The 2017 NFL Draft will be the 82nd annual meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible football players. It will be held April 27–29 in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval. Look for continuing draft coverage from University of Delaware students Katherine Nails and Jack Roberts, including coverage of the NFL Draft Experience.
Taylor Reynolds looks at the world with a strategic eye.
Having played football and chess from a young age, Reynolds is attuned to both games’ real-life parallels.
“Chess is just life, honestly—always thinking about the next move, always thinking ahead and always being prepared for the opportunity,” he says. “I say it has a lot to do with football.”
Reynolds, a Newark High School alum and former James Madison University cornerback, is hoping to hear his name called at this year’s NFL draft, which kicks off in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 27. It’s a moment he’s been dreaming of since he first stepped onto the field to play at age five.
Reynolds played football for Newark High School—located just steps from the University of Delaware—but decided to take his talents to James Madison University in Virginia in 2012.
Reynolds’ transition to the JMU team didn’t go as smoothly as he’d hoped. Recruited as a quarterback, he was redshirted as a freshman, and then asked to play cornerback instead. Though the switch was difficult, he harnessed his quarterback skills to better predict his opponents’ next moves on defense.
During his college career, Reynolds racked up over 200 tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss. He also logged 46 pass deflections and collected 11 interceptions. His fondest memory is helping his team secure a win against Youngstown State in the Football Championship Subdivision national championship, during which he had four tackles and two pass deflections.
Since his senior pro day in March, Reynolds has worked out with the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.
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In terms of the future, Reynolds has a clear goal in mind.
“My dream is to get picked—in the draft, that’s everyone’s dream,” he says. “Three months from now, I’m just hoping I’m on a team that I feel comfortable with—a team that wants me, a team that likes me.”
In the weeks leading up to draft day, Reynolds has been maintaining a low profile—keeping calm through daily training, and working with children at the Police Athletic League.
Should he get drafted, Reynolds is confident in his football skills and his ability to learn and adjust to a new level of playing. The “adult” responsibilities that would accompany a draft pick—moving to an unfamiliar city; living on his own—are what make him a bit nervous.
For now, though, he’s eager to continue training and embrace where life’s next chapter takes him.