Linebacker, New York Giants
6th season in pro football & with Giants
College: North Carolina
Height: 6’3” Weight: 243
Chosen in the first round by the Giants in 1981, Taylor had an immediate impact as a rookie. Not only was he the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a consensus first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection, but he was selected as NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the AP. With his attacking style of play, he almost immediately set new standards for outside linebackers and was a consensus first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in each of his first five seasons and NFL Defensive Player of the Year again in 1982.
1986 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 16 games
(Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20)
Sacks – 20.5 (1)
Most sacks, game – 4 vs. Philadelphia 10/12
Multi-sack games (2 or more) - 6
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Postseason: 3 G
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 1
Int. return yards – 34
TD – 1
Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: AP, PFWA, Bert Bell Trophy, Sporting News
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFW, NEA, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Giants went 14-2 to win NFC East and led the NFL in defense against the run (1284 yards / 80.3 yards per game) and were second in fewest points surrendered (236). Won NFC Divisional playoff over San Francisco 49ers (49-3), NFC Championship over Washington Redskins (17-0), and Super Bowl over Denver Broncos (39-20).
Taylor continued to be the leader of the Giants defense, achieving consensus first-team All Pro honors twice more and being selected to four more Pro Bowls (for a total of 10 consecutive, going back to his rookie year). He retired following the 1993 season, with 132.5 career sacks, and his #56 was retired by the Giants. Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1999.
MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).