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Badgers’ Taylor hoping for call in the first round of NFL Draft

MADISON (WKOW) -- Jonathan Taylor put together one of the best three-year careers in NCAA football history. Now, he's ready to write the next challenge of his football story. The former Badgers running back is hoping to hear his name called in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

"That's what you work for your whole life. Of course, if that doesn't happen, you go from there. You'd be really ecstatic to hear your name called. Really ecstatic."

Taylor was the Doak Walker Award winner the past two seasons as the top running back in college football. He was the first player in FBS history to rush for 6,000 yards in just three seasons. Taylor coupled that productivity with an impressive performance at the NFL Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds.

Still, he is not a lock to be selected on the first day of the draft. Running backs have been diminishing in value in recent drafts. Also, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. points to Taylor's lack of pass-catching opportunities in college and fumbling issues as concerns for some scouts.

"He's got to shore up his hands coming out of that backfield, become better as a pass-receiving option. And he's got to take care of the ball security. You can't have the fumbles in the NFL. You can get away with it in college. It actually hurt them in some games. Go back and look at that Illinois game. I think certainly that has to be shored up. That's probably why, instead of being a first-round pick, he'll be a second-round pick."

You can watch all three days of the NFL Draft on ABC. The coverage begins at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Lance Veeser

Sports Director, 27 News

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