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Tundra Tailgate Zone
Tundra Tailgate Zone
A standout receiver in Green Bay for nine years, among 16 seasons in the NFL, James Lofton became the first Packers player without direct ties to Curly Lambeau or Vince Lombardi to earn induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2003).
The sixth overall selection of the 1978 NFL Draft, Lofton came to Green Bay from Stanford, where in addition to playing football he was also an accomplished track and field star, winning the NCAA long jump title as a senior.
Playing first under head coach Bart Starr, the Hall of Fame quarterback of the Lombardi era, Lofton made an immediate impact on a struggling team.
As a rookie, Lofton caught 46 passes for 818 yards, leading the team in receptions en route to his first of what would be seven straight trips to the Pro Bowl.
In 1980, Lofton turned in his first of two straight 71-yard catch seasons and his first of five 1,000-yard campaigns with the Packers.
In 1983 and 1984, he led the league in yards-per-catch average at 22.4 and 22.0, respectively.
Known for his blazing speed, the 6-foot-3, 192-pound Lofton compiled 32 games as a Packer with 100 or more receiving yards and had 9,656 receiving yards for his Green Bay career -- both marks the best in team history.
The Packers had only one playoff season during Lofton's tenure, but, not surprisingly, he was a force in that postseason campaign. In the 1981 NFC first-round playoff, Lofton caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in a 41-16 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, and, one game later, his 6-yard touchdown reception and 71-yard touchdown return of a blocked kick accounted for almost half of the Packers' points in a 37-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
A consensus pick in 1981, Lofton earned Associated Press All-Pro honors four times as a Packer (1980-83).
In 1987, Lofton left Green Bay for a two-year stint with the Los Angeles Raiders, followed by four seasons with the Buffalo Bills and brief stints with the L.A. Rams and Philadelphia Eagles before his retirement following the 1993 season.
At the time of his retirement, Lofton's 14,004 career receiving yardage was tops in the NFL, while his 43 games of 100 yards or more ranked third.
On the receiving end of 49 touchdown passes as a Packer, and 75 for his career, Lofton was the first NFL player to catch a touchdown pass in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
Lofton wore jersey number 80 during his Packers career.
Following his playing days, Lofton went on to be an NFL assistant coach.
James David Lofton was born July 5, 1956, in Fort Ord, Calif.
Lofton's Career Stats courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau: