Image Credit: Wisconsin Athletics
With the 41st Pick Overall, The Indianapolis Colts have selected Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, making him the third running back selected.
In his 2019 campaign, Taylor had 2,003 yards and 26 total touchdowns. Over his career, he had 6,174 yards rushing and 50 rushing touchdowns. He was named the Doak Walker recipient and a Consensus All-American for both the 2018 and 2019 season.
Jonathan Taylor is 5-10, 226 pounds. That is great size for an NFL running back in this era. At the combine, he proved his athleticism, running a 4.39 40 yard dash, and jumping an impressive 36″ vertical. He’s also got the stamina you would want your workhorse back to have. He ran for over 200 yards 12 times in his career and totaled around 300 caries each season.
There’s no overlooking his fumbling issues. He put the ball on the ground 6 times in 2019, and 19 times in his career. Taylor also struggled with route running in his first two seasons, although showed some promise in his junior year. He was not used as a receiver for the Badgers, accounting for only 8 receptions for 95 yards.
I see him comparing to Le’Veon Bell at the next level. His patience and size are very similar. He’s got the ability to wait behind his blockers and see the holes open up.
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What the Analysts Say
Supremely productive, well-built runner with an all-day, every-day mentality that helped lead him to three Big Ten rushing titles. Taylor runs with bend and burst as an outside runner and has home-run speed once he gets into the open field. He displays an ability to weave around interior traffic but might have evolved into more of a thinker than reactor inside due to fumbling issues and the litany of loaded fronts he faced. His patience and understanding of the where/when of blocks allowed him to thrive in multiple run schemes. He’s more body puncher than knockout artist, wearing down his opponents with carry after carry. His traits, toughness and talent should make him an early starter with a solid ceiling and more third-down potential than we saw at Wisconsin. – Lance Zierlein, NFL Network
Taylor has always been an impressive, productive running back. He really impressed the most with his commitment to catching passes ahead of his final season in Madison though. The New Jersey native elevated a weakness into a strength by simply working day after day on it. One area of concern is his workload. Over the past three years, he has accumulated 926 carries. By comparison, Swift had 440 career carries. – Josh Edwards CBS Sports
Indianapolis Colts already have Marlon Mack at RB1 and Nyheim Hines at RB2. This Colts backfield could definitely be interesting. Taylor is not your average receiving back, which makes this a suprising pick for the Colts. They could use him as a “run-only”-type back, which would limit his time on the field and preserve his career in the long run. The former Badger had more than 900 total carries at Wisconsin. I would watch for a future trade of Nyheim Hines, as the Colts could look for some more targets for Phillip Rivers.