The most interesting player taken by the Colts in the 2009 NFL Draft was not RB Donald Brown, DT Fili Moala, or WR Austin Collie. The guy who really grabbed the attention of many fans here was Michigan nose tackle Terrance Taylor. Like Fili, Taylor breaks the mold the Colts usually set for DTs. At 6'0, 315 pounds, Big T (as I am now going to refer to him as) is one big friggin dude. When you consider that last year's starting nose tackle was a good 35 pounds lighter than Big T, Indy drafting the Michigan product really hits home the notion that the Colts are tired of using free agency to solidify the nose tackle spot long term.
Big T recently talked with Colts.com's Jeffery Gorman, and like most interviews on Colts.com it was "nice" but really didn't tell us too much about him (aside from the fact he really likes John Teerlick).
What makes Big T so interesting is he simply does not fit the kind of player the Colts typically draft for the nose tackle spot. Check out these bits from his scouting report:
Good bulk...Super strong...Plays with great leverage...Excellent run stuffer...Is able to occupy multiple blockers...Stout at the point of attack..Can collapse the pocket...Nice instincts and awareness...Tough and nasty...Durable...Has a lot of experience against top competition.
A prototypical two-down specialist...Potential 3-4 nose tackle prospect.
I mean, does that sound like a Tampa-2 tackle?
Now, before the folks championing a 3-4 jump in and say "SEE, SEE, WE'RE MOVING TO A 3-4!" I will remind you what Jim Caldwell, Larry Coyer, and Bill Polian have said again, and again, and again: The Colts are not changing their defense. We are not shifting to a 3-4. Though the new fad now is 3-4 defenses, I'll remind you that only two years ago the two teams playing in the Super Bowl ran Tampa-2. The 3-4 is not "better" than the Tampa-2. Like all schemes, it comes down to personnel.
For the Colts, Big T seems to be the "Corey Simon-type" player they have lacked. Simon was a very big boy, often playing at about 315-320 pounds. What Indy's defesne needs is a tackle who can control two interior players, allowing the three tech tackle and the DEs to shoot the gap and attack the offense's backfield.
We will follow Big T's development during camp, pre-season, and into the regular season. Right now, it seems he and Mookie Johnson will battle it out for the starting NT job.