2020 NFL Draft running back prospect Jonathan Taylor struggled to get anything going in Wisconsin’s 38-7 loss to Ohio State.
There was rain throughout the game, causing both teams to take a run dominant approach.
The box score wasn’t pretty for Taylor, but the performance (obviously) isn’t solely on him.
Wisconsin’s offensive line struggled to get any movement against Ohio State’s stout front line, and they struggled to form a clean pocket throughout the game.
In turn, Jack Coan struggled to get much going in the passing game, allowing the Buckeyes to load the box regardless of the down and distance. It was hard to find a running play where there weren’t multiple Buckeye defenders around the ball.
The talent differential between the two teams really showed up in the game’s biggest moments and Ohio State’s speed was too much for the Badgers.
Taylor has been tremendous all season bouncing runs outside when nothing is available on the interior, but he got a little too reliant on it in this game.
There were a handful full of runs where he ran into the pile and didn’t display some of the same vision and elusiveness that he has this season.
He consistently looked for the outside run and took more of an east-west rushing approach in this game. Taylor struggled to do much as Ohio State’s secondary put on one of the more their more physical showings of the season. They were clearly determined to stop him from turning the corner.
Taylor struggled in the passing game as well. He did have one catch where he bobbled it upon gaining possession, and he had another catch taken back due to him losing control before gaining possession on a flat-out route.
There were sloppy weather conditions, but not every game is going to be perfect when he arrives to the NFL.
Despite the struggles, there were still encouraging signs from Taylor.
His effort never swayed and he continues to run with a physical run style. Taylor is able to quickly regain balance after initial contact, and he was able to run his feet and pick up a few bonus yards through a few gang tackles.
Taylor had a strong run on a cutback in the first-half, and he still displays many of the traits necessary to be a bell-cow back at the next level.
It can be easy to overreact and be a prisoner of the moment after these types of games. This performance doesn’t ultimately impact his NFL Draft stock, and while Taylor had his share of struggles, he still has the potential to be the best running back in the 2020 NFL Draft class.