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.
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.