The Green Bay Packers already have four players so far on this year's NFL Top 100 countdown, but they added a fifth during tonight's reveal of players ranked 11 through 20. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson was ranked at number 18, a huge jump from last year when he was number 83.
Nelson had a magnificent season in 2014, leading the team in every major receiving category. While starting all 16 games, he posted 98 receptions for 1,519 yards (a rate of 15.5 yards per catch), and 13 touchdowns, all team-highs. The receptions and receiving yardage were career highs as well, and he became the first Packers wideout to eclipse 1,500 yards through the air in a single season.
To put his season in perspective with the rest of the league, Nelson ranked seventh in catches, fourth in yards, 11th in yards per catch (among qualified players), and second in touchdowns (tied with Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown). As his yards per catch average suggests, Nelson was also one of the league's best big-play threats. In fact, he had four touchdowns in 2014 alone of 60 yards or more and a total of seven of at least 40 yards.
While his playoff numbers weren't gaudy in the Packers' two postseason games, Nelson was effective in drawing coverage away from other players - Davante Adams and Randall Cobb were able to have big games in the win against Dallas while Nelson saw just five targets due to tight coverage.
The other Packers announced so far are linebacker Clay Matthews (#51), running back Eddie Lacy (#60), linebacker Julius Peppers (#71), and wide receiver Randall Cobb (#100). There is one more Packer whom we still expect to see announced next week, as the league announces its top ten players. That player, of course, is quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player.