Carlif Taylor getting to the QB. (Getty Images)
Each year, teams in the NFL find talent in places that most fans didn't even know existed. These players can make an impact from day one when given the chance to show what they can do. One such player could be Southern Connecticut State University's Carlif Taylor. Taylor is a senior defensive tackle who's looking to make his presence felt in the NFL coming out of a smaller school.

Despite coming from a smaller school, Carlif is anything but small. A disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line, he flashes both athleticism and size that indicate he will have no trouble making the jump from a small school to the NFL.

315 lbs

Pro Day Numbers:
5.18 40 Yard Dash
30 Reps of 225
7.80 3 Cone Drill

Senior Year Statistics:
73 tackles, 8 tackles for a loss, 0.5 sacks

High motor. Doesn't take a play off. Shows good vision to see ball carrier and then shed block. Keeps his feet moving. Surprisingly quick for his size. Fights through blocks. Doesn't accept being blocked. Faster than a lot of top tiered DTs in the draft. Great lateral quickness. Can play at 3-4 or 4-3 DT with his size and athleticism.

Can get too high and lose leverage against blockers. Needs to improve on his block shedding technique when engaged. Can be knocked off balance when chipped.

Here are some of Carlif Taylor's highlights last season:

Carlif was kind enough to answer some questions for me:

Q) How would you define your football story?
A) "Humbling. I came from a rough upbringing and started playing late in my life. I played at a lower level division and got to compete with the best."

Q) Who would you say is an NFL player you compare yourself to? How does your style mimic theirs?
A) "Vince Wilfork and Warren Sapp. I play very physical and demand double teams with a relentless motor and quick feet."

Q) What alignments are you most comfortable playing in?
A) "4-3 or 3-4 is fine for me. I played two years each at SCSU with both defenses and received All-Conference and All-American honors at both."

Q) What are your strengths/weaknesses?
A) "Strength- high motor, quick first step, strong lower body, physical, mental toughness, work horse, great closing speed.
Weakness - leverage"

Q) Have you talked to/worked out for any NFL teams?
A) "Yes, I've worked out with the Giants."

Q) How were the Pro Days with the Jets/Giants? Did you feel confident about how you performed?
A) "(My Pro Day with the) Giants was an amazing experience, something that would be impossible to forget. They were very hospitable and it felt just like home. A true blessing."

Q) How has your training in Florida been going?
A) "My training in florida was the best thing that happened to me prior to draft. Thanks to my trainer Derek Touchette, I was able to reach levels in a short amount of time that I didn't think were possible. I was also able to compare myself to other big name players down there and those who were at the combine as well."

Q) What head coach/defensive coordinator would you love to play for our learn from?
A) "Pete Carroll or Bill Belichick. These guys specialize in utilizing and finding smaller school talent which makes them elite competitors because they think a little different than other coaches."

Q) Your Pro Day numbers are close, if not better than potential 1st rd pick Danny Shelton, does that say that you have the ability to play in the NFL and succeed?
A) "I never compare myself to anybody in my position that wasn't a legend or a great in the NFL. I always try to be the best me I can be. I only compete with myself because thats what I can control. However, I feel like I'm the best NT/DT in the draft and I will be. I know everything happens for a reason, so I gave everything I did thus far with all my heart and all I need is a chance to prove and showcase my talents."

You can follow Carlif Taylor on Twitter at @CarlifTaylor97

Follow me on Twitter - @PatriotsInform

For more of my articles, click here.

Adam Bogdan 4/20/2015 05:00:00 PM Edit

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