Arizona football: RB J.J. Taylor shows his quickness at NFL Combine

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gimino

Former Arizona Wildcats running back J.J. Taylor showed off his quickness at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday night.

It's no surprise that Taylor didn't show long speed -- his official 40 time was 4.61 seconds -- but Arizona fans know the diminutive back has nimble feet and quick cuts. So it wasn't surprising at all to see him do well in the drills that rely on agility and change-of-direction skills.

Taylor was third among the 11 running backs who did the three-cone drill with a time of 7.00 seconds. And he second among 16 in the 20-yard shuttle with a time of 4.15 seconds.

His quickness was evident here:

Taylor is the only Arizona player at the Combine. Lindy's NFL Draft magazine projects him as a sixth/seventh round prospect and says this about his strengths:

Taylor has a solid all-around skill set that allows him to line up all over the formation. He lines up in the backfield as a traditional runner but is able to make plays out of orbit motion. Has natural pass-catching skills to be used as a slot receiver. He has good vision with a motor that allows him to run angry at times. Packs power for his size. His go-to move is a spin -- and it’s excellent.

Earlier in the week, Taylor was measured at 5-foot-5 1/4 quarter inches. He is solidly built, though, at 185 pounds; he put up 19 reps of 225 on the bench press.

His best season at Arizona came in 2018, when he rushed for 1,434 yards on 255 carries and earned third-team All-America honors from the Associated Press. His numbers dipped to 148 for 721 in 2019, when he often was limited because of an ankle injury.

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