Today’s Sportstat: April 30, 2020
No wide receivers in the draft is not common for the Packers
How about one more article on the recent NFL draft?
In addition to the chatter about how the Green Bay Packers used a first round choice on a QB, the other big news for the team was the fact that they did not select a wide receiver early in the draft… truth is they didn’t select any wide receivers among their 2020 selections.
Most experts had the Packers adding a playmaking receiver in the first couple rounds of the draft. When they didn’t select even one over the three days, a lot of people were surprised.
The last time the Packers did not select a wide receiver in any round of an NFL Draft was in 2012, eight years ago. If we check the team’s drafts from the past 50 years, it was only the ninth time since 1970 that the Pack did not choose a wide receiver in the draft.
Let’s go back to the selection of a wide receiver in the first round, again, an expected move for the Packers this season. In some respects, it should not come as a surprise that they didn’t use their first rounder on a wide receiver. Since 1970, only four times have the Packers chosen a wide receiver in the first round. The last time it happened was in 2002 when Green Bay selected receiver Javon Walker in the first round.
The other first round receivers taken by the Packers in the first round since 1970: Sterling Sharpe, 1988; James Lofton, 1978; and Barry Smith, 1973.
Both Sharpe and Lofton went onto great careers with the Packers. Sharpe had 595 catches with the Packers and ranks second behind Donald Driver’s 743 for most catches by a Green bay wide receiver. Lofton grabbed 530 passes as a Packers and ranks fourth on the wide receiver’s most catches list.
Sharpe, Lofton and Walker are the three Packers wide receivers drafted in the first round that had 150 or more career catches with the team. Of the 19 wide receivers who had 150 or more career catches with the Packers, five were selected in the second round, four were taken in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round or later, and two of the players came to the Packers via a trade or free agency, and one, Don Hutson, who ranks fifth on the list with 488 catches, was with the team before the NFL Draft was ever instituted.
Looking at the 22 NFL wide receivers that have 900 or more career catches, 10 were drafted in the first round, two were chosen in the second round, four were selected in the third round, four were taken in the fourth round, and two of those wide receivers with 900 or more career receptions were undrafted.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Today’s Sports Stat: August 16, 2018
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.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
James Jones’ three TD pass reception game puts Packers on top
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Green Bay receiver James Jones jumped to the head of the list of receivers with the most TD receptions in 2012 with a three-TD performance in yesterday’s win over the Bears. (He now has 12 TD receptions for the season.)
Jones became the sixth receiver this season (and second Packers receiver) to catch three touchdown passes in a game. Jordy Nelson had a three-TD pass reception game in October against the Houston Texans.
Jones’ three TD game also put the Packers in a tie for most games with three TD receptions by a receiver since 1966. The Packers have had 15 such games, which now ties them with the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers. Here’s a look at how many games since 1966 each team has had where one receiver caught three or more TD passes.
Games with a player with three-plus TD receptions, teams
15: Green Bay, New York Jets, San Francisco
14: Dallas, Indianapolis, Oakland
13: Minnesota, San Diego, St. Louis, Washington
11: Cincinnati, Miami, Philadelphia, Tennessee
10: Denver, New England, New York Giants, Pittsburgh
9: Arizona, Buffalo
7: Chicago, Detroit
6: Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City
5: Baltimore, Seattle
4: Carolina, New Orleans
2: Tampa Bay
Of the Packers 15 such games, Sterling Sharpe leads the club with three games with three TD receptions. Jordy Nelson, James Lofton and Antonio Freeman each had two games with three TD receptions.
Looking at the league totals since 1966, it’s no surprise that Jerry Rice leads the league with 11 games with three or more TD receptions. He is followed by Marvin Harrison and Randy Moss (nine each), Wesley Walker and Terrell Owens (five each) and Kellen Winslow and Carl Pickens (four each).
Here’s another interesting stat from Jones’ game yesterday: Jones had three TDs but only 60 yards total in receiving yards. This was the 25th time since 1966 that a player had 60 or less receiving yards with three or more receiving TDs. Fewest yards receiving in a game with three receiving touchdowns? Houston Oiler Mack Alston had three receptions, all for touchdowns and only 22 yards receiving in a game versus the Cleveland Browns on October 12, 1975.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp