Packers All-Time Players (The 25 Finalists) Peak Seasons

The 25 finalists for greatest Packers of all-time are revealed.

After weeks of voting and review of the careers of the greatest players in the history of the Green Bay Packers, we have come up with the 25 finalists who will be voted on to determine, who the top ten Green Bay Packers of all-time will be.  The largest aspect that determined this list was the NFL Hall of Fame, All-Pro selections, The Packers Ring of Honor, The Packers Hall of Fame, incredible individual performances, winning seasons, and impact on the franchise.  Some of these players won more than others, and some incredible players were left off of the list of finalists.  This was an incredibly difficult task, but after almost a month of input, voting, and research here are the 25 finalists (not ranked from greatest to least).

For this, the final week of voting, I will attempt to paint a picture of the peak four years of every finalists Packer career.  

  • James Lofton HOF, 1x All-Pro, Peak four seasons: 1980-81, 1983-84, Average Receptions Per Season: 65.5, Average Yards Per Reception: 19.975, Average Yards Per Season: 1295.25, Average Touchdowns Per Season: 6.75.  
  • Forrest Gregg HOF, 7x All-Pro, (3x Super Bowl Champion (2 with Packers)), 5x NFL Champion, Peak four seasons: 1962-65 (4x All-Pro Right Tackle), helped anchor the right side of the Packers incredible offensive line during the Lombardi years.
  • Mike Michalske HOF, 5x All-Pro, 3x NFL Champion, Packers 3x All-Pro Left Guard
  • Willie Wood HOF, 5x All-Pro, (2x Super Bowl Champion), 5x NFL Champion, Peak four seasons: 1962-63,1967,1970 (shows the consistency of his career) Average INT: 6.75, Average Fumble Recoveries 1.75, Lead the NFL in Punt Return Touchdowns in 1961 (2) and Average Yards Per Punt Return in 1964 (13.3)  
  • Jim Ringo HOF, 6x All-Pro, 2x NFL Champion, Packers All-Pro Center (1957, 1959-63) 
  • Herb Adderly HOF, 4x All-Pro, 5x NFL Champion (With Packers), (2x Super Bowl Champion), Peak four seasons: 1962-63, 1965-66, Average INTs per season: 5.5, Average INT returned for touchdown: 1.25, Average Forced Fumbles 1.25, Averaged Fumbles Recovered: 2.25, Average Yards Per Kick Return: 25.7, Best two seasons 1962, 1965; 1962 Season: 7 INT, 1 Touchdown, 2 Forced Fumbles, 4 Fumble Recoveries; 1965 Season: 6 INT, 3 Touchdowns, 1 Forced Fumble, 3 Fumble Recoveries.  
  • Clarke Hinkle HOF, 4x All-Pro, 2x NFL Champion, The bulk of Hinkle's career was played during the pre WWII years, Peak four seasons: 1933,1936-37,1941 Average Rushing Yards Per Season: 458.5 , Average Yards Per Touch: 4.05 , Average Touchdowns: 4.75 
  • Robert (Cal) Hubbard HOF, 4x All-Pro, 4x NFL Champion, Two way player, made the most impact for the Packers at left tackle, Peak four seasons: 1930-33 (3x- All-Pro)
  • Henry Jordan HOF, 5x All-Pro,(2x Super Bowl Champion), 5x NFL Champion, Peak four season: 1960, 62-64, Average Fumble recoveries: 3.25, Modern statistics were not charted during his hall of fame career, but his 5 all-pro selections display the impact that he had on the right side of Lombardi's defense.   
  • Tony Canaedo HOF, 1x All-Pro, 1x NFL Champion, Played on offense, defense, and special teams, one of the NFL's first thousand yard rushers (depending on who you believe) Peak four seasons: 1943,47-49, Average Yards: 648.5 yards (1,052 rushing yards in 1949), Average Yards Per Carry: 4.9, Average Touchdowns: 3.25, Threw for 9 passing touchdowns during his all-pro season in 1943, punted, and returned kicks as well.  
  • Don Hutson HOF, 8x All-Pro, 2x MVP, 3x NFL Champion, Arguably one of the best two way players in NFL History, Peak four seasons: 1941-44 (4 first team all-pro. selections, lead the NFL in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns in each of those four seasons), Average Receptions: 59.25, Average Yards Per Game: 85.35, Average Yards Per Touch:14.275, Average Yards Per Season: 897.75, Average Touchdowns Per Season: 11.75, (in 10 and 11 game seasons).  Averaged 5 INT's per season in six years as an All-Pro defender (6x All-Pro LE).    
  • Earl (Curly) Lambeau HOF, 3x (2nd team) All-Pro, 1x NFL Champion (as a player), Founded the Green Bay Packers, Coached the Packers to 6 NFL Championships, Tried to move the Packers out of Green Bay.   
  • Johnny (Blood) McNally HOF, 1x All-Pro, 4x NFL Champion, Had 42 career offensive touchdowns and 7 career non-offensive touchdowns (kick off and INT returns) during the pre WWII years for the Packers.
  • Arnie Herber HOF, 1x All-Pro, 4x NFL Champion, Played with Green Bay during the pre WWII years, Peak four seasons: 1932,34-36, All-Pro, lead the league in passing yards ('32, '34, '36), yards per game ('32, '34-36), and touchdown passes in ('32, '34, and '36)  
  • Willie Davis HOF, 5x All-Pro, (2x Super Bowl Champion), 5x NFL Champion, Impacted every play on defense for a seven year span that translated into 5 probowls and 5 first team all-pro selections, Peak Four Seasons: 1964-67 (4 First Team All-Pro selections) (Stats and data were not tracked during Davis's time to provide just how much he impacted the Packers defense).
  • Ray Nitschke HOF, 2x All-Pro, (2x Super Bowl Champion), 5x NFL Champion, Anchored Lombardi's Defenses,  Peak four seasons: 1962,64,66-67 Average Interceptions: 2.75, Average Fumble Recoveries: 2.33, Best Statistical  Season 1962, 4 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 4 fumble recoveries, (many of his stats were not tracked like they are today, but his impact on the game and the organization is still being felt.) 
  • Bart Starr HOF, 1x All-Pro, 1x MVP, (2x Super Bowl Champion), 5x NFL Champion, Peak four seasons: 1961-62,64,66, Average Yards: 2,314.25, Average Touchdown Passes: 14.25, Average INT: 8  
  • Jim Taylor HOF, 1x All-Pro, 1x MVP, (Super Bowl Champion), 4x NFL Champion, Peak four seasons: 1960-62,64, Average Yards Per Attempt: 5.15, Average Yards Per Game: 95.1, Average Yards Per Season: 1,262.75 Average Touchdowns Per Season: 14.25 (2020 perspective: Derrick Henry was considered by many to be the NFL's best back rushing for 1,540 games and 16 TD's in 15 games; Taylor's MVP season saw him rush for 1,474 yards and 19 Touchdowns in 14 games)
  • Paul Hornung HOF, 2x All-Pro, 1x MVP, (Super Bowl Champion), 4x NFL Champion, Peak four seasons: 1959-61,64, Average Yards Per Attempt: 4.35, Average Yards Per Season: 591 yards, Average Touchdowns: 8.25   
  • Reggie White HOF, 8x All-Pro, 2x DPOY, Super Bowl Champion, Peak four Packer Seasons: 1993,95,97-98 (Had 3.0 sacks in the 1996-97 Playoffs) Average Sacks: 13, Average Forced Fumbles: 2.25
  • Brett Favre HOF, 3x All-Pro, 3x MVP, Super Bowl Champion, Peak four seasons: 1995-98, Average Yards: 4,097.75, Average Touchdown Passes: 35.75, Average INT: 16.25. 
  • Aaron Rodgers 2x All-Pro, 2x MVP, Super Bowl Champion, Peak four seasons: 2011-12,14,16, Average Yards: 4,436.75, Average Touchdown Passes: 40.5, Average INT: 6.5. 
  • Dave Robinson HOF, 1x All Pro, 2x Super Bowl Champion, 3x NFL Champion, Peak four seasons: 1965-67,69, Avg Interceptions: 4, Avg Forced Fumbles: 1.66
  • Jerry Kramer: HOF, 5x All-Pro, 2x Super Bowl Champion, 5x NFL Champion, Iconic Block in the Ice Bowl, Member of one of the best offensive lines in Packer History. 
  • LeRoy Butler: 4x All-Pro and Super Bowl Champion.  Peak four seasons: 1993,95-97, Avg Interceptions: 5.25, Avg Forced Fumbles: 1.25, Avg Sacks: 2.875 (6.5 sacks in 1996)

 

Honorable Mention:

1. Sterling Sharpe 

2. Clay Matthews 

3. Nick Collins

4. Charles Woodson

5. Donald Driver/Fuzzy Thurston/Jordy Nelson

 

Top ten criteria and pyramid:

Magical games, magical plays, iconic moments, All-Pro selections, Elected to HOF?, Peak four seasons, impact stats, league leaders, wins, winning seasons, playoff record/impact, playoff runs, Super Bowls/NFL championships, Super Bowl/NFL championship game wins, impact on organization.

 

Top 10 Pyramid:

HOF, All-Pro, league leaders, Super Bowl/NFL Championship Wins

…, …, …, …, impact on the franchise.

…, …, …, …, …, peak four seasons, playoff record, playoff runs, Super Bowl Appearances. 

…,…,…,…,…,…,…,…, magical games, magical moments, iconic moments.

 

Please use this criteria when voting, the votes will be tallied over the next two weeks.  Next week, I will honor our list of honorable mentions and present a snap shot of their careers.  In two weeks, I will begin to unviel the list of the top ten Green Bay Packers of all-time.  Let your voice be heard and make the case for your top ten Packers of all-time by casting your vote!!!  

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (18)

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Bearmeat's picture

March 08, 2020 at 12:41 pm

1. I am shocked and appalled that B. J. Raji is not included in this prestigious list.

2. Both Wood and Drive need to be in the top 25. End of story.

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Coldworld's picture

March 08, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Woodson without a doubt!

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Since'61's picture

March 08, 2020 at 01:06 pm

My votes for top 10 with my reasoning follows below:

1. Brett Favre - Upon retirement held every significant record for a QB in NFL history. Longest consecutive game streak for a QB in NFL history. Almost single handedly brought the Packers back to NFL relevance. 3 time league MVP, Super Bowl winner, NFL HOF. Packer Ring of Honor, Number retired, Voted to the NFL All-time 100 season team. Numerous All-Pro selections. Left everything he had on the field in every game he played for the Packers. One of the strongest arms the league has ever seen. Accomplished everything there is to be accomplished by an NFL QB.
2. Aaron Rodgers - Not quite as prolific as Favre but will be a first ballet NFL HOF and undoubtedly become a member of the Packer Ring of Honor and have his number retired. 2 league MVPs, Super Bowl winner and MVP. Redefined how the NFL QB position is played in a manner not seen since Johnny Unitas defined the modern QB position in the 50s and 60s. A deadly accurate passer with a strong arm and the most accurate QB ever while throwing on the run. Mobility has set him apart from other QBs, previous and current. Ball security is the best in NFL history.
3. Bart Starr - 5 time NFL Champion, 1 NFL MVP, NFL HOF, member of Packers Ring of honor and retired number. One of the smartest QBs to ever play the position. Excellent play caller, brilliant under pressure, tremendous leadership qualities. Very accurate passer who rarely hurt the team with poor decisions. I did not put Bart at #1 because unlike Favre or Rodgers, Bart played with 11 other NFL HOFers and his Packer teams had one of the best defensive units in NFL history. Also, Bart's career before and after the Lombardi era is not very impressive.
4. Ray Nitschke - Undisputed leader of the Packers defense during the Lombardi glory years of the '60s. Voted as the MLB for the NFL First 50 years teams. NFL HOF, Packer Ring of Honor and number retired. One of the hardest hitters to ever play the game. Excelled against the run, pass and on the blitz. Played sideline to sideline as effective as any LB in history. Led a Packers defense that allowed an average of just under 11points in 10 post-season games. Dave Robinson, (a Packer OLB during the Nitschke era) once quipped that he made so many tackles in his career because the opponent's RBs would run away from Nitschke towards him regardless of the play call. A great Packer who left everything on the field every time he played. Who can forget Ray Nitschke's Packer Report? It was my life line to the Packers in the years before the internet and CHTV of course.
5. Don Hutson - before my time but an NFL HOFer, Packer Ring of Honor and defined the modern WR position. Member of the NFL all -100 team. a great player and a great Packer.
6. Paul Hornung - Possibly the greatest all around offensive player in the history of the NFL. Excellent runner, good receiver and option passer, blocked like a guard, and could kick PATs, FGs and kickoff. Led the NFL is scoring in 1960 with 176 points during a 12 game season. NFL HOF, Packer Ring of Honor and the leader of Lombardi's Packers from 1959 until his injuries caught up to him in 1966.
7. Herb Adderly - possibly the best man-to-man CB to ever play the game. Near perfect technique. A ferocious tackler against the run or the pass. Probably the first true shut down CB in the NFL. NFL HOF, numerous pro-bowls. He had a great knack for making the big play at a critical time in the game.
8. Jim Taylor - one of the fiercest RBs to ever play in the NFL. Great short yardage player. Good receiver and excellent blocker. NFL HOF and Packers Ring of Honor. Probably the best RB the Packers have ever had.
9. Forrest Gregg - "Forrest Gregg is quite simply the finest football player I have ever coached." Vince Lombardi. That is good enough for me. NFL HOF and voted to the NFL first 50 years team and the NFL All 100 team.
10. Reggie White - Reggie is at #10 because he only spent 6 seasons in GB. He is one of the greatest defensive players of all time and probably the greatest DE of all time. NFL HOF, Voted to the NFL All 100 team.

Thanks, Since '61

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Tundraboy's picture

March 09, 2020 at 12:08 am

Thumbs up Since 61! I would have to squeeze in Lofton somehow.

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Hematite's picture

March 09, 2020 at 04:52 am

I think you have a great list 61.
I'd probably put Jimmy Taylor in place of Hornung though.

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marpag1's picture

March 09, 2020 at 07:44 am

Most Packer fans will hate it, of course, but I'm in that group of people who believe that Paul Hornung has always been terribly overrated. In fact, I would say he's one of the more overrated players from any team to make it into the HOF. He's not "Joe Namath overrated," but still....

When people complain that practically every player from Lombardi's Packers somehow made it into the HOF, they generally mean "Paul Hornung."

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 08, 2020 at 05:52 pm

Let's get to the draft and free agency or I'll rate someone.

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Samson's picture

March 09, 2020 at 07:10 pm

I agree.
Subjective listing is the epitome of uselessness. (especially in a team sport that involves different eras)

Personally, the one player that has had the most impact on the GB Packers is Eric Torkelson... I'm comprising a list of the valid 50 reasons why & will ultimately post them (one at a time) before the 2020 season begins.... Thanks.

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bjkdad44's picture

March 08, 2020 at 10:20 pm

Donald Driver!

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marpag1's picture

March 09, 2020 at 06:49 am

Uh... didn't we already do this?

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Samson's picture

March 09, 2020 at 07:09 pm

Deleted ... nevermind.

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4thand1's picture

March 22, 2020 at 08:06 am

Football is the only sport in the world with anything worth talking about at this time. Even when things are normal football has a place almost year round. The owners are enjoying a money feast with no end in sight. We are talking about players from decades of the past and licking our chops for the future. The draft will be the only sports news and it's still a month away. I'm going to go entertain my granddaughter now, keep the articles coming CHTV.

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HankScorpio's picture

March 22, 2020 at 08:38 am

On the general topic of Packer history, NFL.com has opened up gamepass for free to anyone until May 31. You can stream any game from 2009 on. Nice little PR move to let people get sports fix with the country inching toward lockdown status and many people "self quarantined".

For me, I decided to make this a NFL Sunday. I'm currently watching the 2010 team humiliate Favre in the MetroDump. I skipped Favre humiliating the 2009 team. I forgot how badly that 2nd season in Minny went off the rails....which shortened the timeframe for me to let bygones be bygones.

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Lare's picture

March 22, 2020 at 11:03 am

Some of the top 25 I think were surrounded by tons of talent & great coaching that helped them be better, some of the others were before my time so I don't know much about them. That said, my top five from my era are.

1. Bart Starr
2. Reggie White
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Brett Favre
5. LeRoy Butler.

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Coldworld's picture

March 22, 2020 at 01:53 pm

I would add Woodson to that list. Don’t think there is an era in which he wouldn’t have been able to get in the field and make an impact.

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4thand1's picture

March 22, 2020 at 02:15 pm

We'll go see him! Priceless

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Tundraboy's picture

March 22, 2020 at 07:54 pm

For the team that has the history that the Packers do, the iconic players, moments, and games it's impossible to do only 10, has to be 15 to 20 .

Nonetheless here it goes.. No particular order.

Forrest Gregg
Tony Canaedo
Don Hutson
Earl (Curly) Lambeau
Johnny (Blood) McNally
Ray Nitschke
Bart Starr
Jim Taylor
Paul Hornung
Willie Davis

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WMA's picture

March 23, 2020 at 01:28 pm

Number one. Don Hutson. He was so much better than anyone else during that era. Reggie the same but was not a Packer as long.

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