Taysom Hill

Which NFL teams have their own version of Taysom Hill?

  • Chris Streveler
  • Drew Brees
  • J'mar Smith
  • Jalen Hurts
  • Laviska Shenault Jr.
  • Lynn Bowden Jr
  • Malcolm Perry
  • Phillip Walker
  • Sean Payton
  • Taysom Hill
  • Tommy Stevens
By timrodriguez June 4, 2020 0 Comment

New Orleans Saints “Quarterback” Taysom Hill has taken the NFL by storm. With teams looking for their own version of him, who actually has one?

The NFL is a copycat league by nature. When a new schematic wrinkle works for one team, other teams will try and emulate it. We saw this in the early 2010’s when Robert Griffin and Colin Kaepernick took the league by storm in 2012. Team began to incorporate the read option into their offense and looked more favorably onto athletic quarterbacks. The new craze is the flex quarterback role, also known as the “Taysom Hill” role.

The New Orleans Saints brought in Taysom Hill prior to the 2017 season. Hill was an athletic and dynamic quarterback during his time in Provo with the BYU Cougars. However, he lacked any real potential as a legitimate NFL quarterback. During his rookie year, he played primarily on special teams. Yes, the quarterback was a gunner on punts and even blocked one.

Now Hill has an expanded role where he blocks, runs the ball, catches passes and even throws it. Saints head coach Sean Payton, regarded as an offensive genius, is always scheming new ways to use his “Flex quarterback”.

The attraction of this type of player is the notion that he essentially gives you 2-5 roles in just one roster spot. With teams all over the league trying to emulate this role, which ones actually have the type of player to do it? Obviously, each team’s variation of “Taysom Hill” would look different. For some teams it may be similar to New Orleans where it is a mobile quarterback who’s a threat to do multiple things. For others, it may just be a receiver or running back who has experience in the wildcat formation. The role does not necessarily have to require passing the ball. Hill rarely throws the ball in for the Saints.

Arizona Cardinals: Chris Streveler, QB

After the Super Bowl, there was a brief period where teams competed for the services of CFL quarterback Chris Streveler. He had just won the Grey Cup for the Winnipeg Bombers and decided to sign with the Arizona Cardinals.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury will surely find a multitude of ways to use him. Streveler turned 25 in January and is a physical runner who can throw the ball. He also played wide receiver in college, meaning there is nothing he cannot do for this football team. Kingsbury can use Streveler for designed quarterback runs to limit Kyler Murray, who is slight in size, from taking so many hits in the NFL. If he wants to, Kingsbury can deploy Streveler the exact same way Sean Payton uses Hill.

Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts, QB and Khalil Tate, WR

As wrong as it feels to write about Jalen Hurts as a “Taysom Hill” type of player, the possibilities must be acknowledged. If the Eagles plan on getting Hurts on the field at all, then it would be in a flex quarterback role. Hurts is a dynamic and patient runner who was a state weightlifting champion in high school. Hurts had almost 1,300 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground alone in his Senior season at Oklahoma. He also caught two passes on trick plays and scored on one of them. What makes Hurts interesting is that he is a far better thrower of the football than Taysom Hill.

Khalil Tate is a wide receiver who played quarterback in college at Arizona. In college, Tate was an explosive running quarterback. He was largely limited by a lack of talent surrounding him. Having two of these types of players certainly makes the possibilities for Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles quite interesting.

New Orleans Saints: Tommy Stevens, QB

Yes, they have another one. Not only does Sean Payton have Taysom Hill, he has the next Taysom Hill. Payton went out of his way to acquire Tommy Stevens. He worked with current Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady when he was at Penn State . Brady also worked in New Orleans with Payton. The story of how Payton stopped Carolina from getting Stevens as an undrafted free agent is hilarious.

Will Stevens make the roster? Unlikely. However, if Payton spends a year grooming Stevens to then flip Taysom Hill for a day two pick and continue to have this role player on a team friendly contract, that would be quite the move.

Carolina Panthers: Phillip Walker, QB

Under the impression that Carolina Panthers‘ offensive coordinator Joe Brady really wanted to have a Taysom Hill on his roster and Stevens was that guy, we should expect that they may try to find that role elsewhere. Phillip Walker is not the perfect fit for this role as the former XFL star is a legitimate NFL backup quarterback. However, he does have elite speed and quickness. Brady won’t be able to use him exactly how he saw Hill be used. He could get more creative however, because Walker is a much better passer than the former BYU star.

Las Vegas Raiders: Lynn Bowden, RB

Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden went higher than a lot of people expected when the Las Vegas Raiders selected him in the third round of the 2020 NFL draft. Bowden is a dynamic athlete who has experience doing a little bit of everything on offense.

In 2019, amid a flurry of injuries at quarterback, decided to revert to a high school type of offense and put Bowden at quarterback. In high schools all across the country, but primarily in the south, coaches put their best player at quarterback. Doing this ensures that he touches the ball every play. Bowden was unbelievable in 2019. He finished with 215 touches for 1,816 and 14 touchdowns. In the times he was asked to pass, he threw for 403 yards and three touchdowns. Bowden also returned kicks and punts in his career at Kentucky.

A true do it all player who Jon Gruden can have a lot of fun with in Vegas.

Miami Dolphins: Malcolm Perry, RB

Miami Dolphins rookie Malcolm Perry is one of the most exciting players on this list. A triple option quarterback at Navy, Perry rushed for 2,017 yards and 21 touchdowns in his senior season. He also threw for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns. Perry played quarterback in college, was announced as a wide receiver in the draft and plays running back for the Dolphins. He is a truly a do it all type of player. He is smaller in stature, making his usage much different than Hill, but is lightning fast and will be used creatively by Miami.

New England Patriots: J’mar Smith, QB

New England Patriots undrafted rookie J’mar Smith is a natural quarterback. However, his best path to the active roster may be in a Taysom Hill type role. He rushed for 264 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season at Louisiana Tech. Since he is a great runner and a good enough passer, there may be a spot for him to make some splash plays for New England. With Tom Brady gone, coach Belichick will be looking for new and creative ways to score points. While he is normally known as the one who gets copied by other coaches, Belichick may be looking at Payton as inspiration for new wrinkles to the playbook.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Laviska Shenault, WR

There were very few players who were used more diversely than Laviska Shenault was used at Colorado. Now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he can show his versatility on the professional level. There were times in his college career where he was the offense. As a wide receiver, he had seven rushing touchdowns in his career. Sometimes on third and short, Shenault would line up in the wildcat and take the snap.

Synopsis

While it is fun to laugh at Taysom Hill and say, “How could you take the ball out of Drew Brees’ hand?”The success cannot be ignored. Is it believable when Sean Payton says he can be the future quarterback after Drew Brees is gone? No. However, Hill and Payton have essentially created a new position. They have given a lot of young men hope that their NFL dreams can still come true. Like it or not, they changed the game.

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