10. Greg Jennings (2006-2012):
Jennings is a classic case of a guy choosing money over legacy. I can’t blame him, he did what he thought was best for his family. But had he remained with the Packers, he’d likely be near the top of this list. He was on pace to become one of the most prolific offensive players in team history. Two 1,200+ receiving yard seasons and two 12 touchdown seasons alone are nothing to scoff at. But he already had 53 touchdown receptions by the age of 29 when he left the Packers.
Even so, his legacy is firmly planted due to his huge game in Super Bowl XLV. Jennings caught two touchdowns (and made a game-saving third down catch) in the victory and ended his Packers’ career with six playoff touchdowns in just eight starts at wide receiver. Not too shabby.
9. Boyd Dowler (1959-1969):
I think it’s safe to say that Dowler was Bart Starr’s favorite target during the Packers’ dynasty run in the 1960s. Dowler was as consistent as a receiver of his era could be and that is evident by his eight years of at least 500+ receiving yards in 10 seasons in Green Bay. The two-time Pro Bowler caught 40 touchdowns in his career and added five more in the playoffs.
However it was his mark on the Packers in the postseason that really seals his legacy. In Green Bay’s five Championship postseasons he caught 29 passes. Dowler has a ring for each finger and caught three touchdowns in the 1967 postseason alone (when the Packers captured Super Bowl II). His consistency in the 1960s undoubtedly helped guide the Packers to territory uncharted in NFL history.
8. Billy Howton (1952-1958):
In just seven years in Green Bay, playing on some of the worst teams in franchise history, Howton still shined with absolute greatness. He was one of the greatest deep threats in NFL history at the time of his retirement. In 1956, he led the league in touchdown receptions (12) and receiving yards (1,188). Although in his rookie season he led the league with a staggering 1,231 receiving yards.
Howton’s 43 touchdowns in 303 receptions with the Packers, playing with the teammates he did, was nothing short extraordinary. Four times a Pro Bowler and twice named First Team All-Pro, he was one of the best players of Green Bay’s “wilderness” era. However, he isn’t the highest ranking player on this list to wear the number 86.
7. Antonio Freeman (1995-2001, 2003):
Brett Favre’s most frequent receiving target slots in at number six on this list. Despite his spectacular play, a current Packers receiver is actually ahead of him on this list. Nevertheless, Freeman was a wildly-entertaining receiver that made his fair share of iconic receptions. The Monday Night “He did what?” overtime game comes to mind, as do his two long-ball touchdowns in Green Bay’s Super Bowl XXXI victory.
His 57 receiving touchdowns are impressive, as were his three consecutive 1,000 yards seasons from 1997-99 (or five straight 900+ yard seasons from 1996-2000). His 1998 season sticks out the most, as he was named First Team All-Pro for his 14 touchdown, 1,424 yard effort. Although the most amazing part of Freeman’s career are his 10 career postseason touchdowns in 10 career postseason starts. Wow. Few receivers have ever produced like that in NFL history in the playoffs.
The fact that Freeman comes in at sixth on this list shows you how stacked Green Bay has been with star receivers.
6. Jordy Nelson (2008-2017):
Nelson broke into the league the same year Aaron Rodgers became the Packers’ starter and the two have been dynamic ever since. In his third season he played a large role in Green Bay’s Super Bowl victory (scoring the first points on a pass from Rodgers), but it wasn’t until his fourth season that his career really took off. Four times he’s surpassed 1,200 yards receiving and his career high was an incredible 1,519 yards in 2014, the only year he’s been named to the Pro Bowl. Somehow.
The back shoulder throws from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson is one of the more iconic plays in the history of the Packers. At its best, it was indefensible.
Nelson spent the 2015 season on the sideline with an injury sustained in the preseason, but came back to lead the NFL in touchdown receptions (14) in 2016. He was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. He amassed 69 career touchdown receptions (with the Packers, 72 in his career). Which is good for second-most in franchise history. Although we have him ranked fifth, there’s an argument for him to go all the way up to second all-time. Driver’s longevity, Lofton’s Canton enshrinement, and Sharpe’s per-game stats just barely edge him out.
The best of the best are next!