He was born on Aug. 3rd. He was taken in the sixth round of the NFL draft as a quarterback. And he had to wait his turn to land a starting job as a pro. All it took for Tom Brady was an injury to Drew Bledsoe to become a starter in his second NFL season. Tyrod Taylor's wait was more than four times as long as Brady's, but his birthdate, the round when he was selected in the draft and having to wait for an opportunity are all the same for Taylor.
Taylor shares the same birthday as Brady, albeit 12 years later. He also watched a host of quarterbacks come off the board long before he did in the 2011 NFL draft. Taylor was the ACC Player of the Year entering the draft, but at barely 6-1 NFL scouts wondered if he could make plays from the pocket. Many wanted to move him to receiver at the pro level. His draft stock suffered as a result.
"I did look at him when he was coming out," said Bills GM Doug Whaley in a recent radio interview on WGR Sportsradio 550. "Tremendous athlete, strong arm, but needed time to develop the intricacies of being a passer. The ability to sit in the pocket and let a play develop and not be so quick to tuck it and run and use his God-given athletic ability to get him out of trouble."
Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Cam Newton and Christian Ponder were the hot names forecast for the top of the draft that spring. There was also a second tier of signals callers that included Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Mallett.
All of them were picked ahead of Taylor, along with Ricky Stanzi, T.J. Yates and Nathan Enderle before the Ravens finally made Taylor the 180th overall pick in round six. He was the 11th quarterback to come off the board.
"I prepared myself for it all," Taylor told Buffalobills.com. "Now do I think I should've gone higher? Yes, I felt that I played better than some of the guys who were taken ahead of me, but that's out of my control."
"He knows the exact guys who were drafted ahead of him the year he came out," said his father Rodney Taylor.
"I couldn't really put too much focus on it. I was grateful that Baltimore blessed me with the opportunity to play," Taylor said. "That was more my focus than anything once I got drafted. I had the opportunity and that's all you need first round or seventh round."
Proof of that came in the form of Tom Brady, another sixth-round pick, who watched six quarterbacks get drafted ahead of him in 2000, only to outperform them all to become one of the greatest signal callers in league history.
"He just uses a lot of different things as motivation," said Trina Taylor of her son. "Tom Brady's situation is a form of motivation for him."
"My dad and I talk about that a lot," said Taylor of Brady's rise to stardom. "His story is inspirational, motivational and it helped me watching his special on TV with all the quarterbacks who got taken before him. That was something I watched and it motivated me even more. He's one of the best quarterbacks in the league right now."
Taylor is referring to the ESPN documentary called 'The Brady 6,' which chronicled the path of Brady and the six quarterbacks who were selected ahead of him in the 2000 NFL draft. That documentary was released the same year Taylor was drafted.
For the first four years of his NFL career Taylor waited patiently for his opportunity to start, sitting behind Joe Flacco. As a free agent this past offseason he chose to sign with Buffalo primarily because of the opportunity to be part of a competition to win a starting job. After winning that three-man competition this past preseason, he's hoping his career can take off like Brady's did.
Taylor has never had the chance to talk to Brady at length, but it doesn't keep him from striving to approach the game and perform with the same consistency as the Patriots quarterback.
"Just the way he prepares each and every week," said Taylor of Brady. "The type of teams he's always had. He makes the players around him better and he's a true professional."
Taylor's dad says his son doesn't outwardly express any frustrations about having to wait for a chance to play those first four years. But he does admit there's a determination that burns inside his son, and that now it finally has a chance to reveal itself .
"He's always said, 'I'll just wait until I play,'" said Rodney Taylor. "That's how he approaches it, and this now is his opportunity."
And as for the 10 quarterbacks that were drafted ahead of him in 2011?
"I do know them all," said Taylor.