LIKELY top-30 draft choice Curtis Taylor has the ability to pull off the spectacular, but the dynamic forward plays his best football when he does the basics well.
That is the opinion of former Calder Cannons list manager Ian Kyte, who believes Taylor – compared to retired Eagle Mark LeCras – has what it takes to make a genuine impact at AFL level in 2019 and beyond.
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Taylor has been invited by the AFL to Thursday night's draft extravaganza, and is projected to fall between picks 15 and 30 in the NAB AFL Draft.
Kyte said the appeal with Taylor, who stands at 187cm and 78kg, is his cleverness around goal and his ability to make his chances count.
"At the moment he's got to be taken as a medium-sized forward, who, for his size, marks the ball well and he's got good hands and he understands the game like very few players," Kyte told AFL.com.au.
"If Curtis gets into the low 20s (picks in the draft), someone's not going to let him go past there I would think."
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Taylor averaged a goal a game and 18 disposals while playing with the Calder Cannons this season, but stepped it up a notch for Vic Metro in the Under-18 NAB AFL Championships.
In Metro's game against Vic Country in June, Taylor dobbed three goals in its win at the MCG – nailing two of his shots from tight angles to underline his class.
"He tended to play his better football at a higher level," Kyte said of Taylor.
"He played some really good quarters with [Calder], but I think once he relaxed and took a bit of pressure off himself, he started to play better.
"Once he got back to enjoying his footy and with more accomplished players around him that's when he started to show the player he could become."
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The Cannons worked hard with Taylor throughout the season on maintaining his consistency in the contest and making sure that he could recover quickly enough to apply defensive pressure.
"We told him 'You don't have to make the amazing play all the time'," Kyte said.
"He might do that once out of five or six and he takes an amazing mark and people go, 'Did you see that?' But the other five times he flew he might have gone to ground and the defence has run off him.
"To his credit, he's worked really hard on that and he's become a better player because of it."
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Kyte views Taylor as more of a forward option early in his career, but is confident he can have stints in the midfield once he builds up the necessary conditioning and body strength in a few years' time.
For the moment, Kyte said the comparisons to LeCras – slightly smaller at 183cm – were accurate.
"Curtis is taller than LeCras. He's at that height where he's not really a tall forward, but he can play above his height and he can play like a small forward too," Kyte said.
"He's smart enough to crumb the ball but he can beat his man in the air as well."