Jonathan Taylor in Top 30 of Sports Illustrated's Big Board
A Day 1 or Day 2 pick seems likely for Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, and once again a publication praises one of college football's most dynamic players.
This week, Sports Illustrated continued to reveal more of its "Big Board." Zack Baun came in at No. 39, but in the publication's latest reveal, Taylor comes in at No. 29. Check out the video above from SI on their scouting report of Salem, N.J., native.
On Tuesday, AllBadgers.com will publish an article with perspective on Taylor and where Kevin Hanson believes the back could find a home at the next level.
Last week, AllBadgers.com asked ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. about Taylor. First, the longtime NFL Draft analyst praised Taylor for his ability as a "a phenomenal runner."
"To run a 4.39(-second 40-yard dash) at 226 pounds (at the NFL Scouting Combine), as a running back when he’s securing the football -- and that’s the issue I’ll get to in a second -- but as a running back, he’s got vision," Kiper said. "He’s got burst, he shows balance in traffic. He can hit the home run. He can outrun, with that 4.39 speed, defensive backs to pay dirt. If this was 1985 when it was about a running game and a running back being a primary entity, he would be a top-15 pick despite the fumbling issues probably."
Kiper then went on to discuss Taylor's history of coughing up the ball at UW and also the need to improve his pass catching skills.
Where Taylor could fit in terms of franchises, Kiper did not necessarily list any, though he believes the back could be a huge pick up in the second round if the aforementioned concerns are addressed:
"Obviously finding teams that desperately need a running back is very difficult. Most teams are well fortified at that position, but in the second round when you need a No. 2 back or you need a guy who’s just a great runner who could be a top-15 caliber player if he can clean up the ball security and become a little bit better receiver. If he does that, you’re getting a top-15 guy in the second round. If he doesn’t, then he’s a bust. If you don’t clean up the fumbles, you don’t become a better receiver, you can’t run the ball and fumble it. So even though he’s a great runner, if he’s not securing the ball, that negates that.
"He’s got bust potential because of that, but he’s also got boom potential, bust or boom, because of the great runner he is, the improvement we’ve seen in terms of his receiving -- which has to continue to improve -- and he’s got to fix the ball security issues. If he does that, like I said, he could be a tremendous pick in the second round. You would look back and say, 'How did he drop to the second round with all that productivity?’
"Now with that productivity comes tread on the tires. He’s got a lot of carries, so the longevity for a running back who did so much in college, carried the ball so much, would be somewhat of an issue. Now to me it’s not because the first four, five years is what you’re looking at with running backs. Looking at Todd Gurley, he’s not even a Ram right now. He’s in Atlanta, so look what happens to these running backs. Their longevity is not great with one team anyway, so to me he’s a second-round pick. He has a chance to be a steal or could be a bust, but let’s be positive and hope that he’s a great pick in the second round for somebody."