There is probably no trio of players in Green Bay under more scrutiny this preseason than the three rookie wide receivers drafted by the Packers in the most recent draft: J’Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown.
It will be interesting to see which of these three ends up getting significant playing time in 2018 and if any, or all three, will have any impact on the Packers offense as rookie receivers.
Looking back at rookie receivers in Green Bay’s long history, there have been some that made big contributions… Sterling Sharpe, James Jones and James Lofton. But if you were to select the greatest rookie receivers in Packers history, you have to start with Billy Howton.
A graduate of Rice University, Howton was a second round pick of the Packers in the 1952 NFL Draft. What Howton accomplished in his first season in Green Bay is pretty impressive: He led the league (not just the team, but the entire league!) with 1,231 receiving yards and had a rookie record 13 TD receptions. Howton spent seven seasons with the Pack and in 1974 was elected to the Packers Hall of Fame.
Here’s a look at the rookie players for the Packers who had the most catches, most TD receptions, and most receiving yards in their rookie campaign in Green Bay.
Most receptions by a rookie-Packers
Sterling Sharpe, 55, 1988
Billy Howton, 53, 1952
Gerry Ellis, 48, 1980
James Jones, 47, 2007
James Lofton, 46, 1978
Most TD receptions by a rookie-Packers
Billy Howton, 13, 1952
Max McGee, 9, 1954
Don Hutson, 6, 1935
James Lofton, 6, 1978
Carl Elliott, 5, 1951
Ray Pelfrey, 5, 1951
Most receiving yards by a rookie-Packers
Billy Howton, 1231, 1952
James Lofton, 818, 1978
Sterling Sharpe, 791, 1988
James Jones, 676, 2007
Greg Jennings, 632, 2006
Is it possible that more than one receiver could rack up some impressive numbers in their first year with the Packers? Consider this:
- There have been only two pair of rookies to catch 30 or more passes in the same season for the Packers: Keith Woodside (39) and Sterling Sharpe (55) in 1988 and Ryan Grant 930) and James Jones (47) in 2007.
- There has been only one pair of Green Bay rookies to have three or more TD receptions in the same season: Davante Adams (3) and Richard Rodgers (2) in 2014.
- There has been only one pair of Packers rookies to each have 300 or more receiving yards in the same season: Greg Jennings 9632) and Ruvell Martin (358) in 2006.
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