A few weeks after the last Green Bay Packers player was announced as part of the list, we have another new addition to the NFL’s Top 100 Players list for 2017.
On Monday evening, the players in the 40s were released and Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson slots in at 48th place. Nelson joins safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (#77), linebacker Clay Matthews (#82) and defensive tackle Mike Daniels (#84) on the list, and there is sure to be at least one more player announced later on.
After landing in 18th place in 2015, Nelson was unranked last year after tearing his ACL during the 2015 preseason. Although he missed all of that year and was clearly not back to full strength to start the 2016 season, Nelson finished with one of his finest professional seasons thanks in large part to a terrific second half.
Overall, he caught 97 of 152 targets for 1,257 yards — 13.0 yards per reception — and a league-leading 14 touchdowns. He was at his best in the Packers’ “run the table” streak that covered the final six regular season games, catching at least six passes in each of those contests. Over that span, he made a total of 44 catches for 594 yards and five scores, and posted a stellar catch rate of 78.6%.
In the Packers’ first playoff game, a victory over the New York Giants in the Wild Card round, Nelson suffered a rib injury early on and was forced to leave the game after just one 13-yard reception. However, he found a way to return two weeks later for the NFC Championship Game, where he toughed out the injury to make 6 receptions for 67 yards and a score, his fifth postseason touchdown and first since the 2013 postseason.
In all likelihood, we will need to wait a few more weeks until we see quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ name on the list. It seems likely that he will be a top-ten player once again, as he still ranked in 6th place on the 2016 list despite the struggles that he and the Packers’ offense went through in 2015.