When it comes to the running back position in the NFL in this day and age, it’s rare to see a team go above and beyond to take one in the NFL Draft unless the player is just that special. Even in the 2014 Draft, a running back was not selected until the third round.
The 2015 Draft was a little different as both Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon were selected in the top 20 of the first round. Gurley has worked out well for the St. Louis Rams, while the San Diego Chargers may be regretting their first round pick.
Despite that, the running back crop isn’t as loaded for the 2016 NFL Draft with only one looking like a lock for the first round in Ezekiel Elliott next April. One running back that doesn’t get as much credit as he probably should is Florida’s Kelvin Taylor.
He had a breakout year in 2015 and his stock has continued to rise for April’s Draft. As he rushed for over 1,000 yards this year and was fourth in the SEC for rushing touchdowns with 13, he has proven that he could be a late-round steal for any team in the NFL.
You have to look at the way he is able to come out of the backfield and catch passes as well as running ball off a handoff. 12 of his 17 receptions in 2015 came off of screen plays and that could be huge plus for a lot of teams facing third and long situations.
Taylor is also one of the most consistent runners in this year’s class as he averaged 4.3 yards per carry over his career with the Gators. He was third in the SEC on yards per carry with 4.0 in 2015 as well.
Another big factor you have to take into account is the fact that Taylor is the son of Jacksonville Jaguar great Fred Taylor. His father is arguably the greatest player to ever suit in Jacksonville and his son has certainly proven that he can be just as dominant as his father.
One team that could benefit from having a back like Taylor is the Jaguars. They haven’t found a guy that can consistently produce that is also able to stay healthy, so it’s not a shot at T.J. Yeldon.
Also, the Jaguars bringing in the son of a legend would do wonders for team morale and the atmosphere in Everbank Stadium every Sunday.
Right now, Taylor could benefit from coming back for one more season to prove that he has a lot left to prove. However, he is certainly poised to have a great career in the NFL no matter where he ends up.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports