Nelson was a second-round pick of the Packers back in 2008, and he worked his way up from being a sub-package wideout to being Aaron Rodgers‘ No. 1 target and one of the best receivers in the league during the mid-2010s. From 2011 through 2016, Nelson averaged 79 catches for 1,220 yards and 11 touchdowns per season, eventually leading the league with 14 scores in 2016.
A series of late-career injuries robbed him of some of his speed and explosiveness, but Nelson continued to get by with his precision route-running and otherworldly chemistry with Rodgers, especially on the back-shoulder throws that became a staple of their offense.
Nelson will leave football with 613 career catches, as well as 8,587 yards and 72 scores. He caught 54 additional passes for 668 yards and five touchdowns across 13 playoff games, and his 2011 playoff run of 21 grabs for 286 yards and two scores was monumentally important to the Packers’ ability to capture the lone Super Bowl victory of the Rodgers era.