When the Indianapolis Colts drafted Jonathan Taylor in 2020 the thought was a great player fell too far. He immediately proved that thought to be true and has found sustained success in the NFL in just three seasons. That success usually comes with a reflection from ownership and the front office in a financial sense.
For Jonathan Taylor, it appears that sun has yet to rise and Jim Irsay has hinted at it not happening anytime soon.
On July 29th, a series of events unfolded that even Lemony Snicket would pause and think about them being too much for one of his books. It all started with Jim Irsay meeting with Jonathan Taylor and then texting Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer “We’re not trading Jonathan … end of discussion, not now and not in October!” A couple hours later the Colts running back had decided to request a trade from the team anyway.
Taylor has every right to request a trade, Irsay from every angle has seemingly dragged him along on this journey while having no intention of extending him. History points out that Taylor won’t be a Colt for long either. When the Colts hit on future Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk in the draft they didn’t extend him, they traded him. They would draft another Hall of Fame running back to replace him in Edgerrin James but again they wouldn’t extend him either, they would move on and draft Joseph Addai.
With that history established it is time to take the next step, finding his potential replacement in the 2024 NFL Draft. In the upcoming class, there are several logical replacements and ones that could make an impact immediately.
Donovan Edwards, Michigan
Blake Corum may be the straw that stirs the drink for the Michigan Wolverine backfield but the true playmaker is Donovan Edwards. While he may not get all the carries that Corum does, Edwards gets touches by being a strong component in the passing game. He has tremendous physical traits and good football ones to back them up and make him a complete back. Edwards would absolutely be a playmaker for the Colts in year one and could be a big part in the further development of Anthony Richardson and the young Colts’ offense.
TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State
The college football season allows players to bounce back, carve out draft capital, and leave a legacy. For TreVeyon Henderson of the Ohio State Buckeyes, he is very much in need of a bounce-back season and he is primed for it. The former number-one running back recruit showed out as a freshman before suffering injuries as a sophomore. Now as a junior in 2023, he is set to showcase his athletic running style can handle a larger workload and can continue to improve his pass-catching skills all with an eye on the NFL to prove to be a playmaker this year and beyond. Henderson on the Colts would be a seamless fit as his skillset mimics what they have in Jonathan Taylor.
Will Shipley, Clemson
A name that may not be thrown around as much in draft circles, Will Shipley of the Clemson Tigers has a style that fantasy players will love but so will the Colts. Shipley is the ultimate Swiss army knife for Clemson where he is strong enough and athletic enough to fit into any role. The Colts need playmakers, Shipley is a playmaker. If he were to be a Colt he would be able to serve as a three-down back, whether it being blocking or receiving he can be productive in the passing game. He shines with the ball in his hands with his electric burst and big-play production, he can be a playmaker in the NFL so why not for the Colts if the marriage to Jonathan Taylor falls apart?