RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin*

5’10” – 226 lbs.

One of the most productive players in this year’s draft class. Has served as Wisconsin’s workhorse since his freshman season, a year in which he ran 299-1,977-13 (6.6). Won the Doak Walker Award in each of the past two seasons as college football’s top running back, rushing for 307-2,194-16 (7.2) as a sophomore and 320-2,003-21 (6.3) as a junior. Caught eight passes in each of his first two seasons, then posted 26-252-5 through the air in 2019. Game-to-game production is impressively consistent. A very thickly-built running back who looks the part of a workhorse. Ran the ball out of pro-style formations for one of the most highly-regarded programs in college football, typically out of single-back looks. Does a good job of minimizing negative-yardage plays; gets upfield quickly without trying to bounce runs outside. Has good vision to find lanes, with good body control to navigate through traffic; primarily a no-nonsense type of running, but has the ability to change speeds and wait for lanes to present themselves. Agility is impressive for a player with his size; can back-juke or shuffle into open lanes, or make defenders miss in the hole. Able to put his head down and push the pile, with impressive leg drive to fight for yardage after contact; finishes his runs by falling forward for additional yardage. Looks very efficient at punching in touchdowns near the goal-line. Not one of the most explosive runners, but has some build-up speed once he gets going. Very hard to stop with a head of steam; runs through a lot of tackles in the open field and can also stiff-arm defenders to the turf or lower his shoulder and punish defensive backs. However, can be wrapped up before he gets going, and may have some trouble outrunning pro defenders to the sidelines on sweeps and tosses. Has eighteen career fumbles on 968 career touches, which is about double the amount of fumbles you could reasonably hope for, so ball security is a concern. Wasn’t used much as a receiver until this past season but appears to have pretty good hands as a safety valve, although he doesn’t have the widest radius or the best body control when adjusting to throws. While his frame suggests that he’d be effective in blitz pickup, didn’t really see him handle those responsibilities too frequently during the games reviewed; while he appears alert and willing to engage defenders, you’d like to see him stay on his feet more often, instead of trying to cut out an opponent’s legs. A super-productive, no-nonsense runner with a thick build, impressive power, good vision, and underrated agility, he will need to improve his ball security and continue to hone his skills in the passing game in order to reach his ceiling.

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