Once the NFL Draft concluded this past weekend, the New England Patriots went out and signed 16 undrafted free agents. While adding defensive line help, quarterbacks, and wide receivers made sense given the need for help and competition at those positions this summer, they also added a running back, which is a position that is already deep and talented in New England.
But that didn't stop PFF from loving the Patriots' addition.
New England signed former Arizona running back J.J. Taylor, who is a jitterbug of a player that's lots of fun to watch. PFF ranked the signing of Taylor as No. 6 on their list of the top 15 UDFA signings. This is what they had to say about the Patriots adding Taylor:
"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."
2018 is when Taylor broke onto the scene, as he had 255 carries for 1,434 yards (5.6 YPC) and six touchdowns, while also adding 133 receiving yards on 16 catches. However, he took a step back in 2019 - which was largely because of a reduction in touches - carrying the ball 148 times for 721 yards (4.9 YPC) and five touchdowns. He also had 32 catches and 289 receiving yards.
It's hard to imagine Taylor will have a spot on New England's 53-man roster. With Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden and Damien Harris already filling up the running back depth chart, Taylor may be better suited for New England's practice squad, though that won't potentially stop another team from signing him.
Even though he won't be on the regular season roster, that won't stop J.J. Taylor from flashing his playmaking ability during the preseason.