Do the New York Giants need to find a new running back to back up Saquon Barkley? That really all depends on what the new coaching staff thinks about Wayne Gallman Jr, Javorius Allen, and Jon Hilliman.
It is entirely possible that the Giants could decide to go forward with the running back depth chart they already have in-house. But they could also decide to add to their depth chart, both to encourage competition but also to try and find another upgrade to their roster.
Memphis running back Patrick Taylor Jr.. has some impressive traits, but is flying below the radar and could be a good value late in the draft — or perhaps even as a priority free agent. If the Giants are looking for a downhill runner, he could intrigue.
Prospect: Patrick Taylor Jr, RB, Memphis
Games Watched: vs. Central Florida (2017), vs. Central Florida (2018), vs. Ole Miss (2019), vs. Cincinnati (2019)
Red Flags: Foot/ankle injury (2019, missed 8 games, required surgery)
Height: 6030 (6-foot-3)
Weight: 215 pounds
Games Played: 44
Yards: 2884 yards
Carries (YPC): 536 carries (5.3 yards per carry)
Receptions (yards/ypc): 55 (434 yards, 7.9 per catch)
Total Touchdowns: 39 (36 rushing, 3 receiving)
Best: Downhill running, competitive toughness, versatility, pass protection, receiving
Worst: Agility, cut-back, horizontal running
Projection: A rotation back in a downhill running scheme, and a passing game which uses running backs as receivers.
Memphis running back Patrick Taylor possesses good size and linear athleticism for the position. Taylor is a downhill runner who lines up in both the shotgun and pistol sets in Memphis’ offense and is effective out of both. Taylor shows good patience behind the line of scrimmage and good burst through the hole once his blocks are established. He is at his best running between the tackles and shows good power and contact balance when running behind his pads. Taylor makes good use of subtle and effective jump cut to make defenders miss in close quarters while maintaining his downhill momentum. He is capable of running through or bouncing off of poor tackle attempts to pick up additional yards after contact and has a good burst and speed in the open field.
Taylor is routinely used in Memphis’ passing game, both as a receiving option and as a blocker. Memphis’ offense will use Taylor as a pass catcher out of the backfield as well as lining him up on the line of scrimmage as a receiver. He is a capable receiver and “hands” catcher, with upside as a down-field threat due to his size and burst off the line. He is a willing blocker in both pass protection and as a blocker on screen plays. Taylor shows good competitive toughness to attack defenders and sustain his blocks through the whistle.
Taylor’s height works against him as a runner, with a high center of gravity making him vulnerable to tackle attempts at his legs. Taylor also struggles when asked to run horizontally and doesn’t get the benefit from his downhill power. He has some agility to his game, but also lacks great range in lateral movements and lacks the ability to string multiple moves together to make defenders miss. Taylor’s vision is also a slight question, as he can also be prone to running into the backs of his blockers.
It is also worth noting that Taylor had to withdraw from the 2020 East-West Shrine Bowl to get surgery needed to help his the injury sustained early in 2019 to heal fully and properly. His ultimate projection and valuation will likely depend heavily on his medical reports and how comfortable teams are with them.
Overall Grade: 4.5 - A prospect with several above average traits a team can win with. Has an injury red flag which teams must investigate.
Assuming he recovers fully from his injury and subsequent surgery, Patrick Taylor Jr. projects best as a rotation piece in an offensive scheme which features downhill running. He is at his best running between the tackles and is able to use his size and power to pick up yards after contact. He should not be asked to run horizontally often, and is particularly prone to being tripped up by shoe-string tackles in those situations. Taylor has the potential to pick up chunk yardage in the open field, but will mostly be considered a running back who keeps the offense on schedule and picks up what is blocked for him.
Taylor also has the potential to be a very useful piece for an offense which uses running backs in the receiving game. He is a capable pass protector and blocker on screen plays with the versatility to line up in multiple alignments along the offensive formation. Taylor also shows good receiving upside and is a natural “hands” catcher. He has the ability to use his size and downhill burst to be a threat in the open field as a receiver in addition to being a reliable check-down target.