Colts: Jonathan Taylor’s downfield speed earns him wild comp

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 13: Running back Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 13: Running back Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts stumbled upon a gold mine when they took Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Taylor was one of the greatest Big Ten running backs of all time, but his college workload scared some teams away from picking him.

Indianapolis obliged, leaning on the notion that someone with his athletic profile, speed, and production in a major conference has to be able to hit the ground running in the NFL. Considering how Taylor totaled 12 touchdowns and almost 1,500 yards from scrimmage as a rookie despite starting just 13 games, he has proved the doubters wrong.

Taylor has the build of a one-cut power back that hammers the opposition at the line of scrimmage, but his speed is easily in the upper tier when compared to the rest of the league’s running backs. The numbers prove he is one of the fastest players at any position in the game.

Taylor was clocked as fast as 22 miles per hour last season, which was faster than the max speed reached by Tyreek Hill during the regular season. If a running back that weighs almost 230 is hitting those numbers, it speaks to the fact he is one of the most jaw-dropping backs in the game today.

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor has some serious speed.

Part of why the Colts traded for Carson Wentz is the belief that their superior infrastructure will help them get the most out of Wentz. A back like Taylor that is ready to make the leap to stardom easily fits into that category — just look at him embodying a deep threat here!

Before his days as a star with the Badgers, Taylor was a track stud and 100m dash champion. That speed hasn’t eroded as he’s added weight, and the combination of his muscular upper half and lethal speed has made defensive backs shudder at the thought of tackling him.

Taylor is taking aim at Edgerrin James’ franchise record of 1,709 yards rushing as a sophomore. Taylor won’t be able to accomplish this alone, but an offensive line that features Eric Fisher and Quenton Nelson on the same side should be able to create plenty of holes for him to burst through.

Now that Taylor has proven he can be a lead back in this league, Reich and Marcus Brady will likely lean on No. 28 to take some of the pressure off of Wentz. If Taylor keeps blazing past defenders like this, the Colts offense will be even more deadly than it was last year.