarko Thomas last year.
Overall though, while trading down could be an option, it may be more difficult than most imagine.
As for Taylor’s thoughts on Benjamin, this isn’t the first time he’s endorsed a player that was brought in by Pittsburgh.
Last year, Taylor knew quite a bit about Florida State linebacker Vince Williams after training with him in Florida under the watchful eye of renown trainer Tom Shaw before the draft.
Only time will tell if the Steelers wind up drafting Benjamin, but for now, Taylor does offer up an interesting evaluation of one of the top prospects in the draft, at a position that figures to be a big need.