Jonathan Taylor entered the NFL Draft process already expecting to be one of the top picks in the draft. After a great showing at the NFL Draft Combine, however, he might be drafted even higher than he otherwise would have been. While many eyes are on Joe Burrow and the quarterbacks of the draft, Taylor could be the name of the draft when everything is looked back upon, and he’s showing this before he even enters into the league.
Jonathan Taylor’s promise
Taylor spent three years at Wisconsin, and throughout his entire tenure at the college rank, he was one of the best running backs in the entire country. He wasted no time showing that he was worth the hype, rushing for just under 2,000 yards as a freshman en-route to 13 touchdowns. This was just a taste of what was yet to come, however.
During his second college season, Taylor turned it to the next level, upping his total yardage to nearly 2,200 while playing one less game. He also scored 16 touchdowns. His junior year was even better, with 2,000 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. With this kind of consistency and growth, Taylor is the exact type of player that has NFL front offices salivating.
Taylor was in the top-ten in Heisman voting during every season at Wisconsin, and while he did not win the quarterback-friendly award, the fact that he came so close multiple times is a testament to his abilities on the field. Heading into his professional career, Taylor is showing that in a draft process that secures no inevitability, he might be the closest to doing so.
Jonathan Taylor’s performance at the NFL Draft Combine
Taylor had everyone watching him at the combine, and he did not disappoint. His 4.39 40-yard dash time showed the speed everyone knew from college, and his footwork in the cone drills, shuttles, and jumping events helped secure his place as one of the quickest incoming players in the draft. While the NFL and college are separate games, there is no reason to think that Taylor cannot perform at a star level as a pro.
De’Andre Swift and J.K. Dobbins might show star potential, as well, but Taylor has shown that he is worth the pick for the first team who is looking to draft a running back into their roster. In fact, his strong performance at the combine might have put him at the top of the running back list.
The NFL is moving toward a game that once again rewards those with a solid running game, and while some teams are quick to shrug off running backs in terms of importance, this new era is likely to prove them wrong.
Taylor provides the speed, strength, and leaping ability needed to get the ball down the field. Given the proper situation, he might not waste any time showing the NFL that he is the real deal. The remaining question is, however, who will be willing to draft Taylor when their team is on the clock.
Where will Taylor end up?
The Los Angeles Chargers appear to be on the verge of a rebuild after letting longtime quarterback Philip Rivers know that they are moving in another direction. Unless the team drafts a quarterback, getting a running back of Taylor’s caliber could be a major step toward reinvigorating the offense of the often-struggling Chargers. However, with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler already on the team, the Chargers will probably look elsewhere.
One interesting option, if he is still available, would also be the Green Bay Packers. Although the Packers had a good season, their offense was often viewed as predictable and too dependent on the team’s stars. Adding Taylor to the mix alongside the veteran core would help bolster the team’s offense while also giving Taylor a chance to shine.
Lots of teams can use a star running back, and Taylor is a perfect option for them. While some will swear by quarterbacks and receivers, even the quarterbacks of the NFL are proving how valuable a good running game can be these days. By bringing Taylor into the mix, any team would help secure their fortunes for years to come.