Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor Like '1-1' RB Punch, Says Colts OC Nick Sirianni

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIMay 12, 2020

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack (25) rushes for an 8-yard touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Indianapolis Colts did not draft former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor to replace Marlon Mack.

"We know a lot of the good running teams in this league and in the past have good 1-2 punches," Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni told reporters on Monday (5:20 mark). "It feels like it's just a 1-1 punch, though, because we have two such exceptional backs." 

Sirianni continued:

"We've seen it work in the NFL so much, right, where you have different styles of guys, right? Both of these guys can do multiple things. Yeah, Jonathan's a little bigger than Marlon, alright, but they both have exceptional speed. They both have the ability to make you miss, and they both have the ability to break arm tackles and run with power.

"They have some different running styles but, again, I think they're both complete backs and I think that's a fantastic problem to have, to have two guys like that you can feed the football to. It's only going to help our running game."

Taylor went in the second round (No. 41 overall) in the 2020 NFL draft on April 24. The Colts traded up with the Cleveland Browns to select the 21-year-old, which might have been perceived as the team looking for the 24-year-old's replacement.

Mack is entering the final guaranteed year of his rookie contract in 2020. 

Mack rushed for a career-high 1,091 yards alongside eight touchdowns on a career-most 247 carries last season. Since the Colts used a fourth-round pick on Mack out of South Florida in 2017, he has racked up 2,357 yards and 20 touchdowns on 535 carries in 40 games (22 starts).

Mack's efforts landed the Colts at No. 7 in the league on the ground last season. The next-closest running back after Mack was Jordan Wilkins with 307 yards and two touchdowns. Indianapolis bringing in Taylor to complement Mack will ideally result in durability and longevity for both players.

Taylor was a workhorse at Wisconsin. The 5'10", 226-pound back won the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's best collegiate running back, in 2018 and '19. Taylor rushed for an eye-popping 6,174 yards and 50 touchdowns on 926 attempts across three seasons, including back-to-back 2,000-plus yard rushing campaigns.

The Colts additionally bolstered their offense by selecting former USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round (No. 34 overall).

Having a strong running game will be important for the Colts to take pressure away from 38-year-old quarterback Philip Rivers, who signed a one-year deal with Indianapolis during free agency in March.


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