NFL Draft 2020: Where Jonathan Taylor and More RBs Are Going in Expert Mocks

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIMarch 25, 2020

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Jonathan Taylor spent the last three years at Wisconsin running all over opposing Big 10 defenses. In each of the last two seasons, he won the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back.

Now, the 21-year-old will look to carry over his college success into the NFL.

One of several strong running backs in this year's class, Taylor should be one of the first players at the position to come off the board at the NFL draft. And if he can play as well as he did for the Badgers, he may develop into one of the league's top rushers.

Here's a look at where recent mock drafts are projecting the top running backs in this year's class to land.

         

D'Andre Swift, Georgia

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Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Only one running back is projected to be selected in the first round in Mel Kiper Jr.'s most recent mock draft for ESPN, and that's D'Andre Swift, who had an impressive three-year career at Georgia.

Kiper predicts the 21-year-old will be drafted by the Dolphins with the No. 18 pick. Miami owns three first-round picks this year, as it will also select players at No. 5 and No. 26. It's likely to be using those selections to help overhaul its offense, which struggled greatly in 2019.

Although the Dolphins have signed veteran running back Jordan Howard, they could still use another option in the backfield who could develop into their future star back.

Last year, veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was the team's leading rusher, which shows how much their running game struggled. Swift would help alleviate some of those issues.

NFL.com's Chad Reuter has Swift getting drafted by the Chiefs at No. 32, but not everybody is projecting the former Bulldog to go in the first round.

Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports doesn't have Swift getting drafted until the second round, going to the Lions at the No. 35 pick, while Draft Wire's Luke Easterling has him going to the Dolphins at No. 39.

            

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Perhaps Taylor will be the only running back selected in the first round. That's how Easterling has the draft unfolding, as he projects the former Wisconsin back to get selected by the Ravens at No. 28.

Baltimore led the NFL in rushing offense last season, so adding somebody like Taylor, who rushed for at least 1,977 yards each of the last three years at Wisconsin, could make it even more dangerous. It would also give the Ravens a young back to potentially succeed veteran Mark Ingram II as their starter one day.

Reuter and Wilson each have Taylor getting selected by the Dolphins, albeit in different rounds. Reuter is predicting Taylor to be the first running back drafted at No. 26, while Wilson has him going at No. 39.

While draft analysts are split on whether Taylor or Swift will be drafted first, most are predicting them to be the first two running backs to come off the board.

        

J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

With Melvin Gordon III no longer with the Chargers, it's clear that Austin Ekeler will be their starting running back in 2020. However, they might decide to draft a young back to take some pressure off him. And that could be former Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins.

Wilson is predicting the 21-year-old to be the third running back drafted, going early in the second round to the Chargers with the No. 35 pick.

After rushing for a career-high 2,003 yards at Ohio State last season, Dobbins has the potential to be a solid NFL back, and he could be a nice complement to Ekeler in Los Angeles' offense.

Another potential landing spot for Dobbins is the Buccaneers, who should have an improved offense in 2020 with veteran quarterback Tom Brady leading the unit. Reuter is projecting Dobbins to get selected by Tampa Bay at the No. 45 pick.

Easterling isn't as high on Dobbins, as he has the former Buckeye not coming off the board until the No. 63 selection owned by the Chiefs.