Is Patrick Taylor Jr. A 2020 Draft Wildcard?

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Patrick Taylor Jr. offers a tremendous skill set in the receiving game from the running back position. Here we see if that is enough to land him on an NFL roster.

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Patrick Taylor Jr. is rather tall for the running back position and is built more like a wide receiver. The funny thing is, he has soft and strong hands like that of a receiver. His running ability is inconsistent but he shines running routes out of the backfield. Let’s look a little deeper into his game to see if he has what it takes to garner a role in the NFL.

Patrick Taylor Jr. College Bio

Career Stats

  • 44 games, 536 carries, 2,884 rushing yards, 5.4 yards per carry, 36 TDs
  • 55 receptions, 434 receiving yards, and 3 TDs

Taylor played all 12 games as a freshman and showed decent dual-threat ability, accumulating 593 yards from scrimmage in a reserve role. His best game of the season was against the Jayhawks where he totaled 109 all-purpose yards.

Taylor remained in a backup role for his sophomore season but still played in 13 games and made two starts in the final two games of the season. He finished the season with 1,014 all-purpose yards (866 rushing and 148 receiving) and 14 touchdowns. During his sophomore season, Taylor had three straight 100-yard rushing performances as a backup, which showed his promise. Taylor started in the Liberty Bowl for the Tigers and accounted for 102 all-purpose yards in a 1 point loss to the Iowa State Cyclones.

Taylor really showed up as a junior where he posted 1,319 all-purpose yards (1,122 rushing and 197 receiving) and 18 touchdowns. He played in every game but was still in a reserve role behind Darrell Henderson and made his lone start in the Birmingham Bowl, where he went for 110 yards and a touchdown on the ground to go with a 1-yard receiving touchdown as well. He became only the fourth player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards. 

Patrick Taylor Jr. Strengths

At 6’3” and 223 lbs, Patrick Taylor is very large for the running back position, which leaves room to add strength to his frame to aid in breaking tackles. He uses strong leg drive to finish his runs with power and fall forward for extra yardage as you see here in this clip:

He’s a natural pass catcher with great hands who runs terrific routes. With this height, speed, and athleticism, he’s a mismatch on the outside against linebackers. Pass protection is another area where Taylor excels. He has an exceptional chop block which should allow him to have a third-down role.

Patrick Taylor Weaknesses

For a player of Taylor’s size, his contact balance is below average. He also shows poor patience and vision. He makes up his mind as soon as the ball is in his hands, which often results in him running into a pile. On the other hand, if he was more patient, a simple cutback could gain him some extra yardage. Taylor also does not show much wiggle or elusiveness in the open field with little lateral agility to make guys miss.

Combine Results

40 Yard Dash: 4.57 seconds

Broad Jump: 123 inches

Bench Press: 15 reps

3 Cone Drill: DNP

Vertical: 34 inches

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.34 seconds

Overall Analysis

Taylor is only an average runner at best, but he has room for improvement given his size. If he packs on more muscle, it will aid in his contact balance and tackle-breaking. Taylor does have areas where he thrives, like finishing his runs and lowering his pad level.

His best skill, though, is catching the football. He runs great routes, catches with his hands away from his body, and adjusts to poorly thrown balls well. Because of his receiving prowess and areas where he shows he can progress, he should be in line for a role in the NFL as a third-down or change of pace back. Taylor can also be a very solid handcuff due to his possible three-down ability.

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