The Washington Redskins announced today they have signed first-round draft pick Sean Taylor, selected out of the University of Miami with the fifth overall selection of the 2004 NFL Draft. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Touted as one of the most sought after players in this year's draft, Taylor brings a tremendous combination of size, speed and strength to the Redskins defense, as well as his well documented abilities as a playmaker and intimidator in the secondary.
Taylor, 6-2 and 231 pounds, finished his collegiate career with 188 tackles, 14 interceptions, one sack and two blocked punts in 34 games. In addition, he returned eight punts for 154 yards and one touchdown. His 14 interceptions rank fourth on the Hurricanes all-time list behind only Fred Marion, Bennie Blades, and Ed Reed. Only Reed's 389 yards on interceptions are more than Taylor's (306) in school history.
In 2003, Taylor was a unanimous All-America first-team selection and finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back. He was named first team All-Big East Conference as well as Defensive Player of the Year. Taylor started all 12 games at free safety compiling 77 tackles (57 solo), 13 pass deflections, 10 interceptions and three touchdowns. His 10 interceptions tied a Miami record (Blades, 1986) and he led all Division 1-A players, returning three interceptions for touchdowns. Taylor recorded arguably his best collegiate game against state rival Florida State, setting school and conference records with eight pass deflections, one sack, two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), eight tackles and a recovered blocked punt.
He earned first team All-Big East Conference honors as a sophomore in 2002, starting all 13 games and recording a career-high 85 tackles (53 solo), four interceptions, 15 pass deflections, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. He also returned three punts, one for a touchdown. During his freshman season in 2001, he played behind All-American and current Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed. Taylor recorded 26 tackles (20 solo) and was one of just four true freshmen to play for Miami's 2001 National Championship team.
Taylor is a product of Gulliver Academy in Miami. He helped lead his high school to the Florida Class 2A State Championship as a senior in 2000, seeing time at running back, defensive back and linebacker. He finished the year rushing for 1,300 yards and a state-record 44 touchdowns, and tallied more than 100 tackles on defense.