Jonathan Taylor didn’t have many doubters as a college running back. From the time he took his first handoff at Wisconsin in 2017, Taylor was one of the most dominant ball carriers in the sport.
Now that it’s time for Taylor to make the leap to the next level, the former Badger back is facing some doubters. Despite an outstanding three-year career in Madison, some believe he won’t live up to the hype in the NFL.
Kirk Herbstreit isn’t one of the individuals doubting Taylor heading into the NFL Draft.
“I’m a believer in the personality…he;s the epitome of class. I’ve never seen a guy be so productive and be so questioned,” Herbstreit said, according to 247Sports. “All I know is, when I watch him he runs away from people. He grew as a receiver. At the combine he ran for a 4.39 [in the 40-yard dash]. He nearly had three 2,000-yard seasons. I don’t know what else he can do. People doubt him. I think he’ll find ways to stay hungry and he’ll have a great future.”
Over his three-year career with the Badgers, Taylor amassed 6,174 rushing yards and hit the end zone 50 times on the ground. Each of the last two seasons, Taylor eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark.
Taylor improved his game as a pass-catcher dramatically this past year. Along with his 2,003 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground, he caught 26 passes for 242 yards and five scores. Despite Wisconsin hitting the 10-win mark again in 2019, it wasn’t enough to land him a spot in New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Projections on Taylor’s draft status vary depending on the evaluator, but he’s expected to be a late-first or early-second round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. We’ll find out where he lands in just a few days.