Sharpe was the first round seventh overall draft pick by the Packers in 1988 and had an immediate impact on the team. In his rookie season he started all sixteen games and caught 55 passes. His sophomore season he led the league with 90 receptions, the first Packer to do so since Don Hutson in 1945, and broke Hutson's records for receptions and receiving yards in a season.
A few years later, in 1992, Sharpe and the new quarterback, Brett Favre, teamed up to become one of the top passing tandems in the league. In the final game of that season he and Favre hooked up for Sharpe's 107th reception of the season which broke the NFL's single-season receptions record, set by Art Monk in 1984. That season, Sharpe became one of only seven players in NFL history to win the "Triple Crown" at the receiver position: leading the league in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions. Don Hutson (1936, 1941–44), Elroy Hirsch (1951), Pete Pihos (1953), Raymond Berry (1959), Jerry Rice (1990) and Steve Smith (2005) are the only other players to accomplish this feat. In the 1993 season Sharpe subsequently broke his own record, with 112 receptions; this also made him the first player to have consecutive seasons catching more than 100 passes. In 1994, his 18 touchdown receptions were the second most in league history at the time, behind Jerry Rice's 22 in 1987.
Sterling Sharpe's tenure at wide receiver was cut short by a neck injury suffered during the 1994 season, ending a career in which he was named an All-Pro five times (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1994). Since he was unable to continue playing, and was not on the Packers team that won the Super Bowl in 1996, his brother Shannon gave him the first of the three Super Bowl rings he has won , citing him as a major influence in his life by saying:
The two people who influenced me the most, good or bad, are Sterling and my grandmother. Everything I know about being a man, about football, everything I know about sports, pretty much in life, is because of those two people.
His younger brother, Shannon Sharpe, was one of the NFL's top tight ends from the 1990s to the early 2000s (decade). Shannon retired in 2003 and once again followed in his brother's footsteps, becoming a sportscaster for the NFL pregame show on CBS, The NFL Today. Shannon Sharpe was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. During Shannon Sharpe's induction speech, he brought up his reverence of his brother again, saying:
Sharpe, most would argue, should undoubtedly be in the NFL Hall of fame, with his career ending injury, he averaged 100 catches per healthy season, he was one of the first WR's to catch that many passes in such regularity... Whether there is a person who favored him as a fan or not, you still have to admit if he doesn't have a career ending injury, with Brett Favre also saying "we got drafted together, I couldn't imagine having him for 10 more seasons", which couldn't be more true, that was the modern day Randy Moss, if not better. Some people say we will never know, but when you see someone start 5 1/2 seasons with 595 rec & 65 TD's, I think we know cause we had seen it. Jerry Rice had 22,000 yards, 1500 rec. 197 TD's in 21 yrs, and Sharpe was on pace for 2000+ rec. 260 TD's. 32,000 yards, even given deflation, it shows he would have stayed playing with Brett, as the QB played at a high level for the next 15-17 yrs. These are not confirmed stats just a good argument to show why he deserves more credit then he currently has. Even if he didn't get injured, doesn't mean he would have had a career as good as project but its nice to see what could have been possible, say if he did play as long as JR80.
I'm the only player, of 267 men that [have] walked through this building to my left, that can honestly say this: I'm the only pro football player that's in the Hall of Fame, and I'm the second best player in my own family.