Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor enjoyed a stellar second season in the NFL. The 23-year-old put up some eye-popping numbers en route to earning his first Pro Bowl nod. Taylor might be a long shot to win the Most Valuable Player Award, but the majority of his peers playing in the all-star game would pick him over Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady.
Perhaps, the players are tired of seeing quarterbacks win the award almost every year.
Pro Bowl players voted Jonathan Taylor as the NFL MVP
With the Indianapolis Colts missing the playoffs, it seemed a two-man race for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award. However, some people believe a third player should be in contention — running back Jonathan Taylor.
The Athletic conducted an anonymous survey of 20 players at the 2022 Pro Bowl, offense and defense. Players voted on their offensive and defensive MVP for the 2021 season.
Taylor easily won for the offense, securing eight votes. No other player earned more than five votes. Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (5) of the Green Bay Packers, Tom Brady (3) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Joe Burrow (2) of the Cincinnati Bengals were the next highest vote-getters.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp and San Francisco 49ers swiss-army knife Deebo Samuel each received a single vote.
On the defensive side of the ball, Pittsburgh Steelers edge-rusher T.J. Watt racked up 11 votes, followed by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald with two each.
The case for the Colts RB to win the award over Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady
Jonathan Taylor is highly unlikely to win MVP honors, but that doesn’t mean he’s not deserving of strong consideration.
The Wisconsin product put together a solid rookie campaign, but he took the league by storm in year two. Taylor racked up 1,811 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 332 carries. He led the NFL in rush attempts, rushing yards, and touchdowns. The Colts star also recorded 40 receptions for 360 yards and two scores.
It’s easy to make a case for either Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. Rodgers and the Packers finished with the best record in the league (13-4). Meanwhile, Brady led the NFL in completions (485), passing yards (5.316), and touchdowns (43).
Still, Taylor makes a solid case as well. The Colts choked away a playoff berth, but the Pro Bowl running back was the main reason they were in contention in the first place.
Carson Wentz’s performance was up and down throughout the season. As a result, Frank Reich’s squad had to rely on Jonathan Taylor to do the heavy lifting. Matt Eberflus’ defense finished as a top-10 unit, but the running back set the tone for the entire team.
Everyone knows the importance of the quarterback position, but Taylor was equally as important for Indianapolis in 2021.
The second-year back is on pace to be a perennial Pro Bowler
Jonathan Taylor was just 189 rushing yards shy of a 2,000-yard season. As dominant as the Colts tailback was in 2021, it’s likely only a matter of time before he accomplishes that feat.
Derrick Henry’s foot injury may have opened the door for Taylor to win the rushing title. However, the Salem, New Jersey native kicked the door down.
The Colts front office has set the 2020 second-rounder up for massive success moving forward. Taylor gets to run behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Guard Quenton Nelson and center Ryan Kelly joined the star running back at the Pro Bowl. With the big guys up front doing the dirty work, Taylor has the luxury of open running lanes.
The First-Team All-Pro is an exceptional talent. At 5-foot-10, 226 pounds, Taylor can run around you, past you, or right through you. He can beat a defense in multiple ways. As long as he stays healthy, Taylor could be looking at a hefty payday once his rookie contract is up.
Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are safe options to win MVP, but clearly, the players want to spice things up.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference