Sometimes it’s better to go undrafted than be a late round pick. That way a player can sign with a team that gives him the best opportunity to earn a roster spot.
In that regard, J.J. Taylor signing with the New England Patriots is a great fit, according to Pro Football Focus, which ranked that as one of the top 15 undrafted free agents signings:
The “fun to watch” label gets thrown out a lot during draft season, but, man, Taylor is fun to watch. Coming in at 5-foot-5 and 185 pounds, Taylor has a legitimate hit stick. He has no fear running straight through defenders much larger than him. He also has some light feet and natural receiving ability that could make him a nice threat out of the backfield in New England. Compared to some of the running backs that came off the board as early as the second round (looking at you, A.J. Dillon) getting Taylor as an undrafted free agent is great value. The fit couldn’t be much better in New England, either, as he can learn from someone like James White.
White, for what it’s worth, is best known for his pass-catching. He’s caught 320 passes in six seasons with the Patriots, 46 more touches than he’s received as a ball carrier.
Taylor did not get to display that part of his skill set that much at Arizona, largely due to the systems he played in, but did flash the ability to be a receiving threat as a redshirt junior when when he caught 32 passes, twice as many as he reeled in as a redshirt sophomore.
The 5-foot-5 Taylor does not have the size to be an every-down back in the NFL, so it will be imperative for him to be a dual threat if he hopes to stick at the next level.
So will making effort plays like this:
New England signed a Mack truck as an UDFA— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 27, 2020
J.J. Taylor, Arizona RBpic.twitter.com/LF5dQ89CnU
Taylor will be competing with guys like White, Brandon Bolden, Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, and Damien Harris whenever training camp gets underway.