The San Francisco 49ers waited until late on Day 3 of the draft to select a running back. Kelvin Taylor, son of prominent NFL alum Fred Taylor was the player they chose. He was the work horse at Florida, rushing 259 times for 1,035 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final year as a Gator. Over his entire college career he played in 37 games, and carried the ball 486 times for 2,108 yards and 23 TDs. Kelvin and his father are not the only professional athletes in the family. Kelvin's first cousin is WR Santonio Holmes.
Prior to him becoming a Gator, he surpassed NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith as the state of Florida's all time leading rusher as a junior in high school. He racked up an impressive 12,121 yards and 191 touchdowns in his high school career.
Taylor will be joining Florida teammates Trenton Brown and newly drafted quarterback Jeff Driskel who played in Florida before he transferred to Louisiana Tech.
Taylor is 5'10 207 lbs and ran a 4.6 40 yard dash. He is very quick laterally and you can see it in the sizzle video included below. He has great vision, which has occasionally gotten him into trouble as he's looking ahead just a little bit too far. His NFL.com draft profile states that although he is willing to block he may not have the power against A-gap linebackers. Frank Gore, who also wore #21, at 5'9 and 217 used cut blocking and chop blocking as his predominant technique, while also having a little bit more weight behind him.
Here's the full transcript of his post selection conference call. The answer that made everyone laugh was when he could only name one running back on the 49ers depth chart, Carlos Hyde.
What kind of interaction did you have with the 49ers coming up to today?
"I met with the coaches a few times at the Combine and we talked and things like that. I just really liked that organization and I’m just so happy to be a part of that organization. I’m very thankful and blessed."
No visits and not personal work outs?
"No sir. No visit or no personal workouts. No sir."
What other teams were interested in you?
"I had the Falcons. The Falcons liked me a whole lot. Oakland, Green Bay Packers, they were calling me pretty much this whole day, Green Bay was calling. Just different other teams kept calling me and things like that, but the 49ers really made my dream come true."
Right before you were picked, 49ers took QB Jeff Driskel. What can you tell us about him from your days together in Florida?
"Jeff, he’s a very good guy. He’s a hard worker. He does everything right. He’s a great quarterback and like I said, he’s a very hard worker. I’m just proud to be back on a team with that guy and me and him back working together. That’ll be pretty fun."
How much film of Emmitt Smith have you watched?
"I watched a lot of film on Emmitt, [former Jacksonville Jaguars RB Fred Taylor] my father, [Indianapolis Colts RB] Frank Gore. A lot of those great backs. I watched a whole lot of film."
Who is your favorite running back? Emmitt Smith or your Dad?
"Dad, come on. I definitely have to say that’s a no brainer. I definitely have to say my father."
What's your favorite memory of your dad's career?
"My favorite memory? I’d definitely have to say, probably every time he played against Pittsburgh. He had great games against Pittsburgh in the playoffs, so I’d definitely have to say Pittsburgh. He’d always give those guys a good game in the snow. So, I’d definitely have to say Pittsburgh was one of my best memories. I used to always like watching my dad."
Did you know then, as young as you were, what he was accomplishing and how big of a deal it was?
"Can you say that again?"
Growing up watching your dad, did you understand how big of a deal he was?
"Yes sir, of course. Just watching him be the great pro that he was and just watching him every day just working and trying to be the best player he could be. I’d definitely have to say I understand how important my father was. Just watching him be a great pro in the NFL and watch how he just takes little pieces of my dad’s game and put it into my game and I feel like I can’t be stopped after that."
You pretty much carried the load for running backs in Florida. Do you want that type of career? Is that what you’re trying to have in the pros?
"Yes ma’am, of course. I feel like I’m a great back and I just feel like I’m a back who can do it all. I feel like I’m an every down back. I’m just ready to get out there in camp and ready to start making plays and I’m just very thankful and blessed for this opportunity and I just can’t wait to get out there and make plays, like I said."
Are you familiar with who is on the depth chart at running back for the 49ers?
"I know we’ve got [RB Carlos] Hyde out there, we’ve got Carlos. You guys have to help me out after that."
After that, they have you.
"Alright, alright, I like it."
Who are you spending today with?
"My whole family. My mother, everyone, my whole entire family. I’m just very blessed and I’m thankful for this opportunity. Like I said, I have a very close family, so everyone’s here."
Have you spoke with OL Trent Brown yet? He played with you last year. What’s it like playing behind him?
"Trent just texted me, that’s crazy. He texted me like five minutes ago, he said, ‘Man, you’re out here with me now.’ He said, ‘You’re in California with me now, so let’s get back to the Florida Gator days.’ That’s what he told me."