It doesn’t appear Mike Taylor will be ready in time to work out during Wisconsin’s Pro Day on March 6 after undergoing sports hernia surgery last month.
The Ashwaubenon native, who’s sitting out of this week’s NFL scouting combine, began feeling the discomfort from the injury during the Badgers’ 16-13 loss to Michigan State on Oct. 7, but still led Wisconsin with 123 tackles this season.
The 6-foot-1, 234-pound linebacker underwent scheduled surgery for the injury on Jan. 7 in St. Louis the week after Wisconsin’s 20-14 loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl and said he’s progressing in his rehab.
Unable to showcase his talents this week, Taylor said he’s planning to setup a private workout for scouts prior to April’s NFL Draft.
“I'm just rehabbing and running. I started to run, started to get back into things, working out,” Taylor said. “Pro Day is March 6, probably won't be doing that. But I'm just trying to get better, working week to week.”
Taylor believes he can play both inside and outside at linebacker, but projected by most as a late-round selection or priority free agent inside mostly due to his smaller stature.
Taylor, who played on Ashwaubenon’s last state championship football team in 2005, didn’t have any formal interviews set up this week with NFL teams, but said he talked this week with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have De Pere’s Drew Nowak currently on the roster.
A few feet away from Taylor’s media table on Friday was Iowa State linebacker and Kimberly native A.J. Klein, projected by NFLDraftScout.com as a fifth-round linebacker.
The two chatted a bit before the day began, recognizing the rarity of having two individuals from Northeast Wisconsin at the NFL combine on the same year.
“Two guys so close to each other at this combine. That doesn't happen too often,” Taylor said. “There's a few guys from Wisconsin that make it every year. That's awesome, it shows what kind of type of guys they get. It's the hard work and time you put in.”