If there is one thing fans of Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor know about the Badgers bellcow, it’s that he has a well-rounded skill set that includes the ability to flip a 20-yard run into an 80-yard touchdown because of his field-flipping speed.
And that’s what makes Pro Football Focus’ recent comments about Taylor so difficult to understand.
PFF shared a clip from their ‘Forecast’ podcast, during which the suggestion was made that Taylor’s 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine wasn’t a true reflection of his speed on the field.
🗣Jonathan Taylor will be overdrafted pic.twitter.com/K2byAD5AVw
— PFF (@PFF) March 5, 2020
This is a tough one to swallow.
Taylor finished his college career with back-to-back seasons of 2,000 or more rushing yards; simply put, he’s the most productive running back to enter the NFL in quite some time.
His film is overflowing with examples of explosive plays and his fast 40-time was not a surprise to scouts who watched him play over the last three years.
Take this 72-yard touchdown against Michigan last season, for example. Taylor outran the Wolverines’ secondary with ease. He ran those 72 yards in just 7.97 seconds.
This highlight package of Taylor’s top runs through October 2019 includes that 72-yarder, as well as scores from 88, 75, 67 and 47 yards:
So, yeah, Taylor is fast. He’s very fast. He’s NFL fast, to the point where he at least warrants consideration for the first round.
The devaluation of running backs in recent years will push him into the second round, but it doesn’t change his projection moving forward. He’s going to be an NFL starting running back in 2020 and assuming he lands in an offense that will use him the right way, Taylor is a good bet to be the most productive rookie rusher in the league.