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Virginia OLB Noah Taylor transferring to North Carolina

Noah Taylor
Noah Taylor. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Outside linebacker Noah Taylor is transferring to North Carolina for his COVID senior season.

Taylor, a 6’5”, 235-pounder, made 12 starts and logged 707 snaps in 2021 for the Cavaliers, with a Pro Football Focus grade of 67.7.

That was actually a career low for Taylor, whose best season in Charlottesville was in 2019, when he posted a 76.7 PFF grade on 673 snaps, with five sacks and 26 QB pressures and two INTs.

Taylor had four sacks each of the past two seasons at Virginia, and this season he recorded a career-high 67 tackles along with 19 QB pressures.

Where he had issues the past two seasons was in pass coverage. In 2020, his NFL passer rating against was 115.4, as he allowed 16 receptions on 21 targets for 190 yards.

Taylor was marginally better in 2021, with an NFL passer rating against of 110.4. He allowed 18 catches on 25 targets for 210 yards.

His departure hurts first because he’s going to an ACC Coastal rival, and not just any ACC Coastal rival, but … Carolina.

Second, it hurts because you lose a veteran presence who could have been a foundational element during the coaching transition.

The linebacker corps still returns Nick Jackson (12 starts, 796 snaps, team-high 117 tackles, 62.5 PFF grade), Hunter Stewart (five starts, 338 snaps, 60.7 PFF grade), West Weeks (one start, 252 snaps, 60.4 PFF grade) and Josh Ahern (three starts, 241 snaps, 44.6 PFF grade).

Because Bronco Mendenhall went with a 3-3-5 base alignment, there just weren’t many ‘backers on the roster, so new coach Tony Elliott and his incoming defensive staff are going to have to work the transfer portal like crazy to build some depth in the two-deep.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press