Driver: Words, Photos, Perspective

Donald Driver sets a franchise record for receptions — topping 600 for his career in the process — and we have his comments, a photo gallery and perspective on a player who was the 26th of 31 receivers taken in the 1999 draft.

The Packers' career leader in passing, Brett Favre, was acquired in 1992 with a first-round draft pick.

The Packers' career leader in rushing, Jim Taylor, was a second-round draft pick in 1958.

The Packers' career leader in tackles, John Anderson, was a first-round pick in 1978.

The Packers' career leader in interceptions, Bobby Dillon, was a third-round pick in 1952.

The Packers career leader in receptions — a record that was set on Sunday by Donald Driver — was a seventh-round pick in 1999. The man whose record he broke, Sterling Sharpe, was a first-round pick in 1988. No. 3 on the Packers' list, James Lofton, was a first-round pick in 1978.

"There's some great guys that played here before me, and to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys, it's an honor," Driver said while clutching the record-setting ball. "And now, when I leave, I told Bob Harlan a long time ago and Ron Wolf, if I never make it to Canton, Ohio, as long as I'm in the Packers Hall of Fame, that's all that matters to me."

As if there was any doubt about Driver's Packers Hall of Fame credentials, he solidified himself with a typically sublime performance on Sunday against Detroit. Needing one catch to break a tie with Sharpe, Driver got it in the first quarter. He tacked on six more along the way to give him 602 for his career.

"Oh, is that what I've got? Oh, yeah, that is good," Driver said. "I guess if I can get to 1,000, that'd be great, wouldn't it? I've got a long way to go, so I'll take the 600 right now."

Driver set the record on a quick-hitting pass to the left sideline that gained 5 yards. After the play, Driver was congratulated by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Ryan Grant, among others.

"‘Thank you,'" Rodgers recalled Driver telling him. "I'm the one thanking him for those big plays he's made for us."

"What a significant thing for him," linebacker Aaron Kampman said, "and just so happy for him to do it at home and I can't say enough about the professional that he is, the friend he is and the teammate he is. I'm very, very happy for him."

"I can't say enough about Donald Driver," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It couldn't happen to a finer individual. He's an outstanding representative of the Green Bay Packers. I'm very happy to be a part of that. I just can't say enough about him personally or professionally what he accomplished here today."

After the drive, which ended in a touchdown and a 14-0 lead, the congratulations and hugs and high-fives continued on the sideline.

"We're a family. Guys were really happy for me," Driver said. "Everybody was saying, ‘Get the ball to him so he can get the record.' Once I got the record and got to the sidelines, so many guys were hugging me and giving me congratulations. It was a real special moment. That is when you can't do anything but smile. Today is a real special day for me in my career."

Not bad for the 213rd selection of the 1999 draft. The wide receiver taken exactly 200 picks earlier, Troy Edwards, is a mere footnote in Steelers history. Not bad for the 26th of 31 receivers taken in the draft. Not bad for No. 13 on the 13-man receiving depth chart during his first training camp. Not bad who was an afterthought about rookie receivers — the Packers used a sixth-rounder on Dee Miller from big-name Ohio State. Not bad for a guy who had 37 catches total in his first three seasons.

"I am happy. I am very excited. It's a long time coming," Driver said. "You never expect it to happen, but it couldn't it come in a better place — at home in front of the fans I've played in front of for so many years. It feels good. Now, I just have to wait on Sterling to call me and congratulate me."

Driver's last catch was about as good as any he has made in his rags-to-riches career. While being held and grabbed by cornerback Demarcus Faggans on a deep route up the left sideline in the third quarter, Driver made a falling-down, one-handed catch. It was a near-replay of the catch he made a few weeks ago at St. Louis.

"James Jones had said that St. Louis catch was luck," Driver said. "After I caught this one today, he said maybe it is just one of those things where you can catch with one hand. I just concentrated on the ball and was able to bring it in. The defender was hanging on my other arm so I was just trying to do the best I can to get to the ball. After I made that catch, the crowd got really juiced up. It was a lot of fun."

With seven catches for 107 yards, Driver ran his season totals to 25 receptions for 395 yards. That puts him on pace for 80 catches for 1,264 yards. He's had more yards only once in his career, 2006, when he tallied 1,295 yards.

For added perspective, Driver is one of four Pro Bowl receivers from the Class of 1999 — first-rounders Torry Holt (seven Pro Bowls) and David Boston (one) and third-rounder Marty Booker (one) are the others. Three receivers were taken in the first round of that draft, with Driver's receptions total 84 more than Boston (No. 8 overall) and Edwards (No. 13) combined.

Both James Jones and Greg Jennings joked that they'll be gunning for Driver's record, with Jones saying he's looking forward to that congratulatory call from Driver when the time comes. But considering the way the 34-year-old Driver is playing, who knows how many catches he'll wind up with.

"It is going to take them awhile," said Driver, who ranks second in team history with 8,384 receiving yards, 1,292 behind Lofton. "I am not done playing yet and I'm going to keep adding catches. When they finally run me out of here, then maybe they can take a run at it. As long as I'm here and they're here, it is going to be a battle."

With football in hand, Driver was looking forward to going home. Before leaving on Sunday morning, he was reminded by his son, Cristian, that he needed one catch to break the record.

"It's even more special because it came with a win," Driver said. "I don't think it would have felt this good if we would have lost the game. It feels good. The good thing about it was my son told me before I left the house that I had one more catch to make for the record. I am happy I can go home and celebrate with them now."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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