By Mike Jacquart (** Indicates member of NFL Hall of Fame. *** As well as NFL HOFer, player’s number is retired by the Packers.)
- ** Clarke Hinkle, FB, LB, 1932-41. Hinkle, a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, led the league in scoring in ’38. More than 75 years since he retired, Hinkle is still GB’s seventh-leading rusher all-time.
(Hinkle… you dawg you!)
- ** Paul Hornung, HB, 1957-62, 64-66. The “Golden Boy” was a true money player, always at his best in the biggest games. In 1960, the versatile Hornung scored an incredible 176 points on 15 FGs,15 touchdowns, and 41 PATs. And this was in a 12-game season! The record wasn’t broken until 2006 (by LaDainianTomlinson).
(Truly incredible video)
- *** Tony Canadeo, HB, 1941-44, 46-52. The “Gray Ghost of Gonzaga”, became just the third player in NFL history to top 1,000 yards rushing. (in 1949). Canadeo retired as the Packers’ all-time rushing leader, and still ranks fourth in team annals.
- *** Reggie White, DE, 1993-98. The Minister of Defense was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and 13-time Pro Bowl, and All-Pro selection. White holds second place all-time among career sack leaders with 198 (68.5 as a Packer).
- *** Ray Nitschke, LB, 1958-72. There is no question Nitschke was the heart and soul of the Packers’ formidable defenses of the ‘60s. He was the game’s MVP in the ’62 championship over the Giants for recovering two fumbles, and deflecting a pass. The agile LB also intercepted 25 passes in his career.
- ** Forrest Gregg, OT, 1956, 58-70. Gregg was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls and was a seven-time First-Team All-Pro. No less than Vince Lombardi called him, “the finest player I ever coached.” A key reason he is rated this high on this list. Who am I to doubt Vince?
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, 2005-. When it’s all said and done, A-Rod may well end up even higher on a future list of this type. The two-time league MVP’s Packers passing records include highest passer rating season (122.5, 2011), and most yards passing in a single season (4,643, 2011). And that’s not even including his Hail Mary’s!
- *** Brett Favre, QB, 1992-07. At the time of his retirement, the three-time league MVP and 11-time Pro Bowler held virtually every major NFL passing record.. Known as the “gunslinger”, the always entertaining Favre was often either very bad, or very good, and sometimes in the same game!
- *** Bart Starr, QB, 1956-71. If Hornung was “money” in big games, then Bart Starr was gold. The Packers were 9-1 in playoff games under Lombardi, with Starr completing 61 percent of his passes in those games. Starr was also an excellent play caller, and he once threw 294 passes without an INT.
- *** Don Hutson, split end, 1935-45. Precious few players revolutionize a position, but the “Alabama Antelope” did just that. Hutson’s stats – which included 74 catches for 1,211 yards in ’42 – were unheard of at the time. In a blowout win over the Lions in ’45, Hutson scored an incredible 29 points in a single quarter, which remains a league record. His single season record of 17 touchdown receptions in 1942 stood for 42 years until broken by Mark Clayton in ’84.
Mike Jacquart is a freelance writer and editor. A Packers fan since the 1970s, he lives in Iola, Wisconsin with his wife, Debra, and dog, Pepper Ann. He may be reached at [email protected]