2021 projections for Colts running back Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor, Colts
NFL Analysis Network

The Indianapolis Colts selected Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He quickly became a popular rookie running back target among Fantasy Football managers.

Those managers caught lightning in a bottle, as Taylor was thrust into a starting role much earlier than anticipated. Marlon Mack was injured in the first game of the season, putting Talyor in position to be the team’s bell-cow running back virtually all season.

He responded with an excellent rookie season. The former Badger played in 15 games, missing one because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Taylor received 232 carries, rushing for 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns. He showed well in the passing game, catching 36 of his 39 targets for 299 yards and another score.

His performance is even more impressive when you take into account that he didn’t even play half of the Colts’ offensive snaps last season. Taylor had a snap count of 511, which was only 47 percent.

Locked in as the No. 1 option coming into 2021, could we see even more production for Taylor in his sophomore season? Let’s take a look at what is to come.

What To Expect From Jonathan Taylor In 2021

You can expect to see a lot of Jonathan Taylor in the early going of 2021. There is a chance the Indianapolis Colts have to start Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger at quarterback in Week 1 because of the foot injury that Carson Wentz suffered. There is a chance Wentz can return in time to start Week 1, but if not, it will be one of the unproven quarterbacks under center.

That would mean a lot of heavy lifting for Taylor. But, it could be some tough sledding for him as All-Pro offensive lineman Quenton Nelson is also recovering from a foot injury that had him on the same timetable as Wentz.

Without their starting quarterback and star lineman, the offense could experience some early-season struggles. That will trickle down to all the skill position players, but patience must be shown. Once the offense gets on track, Taylor is going to produce some big numbers once again.

Fantasy Football managers that miss out on Talyor in the draft could have a chance to buy-low on him after a few weeks into the season. He will start slowly, but will eventually pick things up.

Last season Phillip Rivers couldn’t push the ball downfield well and Taylor still found success. Imagine what he can do with Wentz under center, and the Colts’ offense being opened up even more.

Taylor will be on the field more, which will result in more opportunities. He will rush for 1,350 yards and add 500 receiving yards to go along with 14 touchdowns. Those numbers will make the Colts and Fantasy Football managers all very happy.