NFL Analysis


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Leonard Taylor 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Miami DT

Leonard Taylor chases after the quarterback
Miami Hurricanes defensive lineman Leonard Taylor III (56) pursues Temple Owls quarterback E.J. Warner (3) in the second half against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. (Andy Lewis-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Leonard Taylor.

Leonard Taylor 2024 NFL Combine RESULTS

  • Height: 6-foot-3 ½
  • Weight: 303 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.12 seconds
  • 10-yard split: 1.76 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: Did Not Perform
  • Vertical jump: 30"
  • Broad jump: 9'1"
  • Arm length: 33 ⅞"



  • Consistently played with good balance and body control playing off and through contact. Good athlete for defensive tackle.
  • Reps where he showed heavy hands in the six- to 10-inch area off the ball shocking offensive linemen and initially driving them back.
  • Showed strength, power and explosion off the ball getting underneath and inside the offensive line, controlling the rep.
  • Pass rush snaps where he timed his hand usage actively to defeat hand strikes of the offensive guard. Strong club move.
  • Quickness off the snap a foundation of his game. Gap penetrator with an effective arm-over move to clear offensive line.
  • Desirable combination as an inside pass rusher of active, effective hand use and coordinated lateral foot quicks.
  • Showed the athletic and movement traits and the effective hand use to develop into a strong inside pass rusher.
  • 2022 tape showed the ability to win both as a 2-gap defensive tackle controlling and displacing and a 1-gap defensive tackle penetrating gaps.
  • In 2023, run-game snaps showed strength and power to play off contact and stay balanced to make plays.
  • Showed contact strength to control and displace offensive linemen. Has the needed strength to deconstruct blocks and find the ball.


  • At times, showed a tendency to be a beat late off the ball — needs to get that cleaned up to maximize his traits.
  • There were reps (not many) where he came off the ball a little high, negating both his quickness and power.
  • Must continue to work on defeating 1-on-1 blocks inside. Showed needed traits, but must do so more often.
  • Needs to work on playing off contact when he physically wins off the ball. Must learn to control and displace.
  • In 2023, got eaten up and displaced by a lot of double teams in the run game. Must play with more point-of-attack strength.
  • Did not see the same quickness off the ball and the confined-space short-stroke power that he showed in 2022.
  • Showed tendency to play too tall and too upright off the ball, negatively affecting quickness and strength.
  • Did not see any kind of calculated pass-rush plan once he initially engaged with the offensive line. Too often, got stuck.

Miami-Fl defensive lineman Leonard Taylor (DL26) works out during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)


Taylor did not look like the same player on his 2023 tape as he did on his 2022 tape, and there were some valid reasons for that beyond just some flaws and concerns with his game.

In 2022, his best tape came as a 1-gap penetrator, showing excellent quickness off the ball with plus athleticism, balance and body control. My sense was he could project and transition to the next level as a 3-technique defensive tackle in a 4-man even defensive front.

In 2023, Taylor not only looked heavier than he did in 2022 — playing too high with little quickness and power off the snap — but he played far more snaps as a 2-gap defensive tackle with significant reps at 0-technique. I don’t believe that is the best way to maximize his physical traits.

Watching the tape, I believe Taylor needs to lose weight (probably a meaningful amount) and look to get back to being the more explosive off-the-ball, 1-gap defensive tackle that he flashed far more often in 2022. We know he can do because we saw it (e.g., a sack vs. Temple in 2023 that was a strong snapshot of how Taylor can be aligned at 3-technique and where he showed an effective arm-over move).

Taylor will not be an easy projection to the next level given that his 2023 tape was not strong overall despite some flashes that showed his traits. But his 2022 tape showed a much stronger prospect who could win with both off-the-ball quickness as a 1-gap defensive tackle and the contact strength to control and displace as a 2-gap defensive tackle.

The traits are there in Taylor’s body, with the question being: How do you best get them out of him so he can become a quality NFL defensive tackle? There is no easy solution to that.


Taylor came out of Miami Palmetto High School as a 5-star recruit and the top-rated defensive tackle in the nation.

In 2022 and 2023, Taylor lined up in multiple defensive tackle positions in Miami’s defensive fronts — including 3-technique and 0-technique.

In 2023, Taylor played more snaps at 1-technique and 0-technique and overall he played more snaps as a head-up defensive lineman rather than a gap defensive tackle. There were third-down snaps where he was deployed as a standup Joker in the middle of the defensive front.