Road to the Draft

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Meet the Prospect: Jonathan Taylor

Name: Jonathan Taylor

Position: Running back

School: Wisconsin

Ht/Wt: 5-10/226

40-yard dash: 4.39

Bench: 17

Vertical: 36.0

Broad: 123.0

3-cone: 7.01

20-yard shuttle: 4.24

View photos of NFL prospect Jonathan Taylor.

How he fits: Taylor was among the group of players who really helped themselves at the Combine with their testing and on-field work. His 40 time of 4.39 is terrific at 226 pounds, and matches what we've seen on tape from him as one of the best home-run threats at the position over the last three years.

Taylor rushed for 1,977, 2,194 and 2,003 yards with 50 total touchdowns over the last three seasons with the Badgers. He's durable, explosive, and even improved his receiving abilities this past season, catching 26 passes, compared to just eight the season before, though drops have been an issue for him at times.

The Lions could look to bolster the position given the durability issues Kerryon Johnson has faced. Johnson's played in 18 games his first two seasons while dealing with knee injuries.

Bo Scarbrough stepped up last year filling in for Johnson. He proved he can handle an increased role. Scarbrough and Johnson together at the end of last year looked to be a nice one-two punch, but Johnson's durability issues have opened the door for the Lions to look to the draft for help at the position. If Taylor is still on the board early in Day 2, he'll likely be high on teams' draft boards.

Key observations: Taylor rushed for at least 200 yards in a game 12 times over his career. He also averaged 77 broken tackles per season, according to Pro Football Focus statistics.

He did tally more than 300 touches in all three seasons at Wisconsin, however, so wear and tear could be an issue. He also fumbled 15 times in college.

What they had to say about him: "Taylor is a methodical, efficient downhill runner with the physical and mental toughness and competitiveness of a four-quarter back who just keeps grinding and grinding. He has a desirable combination of patience and decisiveness with excellent vision and the short area quickness to work effectively in confined space. What consistently stood out with Taylor was he gained hard yards with his downhill mentality and his natural power and high-level competitiveness as a runner. He showed both the quick feet and toughness to work inside through traffic and the burst and acceleration to hit the home run.

"Taylor has extensive experience as both an I-back and offset in the shotgun and he ran multiple game concepts at Wisconsin making him scheme transcendent as you transition him to the NFL. Taylor has understated special qualities/traits as a runner (he's the best overall runner in this class) and much to be tapped as a receiver. The question will be: What is Taylor's value in the NFL? He is clearly a feature back who can be the foundation starting point of an offense." – Greg Cosell, NFL Films

How he stacks up: Taylor comes in at No. 35 on NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's list of the Top 50 prospects in this class. He's Jeremiah's third best back available behind Georgia's D'Andre Swift and LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Taylor is ranked 28th overall in the class by Scouts Inc.

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks lists Taylor as the fourth best back in the class behind Swift, J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State) and Cam Akers (Florida State).

What he had to say: "Really, I think it's my consistency," Taylor said at the Combine about what makes him the best back in the class. "I mean, if you look at the next level, what separates the great backs from the elite backs is really them playing on an elite level day in and day out every Sunday. I think that's one of the biggest things that separates me is my ability to be consistent year in and year out."

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