Greatest 49ers of all time: No. 26 – John Taylor
Career Stats with 49ers: 347 receptions, 5,598 receiving yards, 43 receiving TDs, six carries, 31 rushing yards, 10.2 yards per punt return, two punt return touchdowns
John Taylor is one of those guys who often gets overlooked. Why? Because he was essentially Robin to Jerry Rice’s Batman, which isn’t an easy role to play no matter who you are.
Still, Taylor played the role with gusto, doing little more than torch opposing secondaries when given the opportunity. Especially with teams focused on slowing Rice, it gave the 49ers’ No. 2 receiver a chance to make his distinctive mark on the game.
Taylor also offered added value as a returner, and there was plenty of it. In 1988, he led the league in yards per punt return, earning one of his two Pro Bowl trips. The other Pro Bowl trip would come as a receiver a year later, after an impressive 1,000-yard season punctuated by ten receiving touchdowns.
Was Taylor a star for the 49ers? Not entirely. However, the presence of Rice made life both easier and more difficult for him in different regards. Still, he was a prominent playmaker for three of the 49ers’ Super Bowl teams, earning him a spot on this list.