20

February

Packers Donald Driver: 2012 Player Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: With the exception of Bart Starr, there may not be a more popular Packer than Donald Driver. But everyone’s favorite Driver entered the 2012 with perhaps the lowest expectations of his career. Through training camp, Driver still looked like he belonged. But playing behind Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb, Driver’s opportunities figured to be limited this season.

2) Profile:

Donald Jerome Driver

  • Age: 38
  • Born: 02/02/1975, in Houston, TX
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 194
  • College: Alcorn State
  • Rookie Year: 1999
  • NFL Experience: 14 years

 Career stats and more:

3) Expectations coming into the season: Because the Packers were so deep at the position to start the season, Driver wasn’t expected to be a difference-maker within the offense. In fact, some even questioned whether or not the team should use a roster spot on the aging wide receiver. But nonetheless, the Packers decided to keep Driver around for one more season.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: The highlight of Driver’s season was week two against the Chicago Bears. Leading 16-3 in the fourth quarter, Aaron Rodgers hit Driver for a 26-yard touchdown. It was Driver’s only reception of the game and the first of just two scores on the season. As far as low-lights, Driver was a healthy scratch four times in 2012. Starting with the Dec. 2 matchup against the Vikings, Driver missed three of the team’s final five games of the regular season. He was also inactive against the Vikings in the wild card round of the playoffs.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Driver caught just eight passes in 14 appearances this season, so his on-field contributions to the team’s success were clearly minimal. His eight receptions and 77 receiving yards were his lowest totals since his rookie season in 1999.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: After being declared inactive in the wild card round against the Vikings, Driver suited up against the San Francisco 49ers. He was in uniform but didn’t have an impact on the game, as he was held without a catch.

Season Report Card:

(C) Level of expectations met during the season

(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(F) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: 80 percent (And a huge thanks for a great career.)

10

February

Donald Driver: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Donald Driver

Donald Driver

1) Introduction: After completing his 13th season with the Packers, Donald Driver knows his career is in its final years. There is speculation about him being released by Green Bay before next season, especially with the current depth and youth of the receiving corps. Still, he has been a staple for this offense for most of his professional career. As it stands, he is the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions (735) and receiving yards (10,060), putting him in the same company as James Lofton, Antonio Freeman, and Sterling Sharpe.

2) Profile:

Donald Jerome Driver

Position: WR
Height: 6-0
Weight: 194 lbs.
AGE: 36

Career Stats: http://www.packers.com/team/roster/Donald-Driver/235d2adb-c2f3-4a11-9b5b-ec7e506087e0

3) Expectations coming into the season: If you go by the official depth chart, Donald Driver was second only to Greg Jennings; however, many assumed this would be in title only. At his age, one could only expect a moderate level of production, especially with the threat of an injury similar to what he suffered last season.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: In 2011, Donald Driver became the first Packer with 10,000 career receiving yards, breaking James Lofton’s 1986 record of 9,656 yards. One of his biggest plays on the highlight reel was a sideline touchdown catch against the New York Giants on December 4th, giving the Packers an 8-point lead with only three and a half minutes to go in the game. The low point this year for Donald Driver was essentially the first half of the season. His snap counts declined steadily and from Week 2 to Week 8, he never topped 25 yards in a game and only accounted for 3 first downs and two touchdowns.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: “Old Reliable” would be an accurate nickname for Donald Driver this season. Well beyond his prime, his production in 2011 was the lowest it’s been since 2001, when he was in his third season. He broke the 50-yard mark in only 3 of the year’s 17 games and was under 20 yards in 8 of them. However, his veteran reliability in the later half of the season was a welcome relief from some of the mistakes being made by other receivers. Though his workload was scaled back, it’s clear Donald Driver still has some football left in him.