Jonathan Taylor
refer to caption
Taylor in 2020
No. 28 – Indianapolis Colts
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1999-01-19) January 19, 1999 (age 23)
Salem, New Jersey
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:226 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Salem (NJ)
College:Wisconsin (2017–2019)
NFL Draft:2020 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 1, 2022
Rushing yards:3,141
Rushing average:5.3
Rushing touchdowns:30
Receptions:80
Receiving yards:673
Receiving touchdowns:3
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Jonathan Taylor (born January 19, 1999) is an American football running back for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). Taylor played high school football at Salem High School, where he set the New Jersey state rushing yards record. He played college football at Wisconsin, finishing his college career as the sixth all-time rusher in the NCAA and the first player in history to rush for more than 6,000 yards in any three-year span. Taylor finished in the top ten of Heisman Trophy voting three times.[1] Following each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he was named a unanimous first-team All-American and recipient of the Doak Walker Award, the award for the top running back in college football.[2] Taylor was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 41st pick by the Colts. With the Colts, Taylor led the NFL in both rushing yards and touchdowns in 2021, becoming a unanimous All-Pro and Pro Bowler in the same season.

Early years

Taylor was born in Salem, New Jersey to Elizabeth Taylor and Jonathan James. His father played basketball for San Francisco State from 1982 to 1986.[1] Taylor attended Salem High School. During his high-school football career, he amassed 4,642 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns. As a senior, he set the New Jersey record with 2,815 rushing yards, which had been held by former Wisconsin Badgers running back Corey Clement.[3][4] In his senior season, Taylor averaged 234.6 yards a game, rushing for 35 touchdowns and scoring 37 total touchdowns.[4] During his senior year, he was honored with the Jim Henry Award as the high-school area player of the year for New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.[4] Taylor was also an accomplished performer in track and field, and he won two state titles in the 100-meter dash; his best time being 10.49 seconds.[5]

247Sports rated Taylor as a three-star prospect; and the 24th-highest ranked running back in the class of 2017.[6] He committed to play college football at Rutgers University; but later changed it to the University of Wisconsin–Madison on November 1, 2016.[7][8]

College career

Freshman season

After fall camp, Taylor opened his freshman year at Wisconsin in 2017 as one of the team's starting running backs alongside Shaw and James.[9][10] In his first career game against Utah State, he rushed for 87 yards over nine carries and a touchdown.[11] In his second game, against Florida Atlantic, he rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns.[12] After Taylor ran for 249 yards against Nebraska in the fifth game of the season, he entered the Heisman Trophy conversation and was routinely listed among the top-five Heisman candidates.[13] During this time, Taylor enjoyed yoga and declared as a philosophy major.[14]

On October 21, 2017, Taylor reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark in his seventh game, matching the FBS freshman record for fewest games to reach 1,000 yards; the previous backs to accomplish this feat were Florida's Emmitt Smith (1987), San Diego State's Marshall Faulk (1991), Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson (2004), North Texas' Jamario Thomas (2004) and Wisconsin's P. J. Hill (2006).[15] Taylor rushed for 183 yards on 29 carries with a touchdown in Wisconsin's 45–17 win over Indiana on November 4, winning his fifth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award.[16][17]

On October 30, Taylor was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award.[18] On November 17, he was named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award given to the top running back in the country.[19] Just three days later, he was named one of three Doak Walker Award finalists, along with Penn State's Saquon Barkley and Stanford's Bryce Love.[20] Following the final game of the season against Wisconsin's rival Minnesota, Taylor won his eighth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award. He set a new Big Ten record as he surpassed Ohio State quarterback J. T. Barrett's record of seven Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards set in 2013.[21] Taylor was listed as a consensus first-team All-Big Ten pick by the Big Ten coaches and media on November 27, 2017, and was named the conference's freshman of the year.[22][23]

Taylor finished his freshman season with 1,977 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, finishing second all-time in rushing yards among FBS freshmen, behind fellow Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne (2,109 yards in 1996).[24] The NCAA does not include bowl-game stats for the period Dayne played, so Taylor is the official record holder for freshman rushing yards.[25][26] Taylor led the Big Ten in rushing yards, while finishing third in the FBS in rushing yards and second in the Big Ten in rushing touchdowns behind Barkley.[27][28] He helped the Badgers to a school-record-setting 13 wins, an appearance in the 2017 Big Ten Championship Game, and a victory over Miami (FL) in the Orange Bowl.[29]

Sophomore season

Taylor entered the 2018 season as a consensus preseason All-American[30] and was featured on watch lists for the Maxwell Award,[31] the Doak Walker Award,[32] and the Walter Camp Award.[33] Taylor's return, as well as those of many other key members of the 2017 Orange Bowl-winning Wisconsin team, led the Badgers to become ranked fourth in the preseason AP Poll, tied for the highest start in school history.[34] He was the seventh-ranked college football player by ESPN during the preseason.[35]

In the second game of the season, Taylor set a career-high with 253 rushing yards, to go along with three touchdowns, in a 45–14 win over New Mexico. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.[36] Taylor again eclipsed the 200-yard mark when he put up 221 yards and three touchdowns on 24 attempts (9.1 yards per attempt) against Nebraska on October 6.[37] However, the Badgers faltered, losing five regular-season games and soon falling out of the rankings.[38] In a triple-overtime win over Purdue on November 17, he put up a career-high 321 yards and three touchdowns.[39] The game earned him his fourth career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors (shared that week with Dwayne Haskins).[40] Wisconsin, 7–5 in the regular season, earned an invitation to the Pinstripe Bowl against Miami (FL) in a rematch of the previous year's Orange Bowl.[38] Taylor put up 205 rushing yards and a touchdown in the game, helping the Badgers to a 35–3 win and earning game MVP honors.[41]

Taylor with Wisconsin in 2019.
Taylor with Wisconsin in 2019.

During the 2018 season, Taylor led the FBS in rushing yards (2,194) and attempts (307), finishing in the top ten for yards per attempt (7.1) and rushing touchdowns (16).[42] He received the Doak Walker Award, given annually to college football's top running back.[43] Taylor was named a unanimous first-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, and Big Ten Running Back of the Year. He became the third Badger running back to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark, following Ron Dayne and Melvin Gordon.[44]

Junior season

Taylor was a unanimous preseason All-American heading into the 2019 season and was widely considered a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate.[45][46] In Wisconsin's opening game against South Florida, Taylor rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns and added two touchdown receptions through the air. He became the first Big Ten player to record two rushing and receiving touchdowns in the same game since 2010, and was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.[47] In a Week 4 victory over No. 11 Michigan, Taylor rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first Wisconsin player to rush for 200 yards against the Wolverines. He earned his sixth career Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors for the performance.[48] In a November 16 game against Nebraska, Taylor rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and in the process broke Herschel Walker’s record for the most rushing yards through a junior season.[49] He was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week (along with Shea Patterson), his fourth Player of the Week honors of the season. The next week, against Purdue, Taylor accomplished his FBS-record-setting 12th career 200-yard game.[50]

Taylor and the Badgers represented the West Division in the Big Ten Championship Game, but fell to Ohio State 34–21.[51] The team was invited to the Rose Bowl to play Pac-12 champion Oregon, losing 28–27, to end the year at 10–4.[52] During the Rose Bowl, Taylor eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for the season and became the second FBS player with two 2,000-yard seasons (following Troy Davis).[53] Taylor finished the season tied atop the Big Ten and tied for third nationally with Ohio State's J. K. Dobbins in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns; each had 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns.[54] For the second consecutive year, Taylor was named a unanimous first-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, and the Big Ten Running Back of the Year. He was again the recipient of the Doak Walker Award, becoming the first player to win the award twice since Darren McFadden did so in 2006 and 2007.[43]

On January 3, 2020, it was announced that Taylor would skip his senior season, and enlist in the that years draft.[55] Taylor ended his college career at fourth on the all-time FBS rushing-yards list, sixth all time when bowl games are included, with 6,174 yards.[56]

College statistics

Jonathan Taylor Rushing Receiving
Year Team GP Att Yards Avg Long TDs Avg/G Rec Yards TDs
2017 Wisconsin 14 299 1,977 6.6 75 13 141.2 8 95 0
2018 Wisconsin 13 307 2,194 7.2 88 16 168.8 8 60 0
2019 Wisconsin 14 320 2,003 6.3 72 21 143.1 26 252 5
College Totals 41 926 6,174 6.7 88 50 152.1 42 407 5

[57]

College accolades

Awards and honors

National
Big Ten Conference

Records

NCAA Division I FBS
Big Ten Conference

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 10+14 in
(1.78 m)
226 lb
(103 kg)
31+18 in
(0.79 m)
9+12 in
(0.24 m)
4.39 s 4.24 s 7.01 s 36.0 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine[65]

Indianapolis Colts

Taylor was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 41st pick by the Indianapolis Colts, who had acquired the pick from the Cleveland Browns in a trade.[66] Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus ranked Taylor as being in the best situation to succeed with the Colts.[67]

2020 season

Taylor was named the Colts backup running back to starter Marlon Mack at the start of the season.[68] Taylor made his NFL debut in Week 1 of the 2020 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had nine rushing attempts for 22 rushing yards and six receptions for 67 receiving yards in the 27–20 loss.[69] The day after the game, it was revealed that Mack had suffered a torn achilles tendon, leaving Taylor in the starting position at running back for the remainder of the season.[70] The following week against the Minnesota Vikings, he had 26 attempts for 101 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in the 28–11 victory.[71] In Week 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Taylor recorded 115 yards from scrimmage during the 31–27 win.[72] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on November 28, 2020,[73] and activated on December 2.[74] In Week 13 against the Houston Texans, Taylor recorded 135 yards from scrimmage and a receiving touchdown during the 26–20 win.[75] In Week 14 against the Las Vegas Raiders, Taylor rushed for 150 yards, a then career-long 62-yard rush and two touchdowns during the 44–27 win.[76] In Week 16, against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he recorded two rushing touchdowns in the 28–24 loss.[77] Taylor had a career game in Week 17, picking up 253 yards and two touchdowns, which tied for ninth all time rushing yards in a game, and surpassing Edgerrin James for the Colts franchise record in a game, as he surpassed 1,000 yards on the season and the Colts defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 28–14. Taylor also won FedEx Ground player of the week award in that game, with more yards and yards per carry than Derrick Henry that week. He finished the regular season with 232 rushing attempts for 1,169 yards, 11 touchdowns, with only one fumble. He finished third in the league in rushing yards behind Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry.[78] Taylor was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for his performance in December.[79] For his season, Taylor was also named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team for that year.[80]

2021 season

Taylor was named the starting running back for the Colts to start the 2021 season.[81] He had 103-yards and a rushing touchdown on 16 rushing attempts in Week 4 victory against the Miami Dolphins.[82] The following week, Taylor had 169 total scrimmage yards: 53-yards rushing with a touchdown, and 116-yards receiving with a 76-yard receiving touchdown in the 31–25 overtime loss against the Baltimore Ravens.[83] Against the Houston Texans in Week 6, Taylor had 14 attempts for 145-yards and two touchdowns; his rushing total included a career best 83-yard rush, the Colts would win the game 31–3.[84] On a Thursday-night game against the New York Jets in Week 9, Taylor had 200 total scrimmage yards, including 172 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the 45–30 victory.[85] In Week 10 at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Taylor had 21 attempts for 116-yards and a touchdown in the 23–17 victory.[86] At this point in the season, Taylor was tied for the rushing title with Derrick Henry, who was out for the season with an injury, with 937 rushing yards.[87]

In Week 11 against the Buffalo Bills, Taylor had 204 total yards, including 185 rushing yards on 32 attempts, and five total touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving), in the Colts' 41–15 win.[88] In doing so, he broke the Colts franchise record for rushing touchdowns in a game, as well as total touchdowns in a game.[89] Taylor was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.[90] He had 32 carries for 143-yards and two touchdowns in a 31–0 shutout victory against the Houston Texans the following week.[91] Against the New England Patriots in Week 15, Taylor had 29 attempts for 170-yards and a 67-yard touchdown in the 27–17 victory.[92] Despite having several offensive linemen out with injuries and COVID-19, Taylor had 27 attempts for 108-yards in the 22–16 victory against the Arizona Cardinals.[93] The following week against the Las Vegas Raiders, Taylor had 20 attempts for 108-yards in the 23–20 loss.[94] In the final game of the season, Taylor had 15 attempts for 75-yards as the Colts were upset by the Jacksonville Jaguars 26–11, missing the postseason as a result.[95]

Taylor was selected to the 2022 Pro Bowl, after receiving the most votes in fan Pro Bowl voting.[96] With him finishing the season with 1,811 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, Taylor was both the rushing yards leader and rushing TD leader for 2021. He ended the season with more than 500 yards ahead of the second-place rushing yards leader Nick Chubb.[97] He was unanimously selected First-team 2021 All-Pro Team.[98] Taylor started all 17 games.[99] He finished tied for first in total touchdowns (20), and ranked second in the league in total points (120) by non-kickers.[100][99]

From Weeks 4–11, Taylor compiled 100-plus scrimmage yards and at least one rushing touchdown in eight consecutive games, which tied for the longest streak in NFL history.[101] After the season, the Maxwell Football Club announced that Taylor was the winner of the 2021 Bert Bell Award.[99]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Bold Career high
Regular season
Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2020 IND 15 13 232 1,169 5.0 62T 11 36 299 8.3 39T 1 1 1
2021 IND 17 17 332 1,811 5.5 83 18 40 360 9.0 76T 2 4 2
Career 32 30 564 2,980 5.3 83 29 76 659 8.7 76 3 5 3

[99]

Playoffs
Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2020 IND 1 1 21 78 3.7 20 1 2 6 3.0 6 0 0 0
Career 1 1 21 78 3.7 20 1 2 6 3.0 6 0 0 0

[99]

Records and achievements

NFL records

Colts franchise records

NFL honors and accolades

References

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