Does Jordy Nelson Deserve to Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame just announced their class of 2023 and it included some very deserving former players like Joe Thomas, Darelle Revis and Ronde Barber.

One of the players who will be eligible for the Hall for the first time next year is former Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Nelson will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame this year and is fully deserving of the honor but does he deserve serious consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio?

Nelson is an all-time great Packer player. He spent nine seasons with the Packers between 2008 and 2017 while missing the entire 2015 season due to injury. The former Kansas State star caught 613 passes in his career including 550 as a Packer. For his career, he had 8,587 receiving yards and 72 touchdowns.

His best season came in 2014 when he caught a career-high 98 passes for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns. He earned Pro Bowl honors that year for the only time in his career.

Nelson was also a standout in the playoffs for the Packers. In 13 postseason games, Nelson caught 54 passes for 668 yards and five touchdowns. He was a big part of the Packers Super Bowl XLV winning team. He caught eight passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in the NFC Division Playoff win over the Falcons and had nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Nelson’s Packers teammates certainly appreciated what he brought to the team. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers posted this on Instagram when the Packers released Nelson in 2018, “Hard to find the right words today to express what 87 means to me. No teammate exemplified what it means to be a packer quite like him. From living in GB full time, his incredible contributions to the city, state, and region, to his consistent, reliable play on the field. Definitely a sad day and the toughest part of this business. There will never be another quite like white lightning.”

Nelson’s place in Packers history is secure. He is fourth all-time among Packers receivers with 550 career catches, sixth in yards with 7,848 and third in touchdowns with 69.

There is no doubt Nelson belongs in the Packers Hall of Fame but the Pro Football Hall of Fame is another level altogether and Nelson probably falls short of the mark.

The key to being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is dominance. Nelson doesn’t quite measure up at the position. He had four seasons of 1,000 or more yards in his career and  had three seasons of 10 or more touchdowns. He never led the NFL in catches or receiving yards and led the league in touchdowns just once in 2016. He was never named All Pro.

In 2016, Nelson did win the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Award and he deserved it. He returned from the torn ACL that cost him the entire 2015 season and caught 97 passes for 1,257 yards and a league-best 14 touchdowns. The performance was inspiring and impressive but it remains his only postseason NFL award.

Four times during his career, Nelson was named one of the top 100 players in the game in a vote taken by the players known as NFL Top 100. He finished in the top 20 only once and that came in 2015 when he was ranked 18th. His other finishes were 48th in 2017, 80th in 2012 and 83rd in 2014. These are good numbers but not quite Hall of Fame caliber.

By comparison, former Packers receiver Sterling Sharpe was more dominant and deserves greater consideration from the Pro Football Hall of Fame than Nelson. Sharpe led the league in catches three time during his seven-year NFL career, was named to the Pro Bowl five times and was All Pro three times. He set a new NFL record for most catches in a season in 1992 with 108 and then broke his own record the following season with 112. Sharpe had five seasons of 1,000 yards or more, led the league in receiving yards once and touchdown catches twice.

Wide receiver is a tough position to get into the Hall of Fame. There seems to be a glut of players who wait too long to get in because of the higher stats modern players have due to the way the game has evolved.

Overall, Jordy Nelson was a great Packer, a great football player but not quite dominant enough to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

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1 points
 

Comments (29)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Heyward's picture

February 11, 2023 at 12:15 pm

Outside of Jordy's family, I doubt his chances of getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame have been discussed by anyone.

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Savage57's picture

February 12, 2023 at 04:54 am

If the asshat Gutekunst doesn't foul the bed and instead cuts Cobb rather than Jordy, Nelson stays with the Packers three more years and those numbers top 10K yards, close to triple digits in TD's and he waits his five years for his Canton call.

-2 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

February 11, 2023 at 12:15 pm

No, according to the article.

If it were a HOF on character, he'd already be in.

My guess is he doesn't make it, because he always kept his head down and never caused any unnecessary talk. He was a great Packer. Better than most, but because he wasn't flamboyant, never drew the media attention other WRs did.

He was a superstar for a 2nd round pick and if he hadn't missed a whole season from the ACL injury, he would probably be a shoe in...

9 points
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Starrbrite's picture

February 12, 2023 at 01:19 pm

Well said

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 13, 2023 at 02:59 am

Nelson was a big-play receiver while at the same time he was a chain-mover. I can't remember all of his 6 yard receptions on 3rd and 5, many of them thrown at his shins where only he could catch it.

0 points
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splitpea1's picture

February 11, 2023 at 12:29 pm

No. Especially when Torry Holt has yet to get in with approximately 50% more receptions and total yardage (even though it's turf), and is a member of an all-decade team.

I was happy to see Chuck Howley get in. Damn, he had to wait a long time!

4 points
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Ima Payne's picture

February 11, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Love Jordy as everyone does but I dont think those numbers will cut it.
No Pro bowls kind of kills it. Some of the names up for consideration this year have me scratching my head: Ronde Barber?? I'm tired of these guys with stats because they played a million years.
Told wife the old days of 12 games a year I saw some great players who obviously put up lesser numbers then some of these 16 game a year people who also stay around a year too long to pad their stats.
The old days, the guys who started to dip, quit the game. Most didnt stick around as has beens unless they needed the money.

I remember a rb (50's) Howard "hopalong " Cassiday. He had a great career as a Ram. Ended up on the Lions and his stick of avoiding tackles aka Sanders, didnt work. He lost two or more steps and was a joke by then. Sad to see that even as a young kid I knew it wasnt a good thing.

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 11, 2023 at 12:42 pm

NO...more or less 10 NFL seasons. 8-1000+ YD.Seasons. 5-7 pro bowls and 4 all pros. 10,000 total yds. 100+ TDS.

3 points
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Big_Mel_75's picture

February 13, 2023 at 09:39 am

I agree that Jordy didn't do enough for HOF career. But can we still count Pro bowls as meaning anything these days? I mean a back up QB was selected to the pro bowl this year. How going forward can pro bowls be counted as a meaningful stat? Really ever sense they moved the pro bowl to before the super bowl more and more people who didn't earn it were getting in...

0 points
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MooPack's picture

February 11, 2023 at 01:07 pm

I'd say no, as much as that hurts to say. However, I've never seen a WR make back shoulder catches better than Jordy. When he and Rodgers were on, it was hard to stop.

6 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

February 11, 2023 at 01:22 pm

Yes. Jordy might be the most underrated player in the history of the sport. His run from 2011-2016 (minus 2015 acl year) was right there with Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitz, whom nobody questions if theyre hall of famers or not. But Jordy was always slighted for playing with Rodgers like he was only good because of him.

3 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

February 11, 2023 at 03:44 pm

Jordy was an all-time great Packer. As someone else mentioned, those back shoulder catches were a thing of beauty. But comparing him to Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson is a bit over the top. While that 5 year stretch you brought up might be valid, those guys did that pretty much their entire careers, not just for 5 years.

Enjoy his well deserved induction into the Packers Hall of Fame.

4 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

February 11, 2023 at 04:12 pm

I dont agree that its over the top. Remember in 2010 when this team was 6-6? A big reason they blew up and went on to win that super bowl was because of Jordy. That was right when Jordy broke out and Rodgers' best years coincided with Jordy's breakout. He was also a huge reason Rodgers won MVP'S in 2011 and 2014. His presence was also greatly missed in 2015 when the offense fell apart without him. People love to talk about Adams being one of the best in football but Jordy never got that kind of credit despite the fact that he was every bit as good as Adams, if not better. He could do everything Adams could do except he could run right by an entire secondary too. People forget that when it was time for a big play, Jordy made it every single time. Rodgers to Jordy had the highest rating of any duo in the history of the sport. And i dont care about lack of longevity when theres guys like Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, and Terrell Davis already in the hall of fame. Like i said in my OP, Jordy is one of the most underated players ever. He was unbelievable and never got the credit he was due.

0 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

February 11, 2023 at 01:43 pm

If the bar to be inducted keeps getting lowered, everyone will get in, eventually. I love Jordy Nelson, but thinking him as HOF worthy, speaks to the truth of my first sentence.

5 points
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MooPack's picture

February 11, 2023 at 02:20 pm

I made a buck fitty selling Mark Murphy autographed pictures in the GB parking lot. Besides being heckled and spat on, it was a life changing hour of my life.

5 points
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NickPerry's picture

February 11, 2023 at 02:22 pm

I love me some Jordy Nelson, he was definitely a Packers HOF player. But the Pro Football HOF...That's a different story. However, I believe with all my heart Sterling Sharpe belongs in the HOF. What he did in the short time he played was remarkable. Had he been more "Media Friendly" he'd have a much, much, better shot. IMO though he DESERVES to be in Canton.

5 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

February 11, 2023 at 03:05 pm

When I think of a Hall of Fame for football, I want to think of players like Bart Starr, Dick Butkus, Jim Brown, and Walter Payton for examples where I could walk into the building in Canton Ohio and look at every player bust and as an avid football fan immediately recognize the face on the player bust and think that guy was really something special.

It seems to me that the standards to be selected for that famed honor have been lowered over the years and I would hate to see it become labeled "The Hall of The Very Good". It wouldn't be the end of the world if there were years that the section committee determined that no one has met the very high standards required to enter our Hall of Fame for professional football players.

2 points
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Heyward's picture

February 11, 2023 at 03:58 pm

It’s already the Hall of Very Good. Look at the list of inductees. Meanwhile, a truly great player like Sterling Sharpe can’t get in.

4 points
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Leatherhead's picture

February 11, 2023 at 03:57 pm

When Anthony Barr knocked Rodgers out of the game in 2017, Jordy was among the league leaders in TD receptions, and it was noted that a couple of more seasons would put him in HOF territory. He only scored a few more TDs and finished with 72 career TD receptions.

That's more than Julio Jones, more than AJ Green, more than Sterling Sharpe, more than Greg Jennings. And all of these guys were regarded as top WRs at some point in their career. In the wonderful world of what might-have-been, Rodgers doesn't get hurt and Jordy catches another 20 TD passes for us, and then he'd be in HOF territory for sure. He'd be right there with Megatron.

He was a favorite player of mine, and he was a really good player, but I think he belongs in the Hall of Really Good.

7 points
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Since'61's picture

February 11, 2023 at 04:02 pm

Jordy was a great Packer but what hurts Jordy's chances for the NFL HOF is that he never had a 100 reception season and he never earned All-Pro. In the pass happy era in which he played I think you need to have a few of those elite receiver seasons and probably 10+ year career to make it to the NFL HOF. Jordy was one of those players the Packers should have resigned. He was one of the few who was worth keeping a year too long but the Packers let him go a year too early at least. He could have played his entire career in Green Bay and he deserved to do so. He is a shoe in for the Packers HOF. Thanks, Since '61

9 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 12, 2023 at 03:19 pm

When Gute took over the Packers were pretty bad. Gute started cutting salary and Jordy didn't due much when AR went down. Gute started with the WR's, Safeties, LB's and OL and freed up cash to get younger and drafted questionably. The defense was really bad and improved with FA's. The OL was propped up with FA's. The biggest problem was not giving AR more than #1 WR DA to work with at the #2 WR position. That is the poorest job Gute has done for the franchise other than dealing the #1 WR and not replacing him with another. These 2 things have kept us from a trophy as far as I'm concerned.

0 points
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Spanky65's picture

February 11, 2023 at 04:12 pm

Before considering Jordy for the HOF I would consider
another Packer WR for the HOF, Donald Driver.

From a 7th Round selection in 1999 to being one of
the top WR's in the early to mid 2000's and playing for
two QB'S Favre and Rodgers and still being able to put
up high numbers with both QB'S . Granted that one QB
is already a Hall Of Famer and the second for sure to be
one in the future still Donald far exceeded his draft status
during his 14 years with the Packers and should definitely
be considered for the HOF in the near future

Also is about time that the HOF got one selection right
which was way overdue and that is Zach Thomas who was
by far one of the best LB's during his career and far exceeded
his expectations as a 5th Round Pick

4 points
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canadapacker's picture

February 11, 2023 at 08:42 pm

Loved him as a Packer - sneaky good - cant believe how good he was getting open and especially catching the ball and keeping his feet in bounds. But unfortunately - like most who dont have the longevity - not quite good enough to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame - but one of my favourite Packers and not one to go and snipe against fellow Packers either.

3 points
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pantz_bURp's picture

February 11, 2023 at 10:06 pm

I loved Jordy and Double D. Their smiles were infectious. I was blessed to experience a Lambeau Leap with each of them - I was surprised how slight Double D was and how big Jordy was!

Yep, so cool to watch their success and how humble they were (are).

✌️

0 points
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joel_wall's picture

February 12, 2023 at 01:24 am

Jordy was an All Time Packer and I can’t wait to see his name up in Lambeau, but he won’t have a bust in Canton. That pre season injury was was devastating. The fact that he came back and won comeback player of the year tells you what kind of player he was though. Sterling was a whole different story. Absolutely Dominant! Now that man deserves to be in Canton!

1 points
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croatpackfan's picture

February 12, 2023 at 02:45 am

Jordy is in the HOF of my heart. For me it is the highest recognition I can give to the player. I do not care who is in Canton HOF or somewhere else. For me Jordy was true professional, who worked on himself, rise over average players to the most reliable WR.

I also noticed that nobody came with stat info about % of catches he made while he was playing.

5 points
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pantz_bURp's picture

February 12, 2023 at 07:55 am

Nicely stated Croatpf...thanks.

1 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

February 12, 2023 at 08:29 am

No

2 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 13, 2023 at 03:41 am

Ronnie James Dio ought to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

0 points
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