At 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds, Jullian Taylor is hard to miss.
Yet Taylor went to Temple, so despite a terrific senior season, the defensive lineman wasn’t exactly on a powerhouse team or listed among the nation’s top prospects.
Taylor, however, caught the 49ers’ attention after a strong workout at the NFL combine and was selected in the seventh round. Now, he’s off to a strong start in his first pro training camp and could earn significant playing time – not just a roster spot – based on what he’s done so far.
As Dieter Kurtenbach of the Sacramento Bee noted Monday, Taylor has been impressive in team workouts in Santa Clara.
He reported Taylor is already getting snaps on the defensive line at tackle with the first-team defense with his strong play and the injury that’s sidelined Arik Armstead.
“He brings an awesome mindset of physicality, violence and effort,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh told reporters.
Saleh told Kurtenbach Taylor still has a “very, very long way to go,” but has shown strong ability so far. Kurtenbach wrote that head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch “might have found another third-day gem in the draft.”
Taylor had numerous injuries at Temple that kept him off the field his first three seasons, but was healthy as a senior when he had 40 tackles including 10 for loss. The scouting report on him before the draft, too, noted that he tested as one of the most athletic defensive linemen of this draft class at the combine, with a combination of quickness and strength.