The 1964 NFL Draft class is historic; eleven players from the 1964 class have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, more than any other draft class. There are Super Bowl heroes and NFL champions like Roger Staubach and Leroy Kelly. And then there are those who needed to rely more on their personal talents, given their lack of team achievements. Like Charley Taylor.
Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a wide receiver. But coming into the NFL, he had never played a down of receiver in his life. In college at Arizona State, he was a two-way player, contributing as both a running back and a defensive back.
When Taylor was drafted by the Redskins, he started as a running back, earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors at that position in his first year. Over his first two years, however, he gradually underwent a transition to wide receiver, and in 1966, he was fully immersed at his new position.
It didn’t take long for Taylor to thrive in his new role. In 1966, his first year playing predominantly at wide receiver, he broke the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards, amassing 72 catches and 12 touchdowns. He never again broke the 1,000-yard mark, but for 11 more years, he would serve as the Redskins’ No. 1 receiver, averaging around 700 yards a year.
By the end of his career, Taylor was the all-time leader in receiving yards in the NFL. Although he only went to one Super Bowl, which he lost, his personal accolades were too much to keep him from getting a gold jacket in 1984. Taylor is easily one of the Redskins’ best first-round picks in history. But he’s not the best wide receiver on this list.