In a recent mock draft, the New Orleans Saints drafted Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor. Is that a realistic option for the team?
The New Orleans Saints have kept their dynamic two-man backfield even after Mark Ingram left for Baltimore. Bringing in Latavius Murray, the Saints were led by three-time Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara and Murray last season, maintaining that boom-and-zoom duo.
For the most part, it worked. However, while Murray is a great backup and is locked up for three more seasons, the same can not be said of Kamara for the latter half.
The Saints, even with a waning market for running backs, will have to pay Kamara, potentially making him one of the highest-paid running backs in the league. That said, the Saints should foresee the issues already building up.
That’s why Jonathan Taylor could be a great insurance policy, and in a draft where they really do have little flaws, just picking the best, most high-potential player could be ideal for the team.
The Wisconsin-alum, Taylor put up some of the best numbers in college football history. Taylor was 23 rushing yards during his freshman season away from three straight years of 2,000-plus yards.
Having seen him play Ohio State twice this past season, one in Columbus and one in Indianapolis, I can firmly say that Taylor looks just as good as the video projects, and when he’s alongside a dynamic offense, it’d be easy for him to immediately make an impact.
He was the entire Wisconsin offense and still managed 2,255 all-purpose yards. That, and his overall impressive build, is why Luke Easterling of Draft Wire had the Saints selecting him with the 24th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
"“Sure, there may be bigger needs elsewhere, and running backs in the first round aren’t exactly en vogue anymore. But the Saints need to make the most of whatever time Drew Brees has left, and Mark Ingram’s departure left a void in their ground game that left the offense unbalanced. Taylor’s skill set is the perfect replacement, and he’s the top back in the class,” Easterling wrote."
The biggest thing to note here is that the Saints do have bigger needs.
Linebacker, quarterback and defensive line depth could all be potential moves for the team in the coming month, but all those could be put on hold if injuries don’t ravage those units again this season.
Taylor could be a unique, dominant back that could allow the team to spend elsewhere in 2021, and that should be one huge reason why he’s a potential move with the 24th overall pick. Taylor will be the best running back on the board.