Is Lawrence Taylor the player you’d rather have before anyone else in NFL history?
If you were constructing an NFL team from scratch, with every player in league history available, who would you take first?
With The MMQB’s All-Time Draft project, we get to learn how some of football’s brightest minds would answer that question.
The MMQB enlisted 12 former NFL executives, players and writers to draft teams constructed of players from across the entire history of the NFL. When longtime NFL exec Joel Bussert was on the clock at No. 1, he knew who he had to take: Lawrence Taylor.
“For me it was a no-brainer, because even before the order came out I said if I have a chance to get LT I am going to take him,” Bussert said. “When you talk about the greatest defensive player, it’s almost always LT, but there are way more names thrown out when you talk about the greatest offensive player. The tilt is more toward the Hall of Fame on offense.”
No one struck fear into the hearts of quarterbacks like Taylor, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.
Taylor was the second pick in the 1981 NFL draft, behind running back George Rogers. Rogers had a nice career, leading the NFL in rushing yards and making three Pro Bowls, but he never reached the heights Taylor did.
Taylor wasn’t universally admired by the guys in the MMQB draft, though. Former Packers beat writer Bob McGinn thinks Reggie White has the edge over Taylor.
“White to me is the greatest defensive lineman of all time, personally I think he’s the greatest defensive player of all time, but I saw him here firsthand in Green Bay for seven or eight years,” McGinn said.