Running backs are the most unique position on the Colts this year. I’d venture to say the group the Colts have this year have the potential to be the best group in the NFL this year.
Marlon Mack is the clear starter this year for the Colts. The team has moved from a passing first team to a run-first team with play-action passes to confuse the linebackers. When I think about Mack from 2019, I think about the Sunday night win against the Chiefs where the Colts ran it down their throat and kept Patrick Mahomes off the field to win the game. Last season, Mack had a 4.4 yards per carrying with 1,091 total yards on the ground. Mack also had almost 700 yards after the first contact – over 60% of his yardage – with an average of almost 3 yards after contact. Combine that with eight touchdowns, and Mack had a darn good season last year.
Nyheim Hines is another play I’d like to see on the field more in multi back sets. He caught 44 passes on 57 targets for 320 yards. What impressed me most about him was his ability to get up to full speed quickly. He had a 7.7 yard after the catch average with 312 coming after the catch. Meaning, he caught all of his passes as a check down and ran at least eight yards on every catch. Even better was his 15 first down catches to keep the drive going for the Colts.
The newest addition is Jonathon Taylor, the rookie out of Wisconsin. Taylor is incredibly fast and can hit the hole so hard. He reminds me of Adrian Peterson as a younger man and more agile. He’s incredibly strong, fast, and quick. He’s going to be a great addition to a backfield that had plenty of talent last year. However, I do believe this spells the end for Jordan Wilkins in a Colts uniform and I believe the Colts go into this season with 3 running backs.