Indianapolis Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor has conjured reminders of Philip Rivers' younger days.
"Jonathan reminds me a lot of Michael Turner, if y'all remember Michael Turner from the old San Diego days, and then obviously with the Falcons," Rivers said Wednesday.
A second-round pick out of Wisconsin, Taylor (5-foot-10, 226 pounds) offers a similar build as Turner (5-foot-10, 244 pounds), as a bigger back who can break tackles and owns long speed in the open field.
"They're similar in size, and people forget how fast Michael Turner was, but he could really run," Rivers said, via the team's official website. "Same with Jonathan. So they're similar in that regard."
Taylor might have more speed than Turner in open space, but the comparison is an apt one. Both Taylor and Turner can break tackles and hit the hole at full speed. Turner was never a pass-catching demon during his nine pro seasons, and neither was Taylor at Wisconsin.
During his first four years with the Chargers, Turner became the best backup in the league paired with future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson. Turner complemented LT's flash, with a bruising style who would grind on opponents and pick up chunk gains. Once his rookie contract was up, he moved to Atlanta for a full-time role. Off the bat, Turner proved he could carry the load, earning 1,699 rushing yards on 376 carries while earning first-team All-Pro honors. In five seasons with the Falcons, Turner rushed for 6,081 yards on 1,411 carries with 60 TDs.
The Colts backfield offers enticing options heading into 2020 with Marlon Mack, Taylor, Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins. Each back brings a different skill set to the table that gives Frank Reich and the offense options to deploy.
Taylor could play second-fiddle to Mack early in the season, but should share first- and second-down duties with the starter. Like Turner, Taylor's early-career production could be curtailed by a committee approach, but that doesn't mean the Wisconsin back can't handle a big workload if asked.