Earlier today, we touched on the Colts visiting with 346 pound defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis from Hampton. Now, we have a report from National Football Post that the Colts have interest in 6'3, 334 pound monster Phil Taylor out of Baylor.
Ellis is viewed as a second round prospect. Taylor is a mid-to-late first rounder.
It's encouraging to see Indy taking an interest in 'anchor-style' defensive tackles and not three-technique guys. Players like Fili Moala and Daniel Muir are nice if they don't have to hold their ground and stop the opponent whose running at them. In years past, Antonio Johnson has been the guy to do that, and before him it was Ed Johnson, Anthony McFarland, and Corey Simon.
Last season , Antonio 'Mookie' Johnson lost his starting job to Moala, who was pretty terrible as the 'nose tackle' in Indy's Tampa-2 defense. The Colts allowed over 2,000 rushing yards in 2010 (4.6 a carry), and the run defense did not start to improve until the last four games of the regular season, which also happened to coincide with Mookie getting his starting job back. Mookie sat out the playoff game against the Jets, who racked up 169 rushing yards on Indy.
Finding a true, legitimate anchor for this defense is critical. Maybe not so critical as a quality offensive linemen, but important nonetheless.
The knock on Taylor entering the draft is his health, especially the status of his feet. However, NFP is reporting that:
Phil Taylor's feet checked out fine at the NFL scouting combine medical recheck, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.