Rankings show Nelson still ascending

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- How many 29-year-old NFL players are still ascending?

Count Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson among the small group that can make that statement.

Nelson, who turned 29 on May 31, jumped 32 spots to No. 34 among all offensive players in ESPN's second annual #NFLRank project.

The Packers clearly believe Nelson has not reached his plateau. After all, they gave him a four-year, $39 million contract extension last month. In new money, it made Nelson the ninth-highest paid receiver in the NFL by average salary per year.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Nelson has 31 receptions of 30 or more yards since the start of 2011. That ranks second to only Detroit's Calvin Johnson (32).

Here's a look at the Packers in the rankings so far:


No. 95: CB Sam Shields

No. 81: DT B.J. Raji

No. 50: OLB Julius Peppers


No. 77: G Josh Sitton

No. 66: WR Randall Cobb

No. 60: RB Eddie Lacy

No. 34: WR Jordy Nelson