NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans are being careful with first-round pick Corey Davis at the start of his NFL career, holding him back in early offseason work as he recovers from an ankle injury.
Soon, he'll be good to go.
Taywan Taylor, meanwhile, dove all the way in during the team's rookie minicamp over the weekend. And it's just the way he wanted it.
"I told coach I want to come in and be a guy that is going to be on the field my rookie year, and I expect to make some plays,'' said Taylor, a third-round pick from Western Kentucky. "One of my goals is to help early, and do the best I can my rookie year to be successful. I plan to learn the playbook as fast as I can and be ready so I can do that."
Those around Taylor think it's entirely possible, from his new head coach, one of his former quarterbacks at Western Kentucky, and even Davis, the fifth overall pick of the draft who said he's looking forward to making a mark alongside him in the NFL.
"I like the way he plays," Davis said of Taylor. "He has great swagger, great run after catch, great hands. I look forward to playing with him. He is a special player."
Taylor was especially productive at Western Kentucky. As a senior he racked up 98 catches for a record 1,730 yards and 17 touchdowns, tying his own record for touchdowns in a season. Taylor posted nine games with 100 yards receiving, second-most nationally, and he had 11 games of catching at least one touchdown.
He finished his college career with 253 catches for 4,234 yards and 41 touchdowns.
"I think Taywan will thrive anywhere,'' said quarterback Tyler Ferguson, who played with Taylor at WKU and joined the Titans as an undrafted free agent. "He makes the receiver room better with his talent and his knowledge for the game, and how good of a person he is. He did tremendous things for Western Kentucky and I think he is going to go very well here. I don't have any doubts about that."
Taylor (5-11, 203) was busy out of the gate during the team's rookie minicamp.
Coach Mike Mularkey said he lined up in the slot and on the outside on the first day, and after showing some early jitters, settled down and impressed.
Taylor said he told coaches he played multiple positions in college, and he wanted to be a valuable asset in the NFL as well.
The Titans select Western Kentucky WR Taywan Taylor in the third round (#72 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. (AP Photos, College Press Box)
"He has a little bit more on his plate because he is playing outside and inside," Mularkey said of Taylor. "Right now, I don't see a lot of problems with his learning. I think he has done a great job of picking both spots up."
Taylor called his first NFL weekend, with the Titans, a "surreal feeling."
Taylor has two aunts in Nashville, and his family is just a few hours away in Louisville. His old college campus is just up the road, roughly an hour away.
Taylor said he's looking forward to breaking into the league with Davis, and seeing the two of them open things up for the offense.
"I am definitely looking forward to playing with Corey, who is definitely a great receiver,'' Taylor said. "I definitely love his game and we complement each other really well. We bring different things to the table and we are both going to learn the playbook as fast as we can to put pressure on the defense and be playmakers."
Titans rookies hit the field for the start of a three-day rookie minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones Gary Glenn)