According to NFL Media Analyst Daniel Jeremiah, Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is hanging on in his Top 25 NFL Rookie rankings—coming in at the #25th overall spot (having dropped 12 overall spots):
25. Jonathan Taylor
Indianapolis Colts · RB
Taylor had a costly fumble in the Colts’ Week 9 loss to the Ravens, but he’s put up solid numbers through the first half of the season. I’d like to see him improve his vision as an inside runner.
Before this starts, where exactly is Colts rookie safety Julian Blackmon?
Now that we’ve addressed the obvious omission in the room, let’s get to Taylor.
The 41st overall pick of the 2nd round was supposed to have an immediate impact for the Colts at running back—especially as starter Marlon Mack was unfortunately lost to a season-ending Achilles injury in the team’s opener.
Instead, it’s been an up-and-down season for Taylor, who’s endured some recent struggles—including a key fumble in last weekend’s loss against the Baltimore Ravens (although he also had a few big runs for the Colts offense before being subsequently benched).
The rookie has rushed for 416 rushing yards on 106 carries (3.9 ypc. avg.) and 4 rushing touchdowns, as well as amassed 178 receiving yards on 20 receptions (8.9 ypr. avg.) through the air during 8 games (7 starts) in 2020.
The 5’10”, 227 pound back has occasionally flashed his unique combination of speed and power, but his vision has been questionable at times, and he’s struggled breaking tackles—as he still adjusts to the speed and physicality of the NFL level.
It’s easy to forget he’s still a rookie, and one that wasn’t initially anticipated to assume full-time bellcow duties—as he was expected to play behind last year’s 1,000 yard rusher, Mack.
Due to COVID-19, Taylor, like other NFL rookies, had a shortened training camp and limited offseason team activities with his new squad—which may have slowed his transition and steepened his learning curve at the pro ranks.
For what it’s worth, the Colts still have confidence in Taylor, and he has maintained confidence in himself. Bigger picture, the young running back still short of his 22nd birthday has a bright future.
That being said, Colts fans are hoping he can climb up these NFL rookie rankings again, as the second half of the 2020 season progresses.
The opportunity is there, it’s just whether Taylor can continue to develop, build chemistry with his offensive line, process his reads/holes quicker (have the game slow down), and thus, truly breakout during his debut pro campaign.