• Jonathan Taylor

  • RB
  • , Indianapolis Colts
  • 21
  • 221 lbs
  • 5' 11"
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Draft note
by John Paulsen
The Colts drafted Taylor in the second round. They traded up to get him, which is usually an indicator of increased usage as a rookie. HC Frank Reich has a reputation for using a committee of backs, but over the past two seasons Marlon Mack has averaged 17.6 and 16.3 carries, respectively. Mack is still with the team, so it’s unclear how the touches are going to shake out in the Indy backfield. Taylor is talented and could handle a three-down role if that’s the route that Reich wants to go. Complicating matters, Reich called Nyheim Hines a “role-playing starter” given his ability as a receiver. Taylor has top five upside in this offense, but it’s unlikely that he’ll see enough work as a rookie to get there.

Scouting report

by Brandon Niles

IND RB Jonathan Taylor - 2020 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside

At 5-foot-10, 226 lbs, Taylor has prototype size for an NFL running back and he blew away the combine by running 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard-dash. He also looked smooth and natural in receiving drills, building on the progress he made catching the ball during his junior year. Taylor does everything well. He runs with power and excellent pad level and has suddenness in and out of his breaks. His burst is crushing and he’s demonstrated uncanny breakaway speed for such a bruising runner. He was extremely productive in his three years at Wisconsin, averaging 2,058 rushing yards and 18.3 touchdowns per season, including 26 last year. He has the talent to be a three-down back for the Colts and if he gets touches early on, he should thrive behind an excellent offensive line that Justin Edwards ranks fourth in the league heading into the season.

Fantasy Downside

The problem with Taylor as a rookie is the presence of Marlon Mack. He’s unlikely to just stand aside and let Taylor have his job, and the Colts may split touches while Mack plays out the final season of his rookie deal. Taylor has ball security issues and 926 carries logged on his body, so 2020 may be a reduced role for him compared to his skill set. Additionally, Nyheim Hines had 58 targets last year and may continue to see snaps on passing downs.

2020 Bottom Line

If Taylor can box out Mack and Hines for playing time, the sky is the limit for him in what should be a pretty good offense with great blocking in front of him. However, that’s not a given considering the effectiveness of Mack over the past two years. We may see a split-carry situation, which should still make Taylor valuable, but likely more as a bench running back with long-term upside than an immediate RB1, as his talent may suggest. He’s risky at his fifth-round ADP, though the upside is definitely there for those who like to gamble.

2020 Strength of Schedule - IND

W1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8W9W10W11W12W13W14W15W16W17
31
@JAX
12
MIN
11
NYJ
14
@CHI
29
@CLE
27
CIN
BYE28
@DET
10
BAL
21
@TEN
24
GB
21
TEN
23
@HOU
20
@LV
23
HOU
5
@PIT
31
JAX

Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.

2019 Game Stats

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