NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rookie Taywan Taylor knows some eyes have been on him.
A third-round pick by the Titans in the NFL Draft, the former Western Kentucky receiver wanted to prove himself worthy in his first week of organized team activities with his new teammates.
And the early buzz has been good.
"Being out there with guys you grew up watching, never did I think I would be out there practicing with Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray, but it is real now," Taylor said. "But I want to embrace it and utilize those guys, because they are here to help me, just like they told me. They said they see the energy in me, and they see the competitiveness and they see the talent.
"Some of the guys, they told me I can definitely do this, that I can play in this league. They can see it in me. And that motivates me to work even harder and to keep pushing myself. One of my goals is to be out there week one and to help this team win. And I told coach I am willing to do whatever it takes."
After taking part in the team's rookie minicamp earlier this month, Taylor worked with the veterans last week in OTA. He'll be back on the field with them on Tuesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, the first of three days on the field this week. The Titans will hold four OTAs next week before a three-day minicamp in the middle of June.
Taylor (5-11, 203) has been impressive out of the gate. First-round pick Corey Davis, who has been more limited as he works his way back from an ankle injury, has noticed.
"He has a lot of potential,'' Davis said of Taylor. "He is a great guy, a great person. And he can be great at this level."
Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said he likes what he's seen from Taylor and Davis so far.
"They are doing good," Robiskie said. "Those guys have come in and you can see they are fast, they are going fast, and they have studied their playbooks. From the time they came in for a visit and the communication we had, some of the stuff has carried over. Then from the draft, some of the stuff we talked about then has carried over. And then they have taken their iPads and you can tell they have gone home and studied. So it has been fun, it has been good.
"… If the guys come along like we think they are going to come along, they'll be a good piece of the puzzle. They'll come in, fit into some spots, and if they can make some plays for us early … it will help take some pressure and stress of other guys."
Taylor, who is wearing the same number worn previously by Kendall Wright (13), 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.
Taylor said he plans to lean on his veteran teammates, and coaches. His mission during the offseason is to get up to speed on the field, and in the playbook. He made a number of impressive catches while working in drills last week.
"It has been fun," Taylor said. "I have been able to get mixed in with (the veterans), been able to get that chemistry going. This is what I have been working toward and practicing for the whole time. I just want to keep challenging myself and try and learn as much as I can. I want to keep working and learning the playbook so I can be out there with the vets, because that is what it is all about, to be out there on Sundays. I want to pick their brain and ask them what I need to do to keep getting better. I am going to do whatever I can to help this team win."
Titans veterans and rookies take the field for Day 2 of the 2017 OTAs at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn, Al Wagner, AP)