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Home-run speed makes Jonathan Taylor a first-round running back

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Taylor cemented himself as a legitimate first-round prospect with a stunning 40 time Friday at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.

The former Wisconsin star logged an official time of 4.39 seconds, making him the fastest running back at the Combine.

His home-run speed was something he showed off on a regular basis as a Badger (like this). Yet seeing him post that time, it reminds you just how fast he is. As a point of reference, Taylor ran faster on Friday than New York Giants superstar Saquon Barkley, whose breakaway speed is a sight to behold.

A player who was among the nation’s best at the collegiate level the past three seasons (6,581 yards and 55 touchdowns from scrimmage), Taylor’s ability to produce is a known quantity. This past season, he also grew his game, showing off his abilities as a receiver and making some big plays through the air.

He’s also been remarkably healthy, having played in 41 games over the course of that span.

The big flaw in Taylor’s game is that he has a history of fumbling (14 career fumbles at Wisconsin). That could cause some teams to be wary of spending a first-round pick on him. However, Taylor’s other attributes are so glowingly positive that someone is going to fall in love.