Packers All-Decade Team: Aaron Rodgers leads the way

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb
Green Bay Packers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Wide receivers

The Packers have seen a plethora of great receiver play over the last 10 years. They have had All-Pros, Pro Bowlers and some them will go down as all-time great Packers. This was one of the hardest to do.

Jordy Nelson (2010-2017)

I start with the easiest pick for the team. Jordy Nelson will go down as an all-time Packer great. Though his numbers may not get him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he’s a shoe-in for the Packers Hall of Fame.

Nelson became Rodgers’ favorite receiver and the love of Packers fans everywhere. Like John Kuhn, Jordy did it the right way. He played hard, was always in the right spot and never stopped grinding during his time in Green Bay.

Nelson had 495 receptions for 7,162 yards with 65 touchdowns in seven seasons in the 2010s for the Packers. That averages to 71 receptions, 1,023 yards and nine touchdowns per year. Those numbers are pretty amazing considering he wasn’t the Packers’ first option until 2013.

Nelson never cared about the numbers and always wanted to do what was best for the team. Nelson’s career was shortened by at least one year due to a 2015 ACL injury in which he missed the entire year. He came back strong though and won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2016.

Greg Jennings (2010-2012)

Much like Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings is better remembered now for his comments since leaving the Packers more than what he did while with the team. Jennings’ contributions can’t and shouldn’t be denied.

Jennings was a smooth route runner and Rodgers’ main target during the Super Bowl run and his historic 2011 season. Jennings’ 239 catches, 2,580 yards and 25 touchdowns may be less than others during this time, but he was the number one option at a time when the Packers’ receiving depth was the best we have ever seen.

Though he played three more seasons after leaving the Packers, Jennings never found the magic he had while playing in Green Bay.

Davante Adams (2014-Present)

The biggest reason the Packers were willing to let Nelson walk after the 2017 season was the emergence of Davante Adams. The Packers’ decision has paid off nicely because Adams has proven to be one of the best currently in the NFL. Unlike anyone else on this team, Adams has played the entirety of his career during this decade, with the Packers.

Adams was a second-round pick in the 2014 draft and paid immediate dividends. During Adams’ rookie year, he saved his best games for the brightest spotlights. Adams had monster games versus the Patriots and then against the Cowboys in the divisional round.

After an injury-plagued 2015, Adams turned it on and outside of this year’s toe injury, hasn’t slowed down. Adams has 424 receptions for 5,101 yards, 43 touchdowns and counting.

Depending on how you look at it, Adams has been hurt or helped by the lack of other options the past two years. For the first time in Rodgers’ career, he has had one true number one and a bunch of question marks. Still, Adams keeps going along. It didn’t matter whether it was Brett Hundley or Rodgers, Adams just kept producing.

Randall Cobb (2011-2018)

Randall Cobb was as tough as they came. Often the smallest guy in the receiving corps, he did the tough work in the slot. Yes, he was injured often but that shouldn’t diminish what Cobb did for the team. Cobb was the perfect slot receiver for Mike McCarthy’s system and always came through in the clutch.

One of the best things Cobb did was rip the hearts out of Bears fans year after year, saving his best work for the hated rival to the south. Cobb started and finished his Green Bay career in this decade but is still going for the Cowboys. Injuries may have diminished his skills, but his prime was still spent with Rodgers and Green Bay. Cobb’s stat line with the Packers was 470 receptions, 5,524 yards and 41 touchdowns.

James Jones (2010-2013, 2015)

The Packers had so many good receivers I felt inclined to add one more. James Jones had two different stints with the Packers in the 10s and was a reliable, tough target for Rodgers and the Packers. Jones was never the number one target and often not even the number two. But he went about his business like a true professional and was the type of player every team needed to have.

Jones would have maddening drops at less than ideal times and was punching bag for some fans during the first couple years of the 10s. Jones wouldn’t let the outside noise get to him, knew he needed to be better with his next opportunity and instead of telling you he would, he just went and did. Jones even quietly led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2012 with 14.

After the 2013 season, it looked like Jones’ time in Green Bay was over as he went back home to California and the Oakland Raiders. Then the Raiders released Jones after one season and he ended up in New York as a member of the Giants.

At the same time, Jordy Nelson was lost for the year in the preseason and like a gift from god, Jones was released in final cuts by the Giants and back in Green Bay. Jones gave the Packers one more solid year before heading off to retirement. Jones’ numbers in the 10s are a solid 261 receptions for 3,805 yards and 37 touchdowns.