​Jordy Nelson will forever be remembered as a Green Bay Packer. The farm boy from Kansas ​spent ten years with the Pack, recording 550 receptions for 69 touchdowns and 7848 yards. He had four seasons of well over 1000 yards receiving, dominating as Aaron Rodgers' favorite target.


More than the numbers, however, it was the attitude which Nelson brought and his leadership on and off the field that really helped the Packers passing game flourish.

Yes, much of Green Bay's success throwing the football in the last couple decades is due to their quarterbacks: Brett Favre and now Aaron Rodgers.


But almost as important has been the play of the receiving corps, and the veteran leadership displayed by the top stars. As the baton passed from Favre to Rodgers at QB, so too has the position of leadership been passed from Donald Driver to Greg Jennings to James Jones and then to Nelson at receiver.


With Nelson gone, the Pack are already feeling his loss in ways that aren't always apparent.

“All I can say is that it’s different. His presence is missed. The way he did things, the way he’d go about his business, that’s how you lead by example," said Geronimo Allison, the Packers' third-string receiver.


Green Bay still has ​Randall Cobb and ​Davante Adams, seasoned veterans who have grown to become primary receivers during the times when Nelson was injured. This year, however, the two must be leaders from the get-go.

It's on them to lead the young receiving corps, which consists of Allison (entering his third year), and J'Mon Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Equanimeous St. Brown (all rookies).


Rodgers will certainly help as well. He is a master at helping young wideouts find their potential and shine in the Pack's quick-hitting offense.

But for Green Bay, coming off their first year missing the playoffs since 2008, the new guys must step up quickly. If they're not up to the challenge, the Packers will find someone else who is.