The Greatest Packers Ever to Wear Numbers 31-35

The Greatest Packers Ever to Wear Numbers 31-35

NFL

The Greatest Packers Ever to Wear Numbers 31-35

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This the next in my continuing series of articles of the best Green Bay Packers players of all-time by jersey number. This includes players from all 101 years of Packers football. Over the course of the franchise’s history, some of the greatest players in NFL history have suited up for the Packers and made their mark on the team and the league.

This article will examine numbers 31-35.  You can find 1-5 here, 6-10 here, 11-15 here, 16-20 here, 21-25 here and 26-30 here.

Keep in mind the players are listed by how they performed for the Packers only. Many players wore more than one number during their career. On this list, they are considered primarily for how long they wore each specific number and what they did while they wore it.

When possible, other great players who wore each number will get honorable mention. Feel free to comment and say who you feel belongs on this list.

I will release more articles in this series throughout the offseason.

31. Jim Taylor FB 1958-1966

Taylor 2

Jim Taylor was the engine that made the Packers offense go for most of the Lombardi dynasty years. The LSU alum rushed for more than 1,000 yards for five consecutive seasons from 1960-1964 and was the only player in NFL history to beat out the legendary Jim Brown and win a league rushing title.

Taylor was one tough customer and always said he’d rather punish potential tacklers rather than let them initiate contact with him.

His best season was 1962 when he led the NFL with 1,474 rushing yards and scored 19 touchdowns in 14 games. He was named the league’s MVP that season and led the Packers to a 13-1 record en route to their second straight NFL title game.

In the 1962 NFL Championship Game, Taylor ran the ball 31 times on a frozen field and helped the Packers defeat the New York Giants 16-7. He scored the game’s only offensive touchdown and took a real beating from future Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff but kept coming back for more.

Taylor scored the first rushing touchdown in Super Bowl history on a 14-yard run in the second quarter of Super Bowl I. He led all rushers with 56 yards in the game.

Taylor was the Packers all-time leading rusher with 8,207 yards when he retired. He is now second behind only Ahman Green.

Taylor was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Packers Hall of Fame in 1975. He passed away at the age of 83 on October 13, 2018.

Other notable Packers to wear number 31 include running back Gerry Ellis (1980-86) who was a big part of the Green Bay offense during the early 80s and a dual threat as a runner and receiver and cornerback Al Harris (2003-09) who scored the winning touchdown against the Seahawks in overtime with a pick six in the 2003 NFC playoffs.

32. Travis Jervey RB (1995-98)

Jervey

The Packers selected Travis Jervey in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft out of The Citadel. While Jervey never started more than five games in a season on offense, he did become the first Packers player to be selected to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player when he earned that honor after the 1997 season.

Jervey was a speedster who could chase down opposing return specialists with ease. He also returned kicks at times during his career with Green Bay.

Jervey’s best offensive season came in 1998 when he ran for 325 yards on 83 carries and scored his only rushing touchdown as a Packer. He suffered a broken ankle and played in only eight games that year. The following season he was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent.

Jervey spent four seasons with the Packers and gained 431 yards rushing. He was a special teams standout and fan favorite.

33. William Henderson FB 1998-2006

Henderson

Fullback typically don’t get a lot of attention, but William Henderson was an exception. Henderson’s toughness, his strong blocking ability and his consistency as an outlet receiver made him a fan favorite in Green Bay for years.

The Packers selected Henderson in the third round of the 1995 NFL Draft. The former North Carolina star wore number 30 for his first three seasons with the Packers before switching to 33 in 1998.

Henderson never gained more than 130 yards rushing in a season, but he was a consistent pass receiver catching 320 career passes in his 12 seasons with the Pack which placed him in the franchise’s all-time top 10 in receptions when he retired. His most productive season as a receiver was 1997 when he caught 41 passes for 367 yards and a score.

Henderson blocked for 1,000-yard rushers like Dorsey Levens, Ahman Green and Edgar Bennett. In 2004, Henderson was voted to the Pro Bowl and named to the postseason All-Pro team.

Henderson was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2011.

Other prominent Packers to wear 33 include CB Doug Evans (1993-97) a teammate of Henderson’s during the Packers two Super Bowl appearances in 1996 and 1997, RB Barty Smith (1974-80), a former first round pick who led the Packers in rushing in 1977, and FB Jim Grabowski (1966-70) one of the Packers famed “Gold Dust Twins” who led the Packers in rushing in 1967 and played on the first two Super Bowl championship teams.

34. Edgar Bennett RB 1992-96

EBennett

Edgar Bennett was a tough and strong runner for the Packers who later went on to serve as a running backs coach, receivers coach and as offensive coordinator.

Bennett was drafted by the Packers in the fourth round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He became a starter by his second season with the team and led the Packers in rushing yards in 1994, 1995 and 1996.

His best season came in 1995 when he rushed for 1,067 yards and the Packers reached the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the Ice Bowl.

Bennett had some strong playoff games with Green Bay. He gained 108 yards for the Packers in the team’s 37-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the 1995 playoffs and gained 99 yards in the 1996 NFC Championship Game against the Panthers.

An Achilles injury cost Bennett all the 1997 season. He spent 1998 and 1999 with the Bears before announcing his retirement from football.

Bennett was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2005.

Other prominent Packers to wear 34 include running back Terdell Middleton (1977-81) who gained 1,116 yards to lead the Packers offense in 1978.

35. Bob Flowers C/LB 1942-49

Flowers

The Packers signed Bob Flowers in 1942 while the NFL was struggling to find players because so many eligible players were serving in World War II.

Flowers played center and linebacker for the Packers and remained with the team until 1949.

His most productive defensive season came in 1948 when he intercepted four passes. He was a member of the Packers 1944 NFL Championship team.

The former Texas Tech product was mostly a backup during his Packers career, starting 17 games out of the 63 he played in Green Bay. He intercepted six passes and recovered two fumbles according to the incomplete statistics available from that era.

Flowers died December 8, 1962 at the age of 45.

Other prominent Packers to wear 35 include running back Michael Haddix (1989-90) who led the Packers in rushing yards in 1990 and RB Samkon Gado (2005-06) who led the team in rushing in 2005.

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