With the 41st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected running back Jonathan Taylor out of Wisconsin. He was set to take over a role behind starting running back Marlon Mack and eventually work his way into a bigger spot.
However, things changed when Mack suffered an Achilles injury in Week 1. Taylor was thrust into a featured back role and made the most of it. In 15 games, Taylor ran for 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 36 passes for 299 yards and another score.
In 2021, Taylor took his game to another level. With Carson Wentz unable to elevate his game to help the team win consistently, the Colts’ offense relied heavily on Taylor to carry the workload and he came through in a big way.
Taylor led the NFL in rushing attempts, yardage and touchdowns with 332 carries for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns. He wasn’t as efficient of a pass catcher this time around, catching 40 passes on 51 targets, but still turned it into 360 yards and two touchdowns.
Taylor has been excellent in his short tenure with the Colts thus far and the team is hoping that he can keep it up. Just how great has he been? According to PFF, Taylor is actually the most productive running back in the NFL the last two seasons when it comes to yards gained.
Rounding out the list behind Taylor is Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings, Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans, Justin Jefferson of the Vikings and Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints. It is quite impressive that a wide receiver is on the list, which shows just how dominant Jefferson has been in the passing game.
Jonathan Taylor is a true workhorse and his emergence as a pass-catcher will make him even more dangerous. Indianapolis will hope that he continues producing as efficiently as he has in his first two seasons, but that Matt Ryan can help carry the load a little more than Wentz and Phillip Rivers did before him.