Do the Colts have the most diverse Running Back Room in the NFL?

  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Jonathan Taylor
  • Jordan Wilkins
  • Marlon Mack
  • Nyheim Hines
By Anthony Gulick July 29, 2020 0 Comment

After drafting Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts have quite an interesting backfield.

The Indianapolis Colts had the seventh ranked rushing attack in 2019. The three out of four running backs from 2019 are returning in Indy and along with new additions this past off-season Indy looks to have a top five running game in the NFL this year. Colts coach Frank Reich stated multiple times that he wants a top five run game in the NFL.

Heading into 2020 the Colts have talented backs with diverse skill sets that all compliment each other. Behind this offensive line, the possibilities are endless in Indy.

Marlon Mack

Starting off with Indy’s feature running back in the offense is Marlon Mack. Marlon Mack has been the running back in Indianapolis for the past two years and had a career year in 2019, rushing for over 1000 yards. Mack is a shifty running back with an array of different moves in his arsenal.

Marlon Mack’s running style differs from the other backs in Indy. Mack is not a downhill runner, he is crafty and evades tackles. Mack likes to sit in the pocket and wait for a hole to open within the defense and then he takes off. His run style is similar to Le’Veon Bell‘s when Bell was the premier back in Pittsburgh.

Mack’s game is quite different than the other backs on the team. The fourth-year pro showcased a bit of his potential and is improving year after year. He will still be the primary back in 2020 and he is looking to put up big numbers running behind the best offensive line in the NFL.

Jonathan Taylor

Next up is Colts rookie Jonathan Taylor. He was drafted 41st overall in the 2020 draft. Taylor is quite possibly the most accomplished running back ever in college football. In his college career, he ran for over 6100 yards and had over 6500 total scrimmage yards. Running a 4.40 40 time at the draft combine, Taylor has breakaway speed and has huge potential behind the Colts’ offensive line.

Unlike Mack, Taylor is a bell-cow running back. He has a big 226-pound frame that will benefit him at the next level. Taylor is a power running back that runs through contact using his speed and power. His specialty is turning five-yard runs into fifty-yard runs. Therefore, Taylor is expected to be a “home-run hitter” in this offense.

Coach Reich has stated to the media that this is not going to be a “1-2 Punch”, it is going to be a “1-1 Punch” this season. Mack and Taylor are going to split carries and these two backs will fuel a top-five running attack in 2020.

Nyheim Hines

Next up is the third-year pro from North Carolina State Nyheim Hines. Hines’ game is very different compared to the other running backs on the team. Hines is a “swiss army knife” that can do it all in the passing game and on the ground.

With new quarterback Philip Rivers in town, there are instant comparisons to one of Rivers’ old teammates Darren Sproles.

In 2020 Hines is going to be a big part of the passing game. As a result of the improved quarterback play in Indy, Hines will get more touches and will benefit immensely.

Compared to the previous two running backs, Hines is more of an aerial threat than a threat on the ground, but he can do it all. Hines is looking to be a vital part of the Colts offense in 2020.

Jordan Wilkins

Lastly, we have Jordan Wilkins. Wilkins is a third-year player out of Ole Miss. He is a talented running back but does not get the number of carries that the other backs get.

With the loaded running back room in Indy, Wilkins has to make a strong impression with the coaching staff and work his way back into the rotation. In 2019 when Marlon Mack went down, Jonathan Williams took on the big load and received all of the carries and was shockingly not Wilkins.

Nonetheless, his running style is more of a downhill back. He hits the hole that the offensive line creates and runs through tackles. Wilkins is a rotational piece in this offense that does whatever the team needs him to do.

Colt: Most diverse group in the NFL?

The Indianapolis Colts have the most diverse group in the NFL. There is not a group of running backs with different skill sets such as this one in the NFL.

When looking at all four, the opponent the week before has to prepare for each of them differently. Especially with Mack and Taylor, these two backs have different ways of gaining more yards each play.

The Colts are looking to have a top-five running game this season, and they can do just that with these running backs on their roster.

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