The Duel

4 Most Likely NFL Teams to Target Jonathon Taylor in 2020 NFL Draft

Zach Brunner
Jonathan Taylor ran for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdown last season for Wisconsin.
Jonathan Taylor ran for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdown last season for Wisconsin. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images
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A true workhorse running back is a rare sight to see in the modern age of football, but Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor was just that. The back-to-back Doak Walker Award winner (2018-19) is believed to be the do-it-all type of running back that can thrive at the NFL level and contribute to a team immediately.

Jonathan Taylor 40 Time

Along with an FBS-leading 6,174 rushing yards (6.7 yards per carry) through his three years with the Badgers, Taylor stole the RB spotlight at the NFL Scouting Combine after the 226-pound back ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash – the fastest NFL Combine time among all RBs in this year's class. To grind out wins late in the season, having a competent running game is extremely valuable. With that in mind, these are four teams that could be most likely to pull the trigger on Jonathan Taylor in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Jonathan Taylor Draft Projection

4. Tennessee Titans (No. 29 Pick)

Derrick Henry could prove to be too costly to re-sign this offseason.
Derrick Henry could prove to be too costly to re-sign this offseason. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Titans will likely lean toward bringing back last season's rushing leader, Derrick Henry. However, they would be paying a pretty penny for a player that has been prone to injury. They could opt to use that money elsewhere and draft Taylor, especially after his 4.39 40-yard time at the NFL Combine. The Titans currently have the 29th overall draft pick, which could be a prime time to select the former Badger whether they decide to bring Henry back or not.

3. Atlanta Falcons (No. 47 Pick)

The Falcons could part ways with veteran running back Devonta Freeman.
The Falcons could part ways with veteran running back Devonta Freeman. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons may decide to part ways with veteran running back Devonta Freeman, who has been incredibly injury prone and also still has three years left on his contract. This would give them a big need in the backfield, which Taylor could be a perfect fit to fill. He arguably has the best vision among all RBs in this class and would likely face running-friendly boxes, with defenses needing to respect the receiving weapons on the outside in Atlanta. The Falcons have the No. 16 overall pick, but would likely trade down if they were to select Taylor in the first round. They also have the No. 47 and 55 picks in the second round.

2. Miami Dolphins (No. 39 Pick)

Ryan Fitzpatrick led Miami with 243 yards rushing this past season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick led Miami with 243 yards rushing this past season. / Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It's no secret that the Dolphins need a bit of everything, and they have the draft picks to address many of those needs this April. Offensively, they need someone capable of getting positive yardage on the ground and putting the quarterback in solid third down situations. Taylor is capable of doing a number of things for the rebuilding Dolphins, and depending on where Georgia RB D'Andre Swift comes off the board, the Dolphins could grab him at the No. 26 pick, or they could grab him in the second round at No. 39.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 45 Pick)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushed for 95.1 yards per game in the 2019-20 NFL season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushed for 95.1 yards per game in the 2019-20 NFL season. / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Buccaneers claim the top spot in this list because their team needs and second-round draft positioning could simply prove a perfect alignment for taking Taylor in this year's NFL Draft. Tampa Bay finished the No. 27 rushing offense in the league last season, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA metric, and a workhorse back like Taylor could create a formidable backfield in tandem with Ronald Jones. With the possibility that teams like the Dolphins (No. 39 Pick) or Los Angeles Chargers (No. 37) reach for a more proven passing-catching back like D'Andre Swift or Ohio State's JK Dobbins ahead of the Bucs in the second round, Taylor could fall into Tampa Bay's hands at No. 45 overall.


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