J.J. Taylor has been overlooked his whole life because of his size, but NFL teams better not make that same mistake, according to Pro Football Focus, which recently named the Arizona Wildcats running back one of the top 10 sleepers in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Here is why:
Yet another player who isn’t going to do it all in your respective offense, but what Taylor does, he does darn well. The 5-foot-5, 185-pounder will be a nightmare for linebackers. Whether it’s on swing screens, angle routes or wide runs, trying to get a hand on Taylor in speed is a scary proposition. His lateral agility is silly and he bounces in and out of his cuts with ease. And even if you do catch him cleanly, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re taking him down…
The 5-foot-5, 185-pound Taylor rushed for 3,263 yards at Arizona from 2016-19, and also caught 62 passes for 487 yards and two touchdowns.
Taylor performed pretty well at the NFL Combine in late February, posting the second-best time among running backs in the 20-yard shuttle run and the third-best time in the 3-cone drill, while his 19 reps in the bench press were tied for 12th-best. He was just outside the top 15 among rushers in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump.
These were his full results:
- 40-yard dash: 4.61 seconds
- Bench press: 19 reps
- Vertical jump: 34.5 inches
- Broad jump: 118.0 inches
- 3-cone drill: 7.0 seconds
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.15 seconds
The experts at NFL.com give Taylor a 5.64 prospect grade, making him a player who has the “chance to make end of roster or practice squad.”
The draft is set to take place April 23-25. If Taylor gets picked, he will likely be a Day 3 selection.
One draft pundit made a snarky comment about Taylor, saying “guys, he’s a 5’5, 185 pound RB with 4.61 speed. If he works out, we can officially say you can find RBs everywhere.”