Draft week has finally arrived as 262 prospective NFL players will hear their names called on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. At least a few Huskers will likely be among them, perhaps as early as day two.
As we draw closer to draft day for these former Huskers, Hail Varsity is looking back at their journey to this point to put a spotlight on what they’ve done to put themselves in this position.
Up next is cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt.
Projections in recent mock drafts:
- ESPN (Jordan Reid, $): 91 (R3)
- The Athletic (Dane Brugler, $): 63 (R2)
- CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson): 136 (R4)
- CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso): 82 (R3)
- Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer): 93 (R4)
- NFL.com (Chad Reuter): 72 (R2)
The other Cam is projected to go second among the Husker prospects by most, but he appears to have a good chance to hear his name called on day two as well.
Taylor-Britt arrived in Lincoln after a standout high school career as a prolific dual-threat quarterback at Park Crossing in Montgomery, Alabama. The Nebraska coaching staff liked the 6-foot, 197-pound athlete in the defensive backfield, however.
Despite the position change, Taylor-Britt found his way onto the field immediately He was the lone true freshman on defense who played in the season-opener (recording his first career tackle in the process) and he went on to appear in 11 games on defense and special teams.
Taylor Britt recorded eight tackles and three pass break-ups on defense while playing off the bench behind Nebraska’s veteran defensive backs. He added four more tackles and a fumble recovery on special teams.
Nebraska returned three of its starters in the secondary from 2018 while Deontai Williams stepped in at safety for the departed Tre Neal. However, Williams went down with an injury in the season-opener against South Alabama and Taylor-Britt stepped up. He had a breakout game, finishing with five tackles including two for loss, a forced fumble and an interception he returned 48 yards.
Taylor-Britt started the rest of the season—seven games at safety and three at cornerback—while missing one game with an illness. He totaled 49 tackles, four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three interceptions and two pass break-ups, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. He tied for the team lead in picks and was third in the nation in forced fumbles as his four was the highest total for a Husker since 1999.
With Lamar Jackson off to the NFL, Taylor-Britt logged seven starts opposite Dicaprio Bootle at cornerback in 2020, coming off the bench in one game because of a targeting penalty that disqualified him for the first half. He recorded 28 tackles including three for loss, four pass break-ups and two interceptions. He also returned six punts for 79 yards (a 13.2 average). He earned second-team All-Big Ten recognition.
Bootle followed Jackson to the pro ranks after the 2020 season, leaving Taylor-Britt as the unquestioned No. 1 corner on the team this past season. He repeated as a second-team all-conference pick by totaling 51 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, 11 pass break-ups, one interception and one blocked kick. He finished third in the conference in passes defended (break-ups plus interceptions) while matching up with some of the best wideouts in the conference (and the country).
Taylor-Britt still had one more year of eligibility remaining because of the freeze in 2020, but after four seasons at Nebraska he decided to declare for the 2022 draft.
Taylor-Britt competed in the Senior Bowl and then earned an invitation to the NFL Combine where he turned heads by running a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, the fifth-best time among cornerbacks in Indianapolis. He waited to do the rest of the athletic testing at Nebraska’s pro day and turned in respectable results.
At the pro day, Taylor-Britt said he’s heard of teams looking at him at every spot in the secondary and his versatility is one thing that has impressed scouts.
“I could play on three levels as far as nickel, safety and corner, depending on their scheme of course,” Taylor-Britt said. “I’m not afraid to hit, ball skills. One thing they did say, because I asked them what do they think I need to work on, my transition, coming back downhill, and that’s one of thing I wanted to show them in my drills today is coming out of my breaks as fast as possible, just attacking the ball.”
Taylor-Britt said he’ll be in Atlanta for the draft.
“I’ll be with my family and a few others, but I’ll be home. They’ve always been there for me, through everything, thick and thin, no matter what it was, and I want to spend that time with them.”
Based on the pre-draft buzz, Taylor-Britt may not have to wait too long before celebrating with his family as he’s projected as a top-100 pick by most of the mock drafts I looked at.
Taylor-Britt is arguably the best example of development for Scott Frost’s staff at Nebraska and is a shining example of the work Travis Fisher has done with the defensive backs. Both Jackson and Bootle went undrafted before finding spots on practice squads, but Taylor-Britt will likely raise the bar and become the first cornerback drafted out of Nebraska since Stanley Jean-Baptiste went in the second round in 2014.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.