Jonathan Taylor
NFL teams should be terrified to draft Jonathan Taylor. The Wisconsin running back has more red flags than you may realize. (Aaron Doster/ USA Today Sports)

The 2020 NFL Draft has a good group of running backs ready to enter the league. D’Andre Swift, JK Dobbins, Cam Akers, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are my top 4 running backs heading into the draft. The one name I left off the list is Jonathan Taylor. I think teams should be absolutely terrified to draft Jonathan Taylor.

Taylor has some good things going for him. Proven track record, plus speed, and great vision. Taylor was a terrific running back at Wisconsin and I’m not denying that. However, shouldn’t teams be worried about his usage in college? Running backs only have a limited shelf life. To say that Jonathan Taylor was overworked would be an understatement.

In three years at Wisconsin, Taylor notched 926 carries. That’s ABSURD! Compare that usage to some of the other running backs in this years class. It’s fair to wonder how much tread Taylor has left on the tires.

  • D’Andre Swift: 440 carries
  • JK Dobbins: 725 carries
  • Cam Akers: 586 carries
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 370 carries

Dobbins is the only player that even comes close. Even Dobbins, that’s basically a full season of usage less. Taylor is going to walk in the league and essentially be a 3rd year back compared to the rest of the group coming in as rookies. How many carries does Taylor have left? For a position that is so physically demanding, that’s a fair question to wonder whether it’s fair or unfair.

There are two other big qualities that I look for with running backs. Ball security and pass protection. Both of those are weaknesses in Taylor’s game. In his 41 career games, Taylor fumbled on 18 different occasions. 15 of those were recovered by the opposition but that’s not the biggest issue. The problem is that Taylor has never improved in this aspect who fumbled 6 times this past season. Taylor’s talent level maybe there but when you have ball security issues, how valuable are you?

JK Dobbins has a huge leg up on Jonathan Taylor in pass protection. Dobbins will walk into the league and will never have to be taken off the field. Dobbins in a tank in pass protection. Taylor has basically no experience doing so. If you ever watched a Wisconsin game, Garrett Groshek was the man asked to do pass pro.

Oh, one last thing, Jonathan Taylor is an unproven pass catcher. Maybe some of it is the Wisconsin offense. He did improve in this category a year ago but he had just 16 receptions as a full time starter in his first two years. I just don’t see the shiftiness or natural movement skills from Taylor. He’s fast but it’s normally one gear.

I really like the running back class entering the 2020 NFL Draft. Jonathan Taylor? That man scares the hell out of me. I wouldn’t be comfortable taking him unless the other top 4 guys are off the board and we’re in the 3rd of 4th round range. I assume he will be off the board well before that point. Taylor is a good running back who has the potential to certainly make an impact in the NFL. I just don’t know how you would feel 100 percent confident drafting him.

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