PFF Ranks Jonathan Taylor Among Best NFL Players Under 25

Jonathan Taylor

Getty Pro Football Focus has ranked Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor among the best players under the age of 25.

Jonathan Taylor had a bit of a slow start to his NFL career. But he began running wild in December of his rookie season and then led the NFL in rushing during his second year in 2021.

Taylor is now one of the best running backs in the league. He’s also one of the best players still under the age of 25.

NFL analyst Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus rated the top young players in the NFL, ranking the 25 best players under 25. In order to qualify for the list, Sikkema explained that players had to be under 25 years old when the 2022 season begins.

Sikkema ranked Taylor, who will still only be 23 in September, third on the list.

“After averaging more than 2,000 rushing yards per season in three years at Wisconsin, Taylor continued doing what he does best with 1,169 rushing yards as a rookie,” Sikkema wrote. “He followed that up by becoming the youngest player in NFL history with at least 2,000 yards from scrimmage and tying the record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games while tallying 1,811 rushing yards and 366 receiving yards in 2021.”

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Only Nick Bosa & Justin Herbert Best Jonathan Taylor on Top 25 Under 25 List

In today’s modern NFL, it’s hard for a running back to compete on lists with quarterbacks and pass rushers.

Running backs nearly accounted for one-third of the NFL regular season MVP awards from 1970-2006, winning 12. But Adrian Peterson in 2012 is the only running back who has won the award since then.

So there’s no shame in Taylor getting ranked just behind Bosa and Herbert on a list of top NFL players under 25. In many ways, it’s impressive Taylor is ranked so highly for how undervalued running backs have been recently.

Much like the real NFL, edge rushers dominated the PFF list. Including Bosa, five edge rushers not only made the list but were ranked in the Top 15. Those edge defenders included Rashan Gary, Maxx Crosby, Chase Young and Brian Burns.

Herbert was one of two quarterbacks who made the list with the other being Trevor Lawrence. Taylor was the only running back PFF ranked among its Top 25 players under 25.

Jonathan Taylor Remaining Eligible for Top 25 List Until 2025

Amazingly, Taylor will not turn 24 until January 2023. That means Taylor will be eligible for lists ranking the top NFL players 25 and younger for two more years.

“[Taylor] led the NFL in scrimmage yards, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns (18) at just 22 years old,” Sikkema wrote. “He’s also averaged an impressive 5.0 and 5.5 yards per attempt in each of the past two seasons. If Taylor stays healthy, he’ll be one of the best backs in the league for a long, long time.”

Taylor did not receive any MVP votes last season, but he received 10 votes for the NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. That was only 20% of the vote, but that was good enough for second place in a year Cooper Kupp led the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Kupp also came within 53 yards of the league’s first 2,000-yard receiving season.

The only two running backs in the league other than Taylor to average at least 5.0 yards per carry each of the last two seasons are Nick Chubb and Miles Sanders. It’s scary to think about, but Taylor could be even more efficient if defenses have to honor the pass against the Colts too with Matt Ryan now behind center.

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