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March

Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations — Offense — Jordy Nelson

1) Introduction: A former second round pick in 2008, Packers receiver Jordy Nelson has turned in a few productive yet unspectacular seasons during his first two years in Green Bay. Nelson averaged just over 27 catches and 343 yards per season from 2008-2009—numbers un-befitting a top 40 draft selection.

Heading into the 2010 season, one could have than made the argument that Nelson was the fourth, or maybe fifth, target in the Green Bay Packers passing game. With injuries to both Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley, however, Nelson began to emerge as a potential threat and had a breakout postseason.

2) Profile:

Jordy Ray Nelson

Position: WR
Height: 6-3    Weight: 215 lbs.

Born: May 31, 1985 in Manhattan, KS
College: Kansas State (school history)    (Nelson college stats)
Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 2nd round (36th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.

3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: Somewhat low, but also unsure. Nelson started the season buried on the depth chart behind Greg Jennings, Driver and James Jones, and Finley was sure to become a focal point of the offense. Still, everyone knew that Nelson was capable of being a play-maker, but his lack of production in two previous seasons tempered any lofty expectations for 2010.

4) Player’s highlights/lowlights: Nelson had plenty of highlights during the season, and he capped it off with an impressive performance in the Super Bowl (9 receptions, 140 yards, 1 TD). Against the Steelers, Nelson caught the game’s first touchdown (29 yards) and set up the Packers final points with a catch-and-run play of 38 yards.

Nelson also had two important catches in the regular season. The first came in Week 12, where Nelson’s 10-yard TD catch in Atlanta tied the game at 17 with 57 seconds left in the game. His second—an 80-yard TD—opened the scoring in a must-win against the Giants in Week 16.

His season also had some low points, however. In Week 4 against the Lions, Nelson lost two fumbles that nearly cost the Packers a victory. He was promptly removed from kickoff return duties after that showing.

And despite his impressive statistical showing at the Super Bowl, Nelson also had three credited drops that potentially kept the Packers off the scoreboard. Overall, Nelson dropped more passes this season (10) than in his two previous years combined.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Nelson had just six catches in the season’s first four weeks, but he slowly became more of a factor once Finley was hurt in Washington. From that point on, Nelson caught 39 passes for 523 yards in the final 12 regular season games. While those aren’t staggering numbers, Nelson ranked second on the team in receptions after Finley was lost and was pivotal for the Packers during the stretch-run.

6) Player’s contributions during the 6-win end-of-season run: Nelson really shined once the stakes got higher for the Packers. During the final six games of the season, Nelson caught 27 passes for 449 yards and three touchdowns—far and away the best stretch of his career.

Nelson’s 80-yard touchdown against the Giants jumpstarted the Packers to a 45-point afternoon, and he finished the game with a then career-best 124 yards receiving. The next three games (Week 17-NFC Championship), Nelson registered 14 receptions and 185 yards before exploding onto the national stage at the Super Bowl.

He might always be remembered for his performance in Dallas, but Nelson was an impact player throughout the Packers’ final six-game winning streak.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(B-) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(A-)
Contributions to team’s success during the playoff run (last 6 games)

Overall Grade for the year: B

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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6 Responses to “Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations — Offense — Jordy Nelson”

  1. John Rehor John Rehor says:

    Still not entirely sold on Nelson. Not saying he is not a good player, but I wonder how much his improvement was forced by the loss of Finely. He was great in the playoffs, but dropped 10 this season. Because of that, think your overall “B” is a little high-I’d put him closer to a “B-” overall, but that’s me.

    If Jones and Nelson could be morphed into one player, the Packers would have one heck of a #2 receiver.

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  2. Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

    “but I wonder how much his improvement was forced by the loss of Finley”.???
    I say,it was great to see how much more he could do with his ability because of Finleys loss.Which was being looked at with doubt along with Jones.Thankfully,the true cream of the crop,of Nelson/Jones is now decided. RIGHT!

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  3. ELong says:

    I thought Nelson made many clutch receptions this year. The whole team had a dose of the droppsies – even Jennings (remember the Lions loss) and Driver made there share of drops. I’m OK with the B grade and I think Nelson has a spot as the #4 guy. With MM’s affinity for the spread offense, he should continue to be a key contributor. I’m hoping Edgar will being some new discipline to the whole receiving core and reduce the number of drops next year.

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  4. Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

    I admit that I have been in Nelson’s corner since draft day. I really envisioned him becoming a valuable possession receiver with the added ability to generate YAC. I’ve been pretty disappointed with his drops, and I think it’s because he is thinking too much about what he’s about to do after the catch. If he can focus totally on making the catch, I’ll be very happy with him.

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  5. Zach Kruse Zach Kruse says:

    We’ll be able to judge Jordy better after next season. Can he build on his postseason? If Jones leaves, can he pick up that production lost? Can he be a true No. 2 with Driver slipping? 2011 is HUGE for Jordy Nelson.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I don’t know if he can be a #2, but with Finley back, he wouldn’t be any higher than #3 anyway. At this point, I’m counting Finley in the receiver group.

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