Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor is one of five finalists for the 2020 Pepsi Zero Sugar ‘NFL Rookie of the Year Award’ following an outstanding debut pro campaign:
The 5 nominees for #NFL Rookie of the Year:#Chargers QB Justin Herbert#Vikings WR Justin Jefferson#Colts RB Jonathan Taylor#WFT DE Chase Young#Jaguars RB James Robinson pic.twitter.com/FsH0Dqbkdw— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 8, 2021
The winner is determined entirely by fans, and votes for Taylor can be placed here. Colts fans can also vote for J.T. by tweeting “Jonathan Taylor #PepsiROY” or “@JayT23 #PepsiROY,”—which voting runs until January 25th.
Taylor will compete for the rookie honor along with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young, and Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson.
Taylor rushed for 1,169 rushing yards (3rd most in the league, and most among rookie rushers) on 232 total carries (5.0 ypc. avg.), as well as 11 rushing touchdowns.
The Colts impressive rookie joined Hall of Famers Edgerrin James and Marshall Faulk as the only rookie running backs in Colts franchise history to rush for 1,000+ rushing yards and 10+ rushing touchdowns.
Behind only Tennessee Titans All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, Taylor was consistently the league’s second best back throughout largely the entire second half of the season.
Still, Taylor faces steep competition to ultimately win this award—as both Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and wide receiver Justin Jefferson are the frontrunners:
- Justin Herbert: Completed 396 of 595 pass attempts (66.6%) for 4,336 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a passer rating of 98.3 during 15 starts. He also added 234 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns on the ground.
- Justin Jefferson: Caught 88 receptions for 1,400 receiving yards (4th most in the NFL) [15.9 ypr. avg.] and 7 touchdown receptions during 16 games (14 starts). His total season receiving yards were the most ever in NFL history by a rookie.
Jefferson has the most impressive numbers, but fans tend to be a little biased towards quarterbacks when it comes to awards.
Nevertheless, the fact that Taylor is even under strong consideration speaks to the type of impressive rookie season he has had for the Colts—as he has the looks of a star for Indy at running back—and the franchise’s next great workhorse.
The winner will be announced virtually during Super Bowl LV festivities.