He leads with 1626 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns, the longest runs of 20+ and 40+ yards with 12 and 5 respectively, and even has the current record for the longest run of the season at 83 yards. He is making a respectable case for MVP this season going against the juggernauts of quarterbacks that have a higher chance to get consideration for the award.
The Seattle Seahawks have had a slew of running backs come out of their locker room, with legends such as Shaun Alexander and Marshawn Lynch. The team’s current starting running back Chris Carson is out for the season with a neck injury and they are relying on the production of injury-riddled backs such as Alex Collins and Rashaad Penny.
It’s tough to imagine how things could have looked if the Seahawks went a different route in the 2020 NFL draft. Armed with a first-round selection, the Seahawks selected Jordyn Brooks, a linebacker out of Texas Tech with many top names still available at running back. Falling just 14 picks later, Taylor was selected by the Colts.
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Taylor Wanted to Play for the Seahawks
Jonathan Taylor played running back for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2017 – 2020 and amassed 6174 rushing yards, 50 rushing scores, 407 receiving yards, and 5 receiving touchdowns. He became the second-leading rusher in the school’s history after his time there, according to Badgers Wire. Another notable Wisconsin player is quarterback Russell Wilson, who is the leader for yards in one season for the Badgers.
In a resurfaced Twitter video, it was revealed that Taylor has a connection with Wilson because they are fellow Badgers, and wanted to play for the Seahawks.
“When I met with the Seahawks, the first person that I saw as soon as I walked through the door was Pete Carroll,” Taylor told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk in February 2020. “I’m like ‘wow’ I just shook hands with Pete Carroll like this is really happening right now.”
Florio asked Taylor which teams would be on his shortlist to get drafted to even though he can’t choose his team.
Taylor responded with “I would love to play for the Seahawks.”
Seahawks Could Have Always Used the Running Back Depth
Sports Illustrated analyst Corbin K. Smith noted how Taylor could have been a great pickup for the Seahawks. As a high-volume running team, alongside a mobile quarterback like Russell Wilson, the running back position has always been important for this team.
At full strength, the Seahawks have talented running backs, however, that core has been ravaged by injuries. Taylor did not miss a single game during his campaign at Wisconsin and only missed one contest in his rookie season in the NFL.
Taylor had an official visit with the team, which indicates that Seattle did have interest in the shifty running back, while most prospects in that draft met with the team during the scouting combine.
Although the team didn’t land the star running back, it’s fun to imagine what could have been for the Seahawks. Linebacker Jordyn Brooks, their first-round draft selection that year, currently ranks third on the team in tackling and seventh in pass rush respectively, according to Pro Football Focus.