One of the most feared defensive football players of all time, Taylor, a Hall of Fame linebacker for the New York Giants, is remembered for his brutal effectiveness on the field and his drug problems off it.
Born in Williamsburg, Virginia, Taylor got his start playing as a defensive lineman at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He fortuitously switched to linebacker his junior year, was selected as an All-American, and was drafted by the New York Giants in 1981, where he spent the duration of his career. Named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, he helped boost the Giants' number of wins and even played in the playoffs, where he began developing his reckless yet efficient playing style. Although the Giants' success fluctuated in the early 80s, Taylor helped lead the team to a Super Bowl victories in 1986 (snagging the MVP title while he was at it) and 1990. A ten time Pro Bowl and All-Pro pick, Taylor saw his playing decline by the early 90s and retired in 1993. He followed up his NFL career as a color commentator for sporting events and even attempted a brief acting career. However, Taylor may be just as well known for his antics off the field—an admitted cocaine user, he found himself suspended for failing drug tests more than once, was jailed three times for drug possession, and pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct involving a teenage girl in 2011. [Image via AP]