Taylor played his entire career in Washington, accruing eight Pro Bowl nods, two NFL receptions titles and the 1964 Rookie of the Year Award. He retired with 9,110 career receiving yards, most in NFL history at that point, and 1,488 rushing yards.
Washington drafted Taylor third overall out of Arizona State in the 1964 draft, eventually signing him over the Houston Oilers, who selected him ninth overall in the AFL draft that year. Despite playing primarily as a halfback in Tempe, it didn't take long for Washington to figure out what kind of threat he would present as a receiver.
Taylor burst onto the scene as a rookie with 814 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 53 receptions plus 755 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground. It was the first time in 20 years that a rookie ranked in the top 10 of both rushing and receiving yards.
The switch to full-time receiving duties came in 1966, and the results spoke for themselves.
Taylor remains Washington's all-time record holder in receiving touchdowns with 79, and ranks behind only fellow Hall of Famer Art Monk in receptions and receiving yards. He's even still in the top 25 on the rushing yards and rushing touchdowns list, a testament to his versatility.
Per Washington, Taylor is one of only five players in NFL history with at least 5,000 receiving yards, 1,000 rushing yards and 80 total touchdowns. The other four are all Hall of Famers: Marshall Faulk, Bobby Mitchell, Lenny Moore and Marcus Allen.
With that résumé, Taylor was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton in 1984.
Washington owner Dan Snyder and his wife Tanya mourned the loss in a statement:
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Taylor family 💛 pic.twitter.com/847GLRIjLX
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) February 19, 2022
After retirement, Taylor worked as a scout in Washington's front office and later as a receivers coach under head coach Joe Gibbs. He is survived by his wife of more than five decades, three children and several grandchildren, per The Washington Post.