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Jamarcus Jermaine "J. J." Nelson (born April 24, 1992) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He played college football for The University of Alabama at Birmingham and was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL) in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Oakland Raiders.

J.J. Nelson
refer to caption
Nelson with the Arizona Cardinals
Free agent
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1992-04-24) April 24, 1992 (age 27)
Midfield, Alabama
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:160 lb (73 kg)
Career information
High school:Midfield (AL)
NFL Draft:2015 / Round: 5 / Pick: 159
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Receiving yards:1,439
Receiving average:17.8
Rushing yards:120
Return yards:66
Total touchdowns:11
Player stats at

Early yearsEdit

Nelson attended Midfield High School, where he was coached by The Birmingham News All-Metro West Coach of the Year Ruben Nelson. He helped lead his football team to the state Class 4A quarterfinals after finishing 11-2 during the regular season in 2009, recording 55 catches, 1,049 yards, 214 yards rushing, five interceptions, and 19 touchdowns. He was named The Birmingham News Metro-West Player of the Year. He was listed as the No. 27 state prospect on Birmingham News Super Seniors list and was selected to The Birmingham News All-Metro West Offensive Team. He was also named to the ASWA First Team All-State.

As a track & field star, Nelson was a two-time Class 4A state champion in the 100-meter dash (best of 10.49 seconds). He also captured the 200-meter dash title with a time of 21.76 seconds.[1] In addition, he was a highly regarded basketball player for Midfield, earning team MVP and All-region honors. He was a two-year letterwinner in both track and basketball.

College careerEdit

Nelson was named a member of the 2014 College Football All-America Team by the Walter Camp Foundation, USA Today, and CBS Sports as a kick returner. Nelson was also Conference USA special teams player of the year and first-team All-conference as a wide receiver.[2]

Professional careerEdit

At the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, Nelson had the fastest 40-yard dash with a time of 4.28 seconds, .04 seconds shy of the then-combine record of 4.24 seconds held then by Chris Johnson.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad
5 ft 10 in
(1.78 m)
156 lb
(71 kg)
4.28 s 1.49 s 2.51 s 4.15 s 7.02 s 36 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 7 in
(3.23 m)
All values from NFL Combine[3]

Nelson was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round, 159th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.[4]

On November 22, 2015, in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Nelson scored his first career touchdown with a pass from quarterback Carson Palmer. He finished his rookie year with 11 receptions for 299 yards and two touchdowns.

In 2016, Nelson played in 15 games with six starts, recording 34 catches for 568 yards and six touchdowns. He also had four rushing attempts for 83 yards and a touchdown including a run for 56 yards for the touchdown in Week 14.

In Week 2 of the 2017 season, Nelson recorded five receptions for 120 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown catch in Arizona's 16–13 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts. Nelson finished as the Week 2 yardage leader among all eligible receivers and won NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[5]

In 2018, Nelson had a career-low seven receptions for 64 yards and no touchdowns on the season.

Oakland RaidersEdit

On March 15, 2019, Nelson signed with the Oakland Raiders.[6] In week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings, Nelson caught 4 passes for 36 yards and his first receiving touchdown of the season as the Raiders lost 34-14. [7] He was released on October 10, 2019.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Birdsong, Nick (December 11, 2014). "J.J. Nelson becomes UAB's first All-American in 10 years". Retrieved December 16, 2014.
  3. ^ "NFL Combine". Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Root, Jess (May 2, 2015). "2015 NFL Draft results: Arizona Cardinals take pass rusher Shaquille Riddick, speedy WR JJ Nelson in 5th round". Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Maya, Adam (September 20, 2017). "Tom Brady, J.J. Nelson among Players of the Week".
  6. ^ "Raiders sign wide receiver J.J. Nelson". March 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "NFL rushing leader Cook leads Vikes romp past Raiders 34-14". September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  8. ^ Mosher, Marcus (October 10, 2019). "Raiders release WR J.J. Nelson, re-sign WR Marcell Ateman". USA Today.

External linksEdit