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49ers WR John Taylor – Underrated And Forgotten?

John Taylor #82 – WR

When I watch highlights of NFL’s top players and greatest moments,49ers WR John Taylor is always missing from those clips. Taylor may be mentioned here and there but he definitely does not get the credit he deserves. Jerry Rice was the household name in the 1980’s and he was a fan favorite but somehow America seems to forget the 49ers had another great WR.

I loved Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig but I also loved John Taylor. I remember playing nerf football with my friends at the school field down the street and I would run my routes pretending to be John Taylor. I still have love for the man today and would like to meet him in person and shake his hand.

We were lucky when the 49ers drafted Taylor during the 1986 NFL Draft in Round 3 at Pick 76. Round 3? Yes, that was a steal in the 1986 draft and Bill Walsh knew how to pick ‘em.

Taylor was used as a punt returner and he did well at that position for the first 2 years. In the 1989 Super Bowl  he caught the game winning TD with seconds left in the game. The following year Taylor was taken more seriously as a WR and he quickly became one of the best in the NFL. Despite not being the number one receiver on his team, Taylor finished the 1989 season with 60 receptions for 1,077 yards and ten touchdowns.

Taylor made it to the Pro-Bowl a few times but not as much as he should have. Much like Aldon Smith was snubbed from the Pro-Bowl last year so was John Taylor often. Taylor won three super bowl rings in his career with the 49ers, in 1988, 1989, and 1994.

So hats off to one of my favorite 49ers Mr. John Taylor and I thank you for all of the great 49er memories.

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If you weren’t alive to see John Taylor play or you don’t remember him just watch a highlight video from 1987-1995 if you can find one and I am sure he will show up.

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Career Highlights (1987-1995)

Career NFL statistics as of 1995
Receptions 347
Receiving Yards 5,598
Touchdowns 43
Return touchdowns 2
Punt return yards 1,517
Kick return yards 276

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2 comments on “49ers WR John Taylor – Underrated And Forgotten?

  1. JT never made a mistake, or so it seems to me, though I am sure he must have fumbled a couple punts or dropped a pass. As I sit today and watch the 49ers beat the L.A. Rams in 85 & 86 it is obvious Jerry Rice owed more than a few of his TDs to JT. He was a 2nd team punt returner on the all 80’s NFL team. His 2 90+ yard touchdowns against the Rams were unbelievable. (Give Rice credit for down field blocking). Has there ever been a player as mentally and emotionally as solid as JT, never too high or too low. The most excited I recall him being was after he caught the Super Bowl winning TD from Montana. I always appreciated his lack of flamboyance. I think he understood that we fans cheered when he made a catch or TD, not for any post-catch celebration. 49er fans from the 80’s and 90’s remember JT as a great and gracious winner. He ain’t under appreciated in my house.

    • Well said and I agree with you. He was a guy Montana could count on when he needed him. It is a shame that fans today have no idea who JT or even Roger Craig were but only know of Montana and Rice.

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