5 interesting facts about Raiders Round 7 S Trey Taylor

It seemed hard to believe the Raiders were able to land the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner in the middle of the seventh round, but they did. At pick 223, they ended the long way for Trey Taylor, making him their seventh selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

We know he was a tackle machine at Air Force, collecting 205 tackles over three seasons. Along with improving his interceptions numbers each year, literally going from 1-2-3 and adding a pick six and a blocked PAT last season.

Now let’s learn a bit more about him, beyond the stats.

  1. Football education early

Trey’s father Tyree played linebacker at SMU (1995-98) and was his football coach when he was a kid. So, Trey was learning football plays at the age of six. “At six years old he had me on the field studying film and I grew a love of football just out of that,” Trey said.

Trey’s father helped influence his decision to go to Air Force as well. With Tyree saying “If I had to do it all over again and I had similar offers, I would have gone to Air Force, and I wanted that for Trey.”

Tyree would get the chance to watch his son in a bowl game at the stadium of his college alma mater in 2021 when the Falcons faced Louisville in the First Responders Bowl at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

  1. Hall of Fame bloodlines

Tayler is cousins with Ed Reed, who is widely considered one of the greatest safeties to ever play the game and was a first ballot Hall of Famer. And Trey Frequently leans on Reed for critiques on his safety play., which he calls “essential” to his football career so far.

“It’s been nice to have somebody who gives me the best communication possible,” Taylor said of Reed. “He’s given me a lot of clues, a lot of details and things that I need going into this next chapter, in this next way of life, and I’m just happy to be here and happy to have him as somebody in my corner.”

  1. Why Air Force?

Trey got a lot of offers coming out of high school, including from several Ivy League programs like Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale. So, clearly he was an academic standout. But Taylor wanted more. Or what his father called “the trifecta” 

“You get to get a world-class education, you get to serve the country, and then you get to play high-level D1 football in the Mountain West conference.” Trey’s grandfather was in the Army and his great grandfather was in the Air Force.

“The Academy taught me a lot about myself,” Trey added. “It taught me a lot about who I really am, the maturity I have as a person, taught me how to grow, how to spread my wings and made me the person I am today. So, I give everything I got back to the Academy and what it’s done for me. I wouldn’t be here without it, so I’m really happy I chose that.”

  1. Lucky number 7

Trey wore the number 7 at Air Force. He also wore 27 at the East West Shrine Bowl. The first time he had a chance to pick a number was in youth soccer and he picked number seven, saying “It felt good on me.” And he’s stuck with it whenever possible ever since.

“Whatever team I get to, they can put me in seven, 17, 27, 37, 97, I don’t care,” he said before the draft. “If it has a seven, I’m happy.”

The number 7 for the Raiders is taken by another Tre – fellow safety (and Jim Thorpe Award winner) Tre’von Moehrig. So, Taylor picked the number 37 as his first NFL number.

  1. What’s in the box

Taylor played mostly free safety at Air Force. And while he said he can play deep as well as close to the line, he said he feels most comfortable up close, which is where you most often see the strong safety.

“I like being in the box,” said Taylor. “The box is where I feel the most comfortable. I feel like I can make more plays. I just like being closer to the ball. When they move me down, I feel like a little linebacker sometimes.”

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire