Jordy Nelson was recently asked how he has been able to take such a gigantic leap in production the last few years.
The seventh-year wideout thought for a moment and said, “It’s so hard for me to pick one thing. Because when I came in the league, I only played receiver for three years. So I was still developing a lot.”
But then he was able to narrow it down.
“A lot of it probably is confidence. And knowing that I’m able to make plays at this level.”
It’s amazing how a simple thing like confidence can separate a simple second rounder from Kansas State into one of the top targets in the NFL.
But nationally, Nelson isn’t seen in the same class of elite receivers such as Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green. The credit is given to Aaron Rodgers for the shipping but nothing is given to Nelson for the receiving.
Nelson’s mastery of the sideline makes him one of the best boundary receivers in the game. He has proven that he can stretch the field and be a possession receiver. But most importantly, he has done it all while remaining humble. You’ll never see Nelson outside his house doing crunches or doing a pre-choreographed touchdown routine.
“Having confidence in myself and Aaron having confidence in me that I’ll be able to make the plays and when he wants me to make them,” said Nelson.
Nelson greatly benefits from Rodgers manning the controls. But an offense without Nelson is an offense that doesn’t pirouette the sideline to convert a third-and-7. An offense without Nelson is an offense that stalls when a key block is needed to keep Eddie Lacy chugging. And an offense without Nelson is an offense that just doesn’t have rhythm. We got to see the real Greg Jennings when he left the Packers. Nelson is more detailed in his preparation and can bust through bump-and-run coverage very quickly.
Nelson may not be the biggest or fastest guy on the field, but he knows that excellent route running can mask those things. And it also helps that he has a pair of vice grips for hands that rarely drop the ball.
The thing that really stands out to me isn’t that Nelson is third in the NFL in receiving yards (998) and tied for third in touchdowns (9) while being No. 3 in yards per game (99.8) with the eighth-most targets (94).
He will bust his tail and block for his teammates when he doesn’t get the ball or when it’s a running play. Most top wideouts are divas. Guys like Michael Irvin, Owens, Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco and Keyshawn Johnson would rather complain about not getting the ball or doing extra theatrics than helping out a teammate.
But Nelson is comfortable is in his own farmer’s skin. The 29-year-old still has not been invited to the Pro Bowl but that hasn’t stopped the divaless and tireless worker. Last year was his most impressive season. He racked up 1,314 yards and eight scores while getting adjusted to three other quarterbacks and seeing fellow starting wide receiver Randall Cobb go down with injury.
“I think my game has just continued to grow over the years,” said Nelson. “If it’s in the route running, working on releases, understanding what Aaron wants in our offense and making the most of the those opportunities.”
So if you want your wide receiver to pull out a cell phone from a field goal post or eat an entire box of popcorn, Nelson’s not your guy. He doesn’t do any of those things but he still produces to the tune of five 100-yard games and one 200-yard game this year.
It’s time to start paying attention to Nelson, because if you don’t he’s not going to beg for it.
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn
13 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Jordy Nelson is a great wideout and not a diva”
I’m glad that he is on our team! Thanks, Since ’61
He is not flashy and out spoken but when it comes to making a play in crunch time he is the man you want running the route,
I like excellent experts with humble attitude. That is why they are the best! Jordy is expert in his job and thankfully plays for Packers…
I hope he keeps flying under the radar. Let them keep on underestimating him. I think Jordy likes it that way.
Now, I am in no way trying to start anything here, but would it be different if he were black?
I think Nelson may not have the freak “physical traits” that Bryant, Owens, Moss etc.. had. (Although Jordy is no slouch himself in that regard) But that he is a better FOOTBALL player than any of them. He blocks. He keeps the team first in his priorities. He keeps his mouth shut. Give me a Nelson over a Dez any day and 2x on Sunday.
That said, there are great WRs that have superior physical ability to Nelson’s (Megatron, Rice come to mind quickly) that are also not divas.
Regardless. I’m glad he’s on our team.
Regardless of any ‘physical’ comparisons known to many as being ‘freakish’ in nature,which is a very over used redundancy as descriptions go,Jordy Nelson can mirror any and all,while also doing more of the basics willingly and consistently than any other in the talk.
The lack of recognition for Jordy Nelson comes from the fact he makes the noun ‘player’ to be spelled correctly and then emphasized with the very distinctive addition of ‘professional’ in front of it…thus a true,one of the few. 🙂
Nelson is a great boundary receiver, but he can also play from the slot as well. That is not always the case for some wide receivers. One quibble: we are not seeing the real Greg Jennings in Minnesota. It is his own fault, but no one receiving passes from Ponder is going to put up the same numbers as they did if their QB was Rodgers, Manning, Brady, Brees or Luck.
For those in the NFL who don’t think Jordy Nelson is fast then check out the 100 meter state record by school class:
That’s plenty fast. Not burst fast necessarily but when he is running those 50 – 80 pass plays he rarerly gets caught. When you combine 10.63 100 meter speed a body that is 6’3” and near 220 lbs, would you like to be the CB or Safety with coverage duty? I very much doubt it.
He is a true Packer and a throwback And nobody is as gifted and agile a reeciver along the sidelines. Noone
Let’s all be honest here. Jordy Nelson will never be looked at as an elite receiver because he’s white. Yes, I said it. Deal with it. Elite white receivers are almost as rare as a white cornerbacks in the NFL. (Was there ever a white corner other than Jason Sehorn? lol)
Jordy is a victim of skin color and unfortunately in this day and age we can’t say it because white people are not allowed too. So Jordy goes under the radar constantly as “that white guy who’s pretty good” but “he’s not Calvin Johnson”. No he’s not, he’s just as good if not better. Shhhhhh
Exactly, Packer players have commented often on black DB’s on other teams who have no idea what they are up against. Keep it that way for another 5 to 10 years.
The only radar he’s flying under is the press. You can bet teams are well aware of his skills and play accordingly. Even with the coverage he’s getting the ball and scoring. THAT is the true worth of Jordy Nelson!
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