J.J. Taylor 2020 NFL Draft Profile

J.J. Taylor

J.J. Taylor Overview

Position: Running Back
Height: 5’-5”
Weight: 185 pounds
School: Arizona

NFL Combine Performance Data

40-Yard Dash: 4.61 seconds
Bench Press: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5”
Broad Jump: 118.0”

J.J. Taylor 2020 NFL Draft Profile

After spending four seasons with Arizona, running back J.J. Taylor is looking to continue his career at the NFL level. The relatively undersized running back split snaps in 2019 but still managed to put together a strong season. In total, Taylor recorded 719 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 147 attempts (4.9 yards-per-carry). Additionally, Taylor added on another 33 receptions for 292 yards in the passing game.

Taylor initially joined the college football ranks as a three-star recruit in 2016. After redshirting through his first year at Arizona, the California native earned a committee role in 2017. In total, Taylor finished the season with 836 rushing yards on 145 carries to go along with 12 receptions for 45 yards. He saw his biggest workload to date in 2018, recording 1,426 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 254 carries combined with 16 receptions for 133 yards.

Strengths

  • Solid option in the pass game with reliable hands;
  • Despite his height, isn’t afraid to run between the tackles and can be surprisingly effective;
  • Quick on his feet and able to make guys miss;
  • So small he can disappear behind the offensive line (see: Danny Woodhead);
  • Low center of gravity allows his to fall forward after getting tackled;
  • Can contribute as a kick returner.

Weaknesses

  • Not an explosive player – big plays are few and far between;
  • Below-average tape and testing speed;
  • As expected from a 5’-5” player, catch radius is limited;
  • Doesn’t have the potential to consistently line up in the slot and win;
  • Won’t be able to win with power at the NFL level.

NFL Comparison: Danny Woodhead

Teams With Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projection: 5th/6th round

Bottom Line on J.J. Taylor

J.J. Taylor is not a special talent, but he could last in the NFL if he lands in the right spot. While some teams are going to be turned off by his size, running backs like Danny Woodhead, Dion Lewis, and Jacquizz Rodgers proved it’s possible for shorter running backs to succeed in the NFL. As a runner, Taylor is capable of reading his blocks, picking up the available yardage, and making guys miss along the way. His height sometimes works to his advantage, as linebackers have a difficult time finding a 5’5” runner behind a wall of 6’-3” monsters. In the passing game, Taylor has soft, reliable hands and the lateral agility to make guys miss and be a genuine threat in the passing game.

J.J. Taylor can be a decent backup, but he probably won’t ever be a true starter. He lacks the ideal explosiveness for the position and doesn’t have the speed to outrun the defense when in the open field. Additionally, he’s not an exceptional route runner and his limited catch radius means his passing game involvement will be limited to just stuff out of the backfield. Still, there is a role for that type of player, and Taylor should be able to fight for a backup spot in just about any backfield.

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