WR Sterling Sharpe (1988-1994)
When you think about the Packers resurrection of the early 90s, everyone remembers Brett Favre, Reggie White, Leroy Butler, Mike Holmgren and Ron Wolf. But most people forget Sterling Sharpe.
Sharpe was drafted seventh overall in the 1988 draft and played for some pretty bad teams outside of the “Cardiac Pack” of 1989. And until 1992, he could’ve been considered the best player on the Packers.
Once Favre took over as quarterback, Sharpe’s play took off with him. The ’92 season saw Sharpe win the triple crown for receivers leading the league in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.
From 1992 until 1994, Sharpe was considered one of, if not the best wide receiver in the NFL. He was the first receiver to post back-to-back 100-reception seasons and his 18 touchdown receptions in 1994 were the second-most ever in a season after Jerry Rice’s 22 in 1987.
A neck injury at the end of 1994 season against the Falcons would eventually end Sharpe’s career. But he was a large part of getting the Packers back on track and eventual champions. He was Favre’s first great target and did a lot of the heavy lifting in the passing game in Favre’s first three seasons as a starting quarterback.
Sharpe would end his career with 595 receptions for 8,134 yards and 65 touchdowns. He would also make five Pro Bowl teams, while also earning three All-Pros.
Had Sharpe been able to continue his career, there’s no doubt he would have been a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. As is, we’ll just have to go on wondering how great it would have been to see him playing with Favre as he blossomed into the MVP he became, winning a Super Bowl along the way.