"Jimmy" Taylor was a star athlete at Baton Rouge High in Baton Rouge, LA. He played college football at LSU and was an All-American in 1957. His final game at LSU was a 25-6 victory over Tulane, that was the start of 22 game unbeaten streak for the Tigers.
Taylor was selected by the Packers in the second round of the 1958 NFL Draft, the 15th overall pick. He holds many Packers' records, including both career and single-season touchdowns. He was the Packers' all-time leading rusher until Ahman Green broke his record on November 8, 2009. He won the NFL rushing title in 1962, the only season that Jim Brown did not lead the league during his nine year career. Taylor's single-season yardage mark (1474) was not surpassed by a Packer until Ahman Green ran for 1883 yards in 2003 (a 16 game season as opposed to the 14 game 1962 season). At retirement, Taylor's 83 career rushing touchdowns placed him behind only Jim Brown.
Taylor was a member of four Packer NFL championship teams (1961, 1962, 1965, and 1966), where he was teamed in the backfield with halfback Paul Hornung. In the Packers 16-7 championship win over the New York Giants in 1962, Taylor set a championship record with 31 carries (for 85 yards) and scored Green Bay's only touchdown of the game. In Green Bay's 1965 championship win, he rushed for 97 yards. In January 1967, Taylor and the Packers played in Super Bowl I, in which they easily defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. Taylor was the top rusher of the game with 56 rushing yards and a touchdown (with his score being the first rushing touchdown in Super Bowl history).
Although not exceptional in size (6-0, 214 lbs.), Taylor was a physical fullback who often won legendary duels with linebackerSam Huff. Taylor was selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1960-64. He fumbled only 34 times in the 2,173 times he handled the ball (1.56% of his touches.)
In 1967, Taylor played a season with the expansion New Orleans Saints; a year later, he retired from pro football.
He finished his career with 8,597 yards and 83 rushing touchdowns, highlighted by his five straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons from 1960-1964. Taylor also caught 225 passes for 1756 yards and 10 touchdowns, and returned 7 kickoffs for 185 yards, giving him a total of 10,539 net yards and 93 touchdowns. His 8,207 rushing yards with the Packers remained a franchise record until Ahman Green surpassed it on November 8, 2009.
Taylor was the first running back in NFL history to gain over 1,000 for five consecutive seasons.